Making pizza at home sounds fun, but homemade pizza dough can be tricky, even with a lot of practice. Still, that doesn’t mean delivery is the only way to satisfy a craving.
Solution: baguette. Squishy supermarket baguette is a ready-to-use vehicle for your favorite pizza toppings. Sure, you can just buy a box of Stouffer’s, but with a little planning, homemade pizza with baguettes is a great meal after a day’s work.
Store-bought baguettes can vary quite a bit in size. The sizes offered in these recipes should cover larger loaves of 16 ounces, but trust your gut feeling when topping: Smaller loaves may require a thinner layer of sauce or slightly less cheese. Also dig out some of the soft insides of the bread. Toss in a food processor and pulse to make breadcrumbs, or tear into bite-sized pieces, mix with olive oil and salt and bake at 350 degrees until dry and golden brown for croutons.
Here you will find three versions: pepperoni lover’s, four cheese and pesto and mozzarella. Feel free to mix and match sauces and play with different cheese combinations. Then top as you wish. Thinly sliced red onion adds bite, hot chili or a pinch of red pepper flakes cuts the richness of the cheese in almost every case. Dried oregano and grated Parmesan give pizzeria vibes, while fresh basil brightens things up.
The most important step – and this is crucial – is to let the pizza cool before slicing and eating it. Few things are hotter than the marriage of melted sauce and cheese atop a steaming slab. Searing your palate is almost guaranteed if you’re not patient, so wait at least five minutes before digging in.
Whichever direction you choose to go with your baguette pizza, what you get is a little sophisticated (it’s French, after all!), a crowd-pleasing meal or snack, perfect for game days, Fridays, or any other day when you need a reminder that cooking at home can be as fun and delicious as it is easy.
Recipes: Pizza with baguette with four cheeses | Pesto and Mozzarella Baguette Pizza | Pepperoni Lover’s Baguette Pizza
And to drink…
My general point of view is that just about any fine wine with a lively acidity goes well with pizza. Champagne and riesling are both great. So is Lambrusco. The question isn’t so much whether you should change your tune depending on whether a pizza is topped with mushrooms or pepperoni. It’s easier than that, say whether the pizza is made with cooked tomatoes. For these baguette pizzas, the toppings of four cheeses and pesto call for vibrant whites. It can be any number of Italian white wines, such as Verdicchio di Matelica or vermentino from Liguria, or aligoté from Burgundy or any sharp sparkling wine, be it champagne or a natural pétillant. For the tomato-and-peperoni pizza I would choose Lambrusco, Chianti, dolcetto or barbera. On the other hand, champagne would also be delicious. ERIC ASIMOV