Garlic bread pizza: Start with ciabatta

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Who likes garlic bread? Raise your hand.

OK, I see the majority of you are fans of the “stinking rose.”

Now, who loves pizza?

Ah, even more.

So, what could be more serendipitous than pairing garlic bread with pizza?

Bake a loaf of bread – to make it an optimal shape and size for pizza, we’ll make ciabatta.

Next, add your favorite garlic bread toppings, which can include butter, oil, garlic, cheese, herbs… however you like your garlic bread.

Then, turn it into pizza with your favorite toppings.

Simple. Ingenious. Tasty!

Yes? Let’s do it.

The first thing we’ll do is bake that loaf of ciabatta bread. Instead of the usual oval shape, though, we’ll bake it in a round.

Hey, you prefer oval? Go for it. Oval pizza is no less tasty than round!

Here’s my favorite ciabatta recipe, complete with blog post showing the steps you’ll take to make a wonderful chewy loaf, filled with ciabatta’s signature air pockets.

The recipe calls for you to divide the dough in half, and make two loaves. For this purpose, we’ll make just a single large loaf.

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And here’s the finished loaf. Kind of round. More or less. About 12″ x 14″, actually.

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I’m just going to cut this baby in half around the equator.

If you don’t have an extra-long serrated knife, just use the longest one you have. Cut all around the edges, then work into the middle once the edges are done.

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Ah, those holes… SO perfect for catching melted butter and olive oil and bits of garlic!

Speaking of which – let’s go ahead and make this ciabatta into garlic bread.

Preheat your oven to 400°F.

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Combine the following in a mini food processor:

1 medium head of garlic, cloves separated and peeled (about 15 medium cloves)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup olive oil
1/16 teaspoon salt (a pinch)

Process until the garlic is minced. If you don’t have a processor, mince the garlic by hand, and combine with the remaining ingredients.

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Brush the garlic butter on the cut sides of both rounds.

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Sprinkle with coarsely shredded Parmesan cheese – as much or little as you like. I used about 1/2 cup per pizza.

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Ah, mozzarella! You’ll need a pound, total; 8 ounces for each pizza.

I’m using fresh mozzarella, but either fresh or “standard” are OK. As is shredded; it simply won’t look as nice.

Slice the mozzarella about 1/4″ thick.

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Lay the cheese atop the ciabatta halves.

Notice there’s no Parm on this one. Whoops… I went back and added it after I’d taken the photo.

Next up: cherry tomatoes.

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If your garden is exploding with cherry tomatoes right about now, this is a good thing to do with them: sauté them quickly over high heat in a bit of vegetable oil, just until they’re beginning to brown and soften, but not so long that they burst and leak.

The resulting charred tomatoes can be used to top a pizza or pasta; chilled and added to salad; or frozen for next winter’s soups, stews, and sauces.

I used about a pound of tomatoes for each pizza.

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Space the tomatoes around the mozzarella slices.

Bake the pizza for about 23 minutes, until the cheese has melted and is beginning to brown slightly.

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While the pizza’s baking, go out back and snip some fresh herbs. I’m using oregano, parsley, and chives.

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Remove the pizza from the oven…

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…and sprinkle with the fresh herbs.

See how they dress it up?

What, no basil, you ask? If you’re going for looks, avoid fresh basil; once it hits the pizza’s heat, it turns black. Immediately.

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The ciabatta “crust” is crunchy/light, and packed with garlicky punch.

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And ah, yes, those air pockets: each one holds its own infinitesimal pool of garlic butter.

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Crunchy, oozy/melty, tasty, garlicky, colorful, quick & easy (once the ciabatta’s made) – you can’t beat garlic bread pizza!

And, as always, the Baking Police have left the building. Use your own favorite toppings; these are just what I happen to like. Make the pizza on a regular crust; ciabatta is simply a suggestion. Don’t like garlic? Don’t use it.

Don’t like pizza? Don’t make it! The world is awash with wonderful recipes; bake what you like, when and how you like it, and you can’t go wrong.

If this garlic bread pizza does happen to sound good to you, though, here’s our favorite ciabatta recipe to get you started. Enjoy!

Print our recipe for ciabatta garlic bread.

