Growing up in Chicago I learned to love pizza. Contrary to popular legend (and silly TV travel and food shows that keep the myth alive) not all of Chicago pizzas are deep dish. Deep dish has its place sure, but ya know what? I didn’t have deep dish pizza until I was an adult. All the pizza I had as a kid growing up on “Da Sout’ Side” was thin crust and cut in squares not wedges thankyouverykindly. To this day, it’s how I prefer my pizza. On that note, tell me/us about YOUR favorite pizza. What kind of crust, what toppings? My favorite is a thin crust with sausage, mushrooms and extra cheese. Preferably from Artese pizza in Chicago… which I haven’t had since I was about 15 *sobs*. These days I settle for chain pizza because the rural part of Kentucky isn’t exactly a hot spot for good pizza. We also make it home made. My hubby is the pizza king around here when it comes to traditional. I’m the one who likes to shake things up and do it differently. Gee… imagine that. ME? Not doing things the normal way? Nahhhhhhhhh.
One thing I’ve been making for years is what we call pizza bread. Basically, it’s what they call Stromboli or Calzone (both different but similar enough that I feel no guilt using the names more or less interchangeably. Doubt the pizza police are gonna get me 😛 ) but…not. Calzones are usually a half moon shape and strombolis are usually rolled. Mine is neither. It’s one big huge…well… stuffed pizza. But I cheat by using frozen bread dough. This IS me after all. You know I try to bring you things that are tasty, usually quite bad for you hehehe but as easily done as possible. No exception here.
This is cheesy and gooey and meaty and saucy and…ok, so obviously it has all the flavor levels of pizza. Suffice it to say that it’s yummy. This is great for a light meal with salad or cut into strips for snacks while watching TV or hidden somewhere where nobody else can find it and heated up when you’re alone…
I have specific filling ingredients listed here but you can sub your favorites. Just be careful not to overstuff. No matter how well you think you have it sealed, put too much sauce, too much cheese or too much filling in it and it WILL break open and make a mess.
Stuffed Pizza Bread
- 2 loaves frozen bread dough, thawed (lay it out on foil, lightly grease it & leave till thawed)
- 1/2 cup pizza sauce (spaghetti sauce works fine too)
- 1/2 cup Tyson Italian Sausage crumbles
- 4 ounces (about 10 thin slices) hard salami
- 4 ounces Canadian bacon
- 12 ounces shredded mozzarella or provolone cheese
- 1/2 to 2/3 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
- 1 large beaten egg for egg wash
- 1/3 cup shredded mozzarella, provolone or “pizza” cheese
- Basil Oil for drizzling and extra sauce for dipping if desired
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- On a lightly floured board (or counter like I do 😛 ) roll one loaf of the thawed dough out to about 8×11 or the approximate size of a sheet of copy paper.
- Transfer to a large greased cookie sheet.
- Layer the dough with the pizza sauce and toppings.
- Roll out other loaf to about one inch larger in diameter than you did the other.
- Brush beaten egg all around the edges of the filled loaf.
- Carefully drape other loaf on top and seal edges with your fingers. Fold under if necessary.
- Brush top of stuffed pizza thingamajigger with beaten egg then sprinkle with shaved Parmesan. Drizzle with basil oil.
- Bake at 350 until golden brown, about 30 minutes.
- Let rest for about 15 minutes before cutting or you’ll just have cheese everywhere. Sounds yummy yes, but rather unfair to the poor sods who get the middle of the loaf with no cheese in it 😛