July 15, 2007

French Bread Pizza

Until a few years ago, there was a quaint little restaurant in Bangalore, near the junction of Residency Road and Brigade Road, that kindled my curiosity enough to walk in and the experience there made me go back. Again and again. This restaurant was French Bread Pizza.

All items on their menu were pizzas. Only they were made using the famous baguette as a base. Think of this as a large, really large piece of garlic bread with all the toppings. They served these little wonders on wooden holders specially designed to hold the baguette. When I finally moved back to Bangalore 2 years ago, the place, much to my utter disappointment, had shut down and given way to a Chettinad restaurant. Maybe it wasn't viable enough a business. I hope they come back into business because they've given me several moments of satiated happiness. The kind that only comes from having eaten a good meal.

Last evening, we went to Galleria, a shopping complex close by and walked in to the Grand Plaza bakery. There we found some fresh baguettes. I remembered that I had everything at home to recreate the French Bread Pizza magic at home. Ever since my trip home last month, I've been preparing to make Amma's signature pizza at home. But the incidents of the past 2 weeks didn't allow me to make anything so elaborate. This seemed perfect.


1 Baguette

For the sauce:

1 Onion, chopped finely
2-3 medium Tomatoes, chopped finely
1 Capsicum, chopped finely (I used small portions of all 3 colours)
4 Button Mushrooms, chopped finely
2 tbsp Tomato Puree
1 tbsp Tomato Ketchup
1 tsp Sugar
1 tsp Oregano
1/2 tsp Pepper
1/2 tsp Chilli Flakes
1 tbsp Olive Oil
Salt to Taste

2-3 Olives
100g Grated Cheese
Some oil/butter for glazing the bread

Slice the baguette in two and chop in half. You will be left with 4 quarters. Apply some butter or olive oil to the flat surface of each piece and grill for 3 minutes.

In a pan, heat the oil and add the onions. Fry for a minute or two. Add the capsicum and mushrooms and fry for 2-3 minutes. Add the oregano, chilli flakes, salt, sugar and pepper and fry for another minute. Add the tomatoes and fry for 2-3 minutes. Add the puree and ketchup and cook the mixture for a couple of minutes.

Spread the sauce over the grilled bread pieces and add the olives on top.

Sprinkle grated cheese over the slices and bake in an oven at 220 C for 7-8 minutes and then on grill for 3-4 minutes.

Enjoy this when hot with a glass of milk, coke, beer or breezer. I am sure that a glass of iced tea will go very well with this too.

This sauce is Amma's signature sauce and I will soon be putting up the recipe for her pizza as well. Initially, her sauce used to be only onions and tomatoes and any other toppings, we'd put over the sauce and then sprinkle cheese on it. I suggested to her that if she adds them in the sauce, they would imbibe the flavours of the sauce. The addition of ketchup was also my idea. Last night, I went ahead and added some puree and some chilli flakes to the sauce. No one was complaining!

This is my entry to Waiter There's Something in My...Sauce, and hosted by Andrew of Spittoon Extra.


J said...

Are you on a marathon?? I have so many recipes to catch up on!! :) Pizza seems lip smacking, all credits to your amma :)

FH said...

My kids will love those!:))

Suganya said...

Saves you from making crust, don't they?

Padma said...

I should agree with Jyothsna, Are you on a marathon? Its really overwhelming to see so many recipes. I am a new blogger and do visit me at
your french bread pizza looks interesting and very quick to make for a lazy night dinner...

Cynthia said...

And Raaga, it is perfect!

Raaga said...

@Jyothsna: I cook and take photographs all through the week and on Saturday I post all my recipes. So, every weekend does feel like a marathon :-)

@Asha: Try it, why the kids alone, even you'll love it.

@Suganya: Yes, it saves us the trouble... but it is also tasty :-)

@Padma: I just visited your blog. You have lovely recipes. Most of my cooking is lazy cooking :-)

@Cynthia: Thanks :-)

DEEPA said...

wow!!!pizza looks great and yummy ...nice one

Raaga said...

Thanks Deepa. Do try it.

Anonymous said...

Good job! :)