 

 

PJ Hamel
About

PJ Hamel was born in Wisconsin, grew up in New England, and graduated from Brown University. She was a journalist in Massachusetts and Maine before joining the King Arthur Flour Company in 1990, where she's been ever since. Author or co-author of three King Arthur ...

comments

  1. Tiara

    Yummy! It reminds me when I was younger, my parents would have us kids make our own French bread pizza. Only this is more adult and sophisticated. What a great idea! Now I want to go try this on my next bread baking day. Thank you for the inspiration!

    That’s true, Tiara, this is reminiscent of French bread pizza, isn’t it? And yeah – if it ever cools down, I highly recommend giving it a try! :) PJH

    Reply
  2. Les Moor

    Yum! Can’t wait to try it. We have no tomatoes yet but that won’t stop us! Thanks.

    Let us know how it works for you, I think this recipe is a keeper!-Jon

    Reply
  3. De

    I am going to make this tonight for supper — but I am going to use goat cheese.

    Sounds like a good combination, I loooooooooove goat cheese on pretty much everything.-Jon

    Reply
  4. barbara

    looks absolutely delish, if it weren’t so “wicked” I’d do it right now.
    Great job, PJ!

    It isn’t -too- wicked, I would say it is borderline healthy! Look at all of those tomatoes, and butter is a vegetable…right?-Jon ;)

    Reply
  5. Moni

    Do you think the ciabatta bread could be cooked on the grill? Or maybe just the already assembled pizza?

    Both are certainly possible, but we haven’t tried to! If you do, let us know how it works for you.-Jon

    Reply
  6. Paula

    I wonder if I could grill this?

    Certainly within the realm of possibilities, let us know if you try to!-Jon

    Reply
  7. Maria

    Wow, that looks so good, as soon as I get my new oven, I will be baking some of that, no a lot of that, :) , I have been going though bread withdrawal!

    Maria, I believe you just posted on our Facebook page about having no oven, but I wrote back about trying to bake on your grill, provided you have one. Be it charcoal or gas, you can easily bake in a grill. Check out my comments or let me know if you want more info on this approach! Best, Kim@KAF

    Reply
  8. Joni M

    You absolutely can do this ciabatta pizza on the grill because you’ve already baked the bread. Once you slice it and put the toppings on it, go right ahead and put the pizzas on the hot grill to finish the bake. My son in law makes grilled pizzas outside all the time and they are fabulous! He actually bakes his dough on the grill first, removes the crust and brings it in to put toppings on, flips it, so the uncooked side is down and tops the cooked side then puts back on the grill to finish. With the ciabatta–it’s already cooked, so add your toppings and grill away–guarantee you’ll LOVE it!

    Joni: I would even go so far as to bake the ciabatta IN the grill first! Why heat the oven at all?? I set my gas grill to 400F (medium low flames on one half, keep the lid shut, then bake on the other side in my pan. I protect the pan with a layer of foil on the grill grate to keep charred bits off my 9×13 pan, but it works great!) Kim@KAF

    Reply
  9. erin

    Never tried the ciabatta. Will have to. We love to use garlic naan as a base for pizza… Wonderful. I’ll add zucchini, eggplant, or squash—whatever’s in season. Sometimes with some goat cheese. If you like basil and don’t want to ruin the presentation, stick it on underneath the cheese :}

    Great tip on hiding the basil, Erin! I use home-dried basil which has plenty of punch! Also, I dig the Naan idea mostly because you don’t need to bake it in the oven! Brilliant!! Kim@KAF

    Reply
  10. Mia

    Looks yummy. I’ve only had the frozen garlic bread pizzas and was never a huge fan. But since I’ve yet to find a pizza crust recipe that I like, I will definitely give this a try sometime in the next few weeks.

    Sounds great! Wish you luck and fun with the baking adventure! Kim@KAF

    Reply
  11. Corinne

    I couldn’t find a link to print the recipe. Is there one? It looks delicious.

    There’s a link to the ciabatta/garlic bread recipe at the end, but no garlic pizza recipe, since the toppings can be whatever you like. I should clarify that, huh? Thanks, Corinne – PJH

    Reply
  12. cwcdesign

    So, PJ – Here is the dumb question (even though I know there is no such thing as a dumb question). The recipe makes 2 loafs and I want to know if you used the whole recipe to make one large loaf.

    Yup, used the recipe to make one large loaf. (Nice to see your name here! Hope things are well with you…) PJH

    Reply
  13. carol prudom

    No print icon?

    No, Carol, the blog posts are SO long that it doesn’t make sense to print them. And I didn’t include a print icon for the recipe, since it’s a recipe for ciabatta alone. But there’s a print icon on the recipe itself, when you follow that link. Sorry for the potential confusion – PJH

    Reply
  14. PeggyC

    I’m going to have to try this! I have to say, though, that I’ve never had my basil go black when I put it on pizza. I usually chiffonade the basil and then scatter it on about five minutes before I take the pizza out. The basil stays green but goes nice and crispy!

    Interesting, Peggy. I wonder if it has something to do with the type of basil, or the chiffonade? Perhaps shredding it makes less of its surface come in contact with the hot pizza? I’ll definitely try that sometime, thanks! PJH

    Reply
  15. Carol

    Looks delicious! This recipe shows one ciabatta 12″ x 14″ while the ciabatta recipe has “two fat logs, each about 10″ long x 4″ wide”. Did you just make one bread instead of 2 with same amount of ingredients? Same cooking time? Thanks.

    Yes, Carol, I made one bread instead of two – cooking time should be about the same; follow what it says in the blog post, OK? Enjoy! PJH

    Reply
  16. waikikirie

    Looks delish. Can’t wait to give it a try, once the temperature drops a bit. Too hot for the oven although I see suggestions for “baking” the ciabetta on the grill. Hmmmmm. Maybe I will have this sooner rather then later.

    I’m intending to grill some naan this evening, Waikikirie – funny how hot bread tastes so good even when it’s hot out… :) PJH

    Reply
  17. Erin in PA

    This looks so wonderful! The ciabatta recipe is a winner, and I will definitely have to put this on my “to make soon” list. When it’s so hot out (95+ all this week here in PA) I tend to grill my pizzas, but this is a neat and yummy twist. Our tomatoes are just about ready!

    My tomatoes are JUST starting to ripen, Erin – though this hot weather will surely hasten them along. Enjoy – PJH

    Reply
  18. barbara

    Jon, It’s the weather that’s wicked hot, not that wonderful pizza!
    I guess “wicked” is a New Hampshire thing.
    Definitely doing the pizza!

    HA, “wicked” is actually a Maine/Massachusetts thing, more than NH; but since I’ve lived in all three states, I’m pretty used to saying it! In fact, there’s even a Maine song titled “Wicked Good…” :) PJH

    Reply
  19. waikikirie

    Forget to post my question. Can the ciabatta be made ahead and frozen??? I love to have a stack of pizza shells in the freezer. (I par bake….actually on the grill when it’s hot). Can I do the same with this do you think?? Even with the 2 loaves?? I love ciabatta (and lets be real, any homemade bread). It would be nice to have a stash in the freezer. No biggie if you haven’t tried, just thought I’d ask :).

    Since the ciabatta is already baked and acts as the platform for the rest of the pizza (instead of an unbaked crust) then bake the ciabatta, cool completely and freeze. It’ll be practically ready any time you get the garlic pizza urge! Happy Baking! Irene@KAF

    Reply
  20. Collie

    Is it possible to use the dough cycle on a bread machine and then bake in the oven?

    The dough cycle is terrific for mixing, kneading and the first yeast dough rise. Remove and shape – let the shaped dough rise and bake in the oven. Enjoy yeast bread baking made easy! Happy Baking – Irene@KAF

    Reply
  21. Kelli

    Absolutely Wonderful!! Made it today – there is just two of us so I made one pizza and the other ciabatta for sandwiches. I was concerned – never made ciabatta before – when it didn’t raise much. Called the wonderful people at the KAF baking hotline and they confirmed I was on the right track. Love the recipe! I added KAF pizza dough flavor and that kicks it up a notch. Thanks KAF for your help, wonderful recipes, and tasty ingredients!

    Thanks for using our Baker’s Hotline – you made our work today very rewarding. We love hearing about our customer/baker success after one of those hotline calls or we’ll continue to work with you to get the results we both expect – Happy Baking! Irene@KAF

    Reply
  22. "Jon in Las Vegas"

    First time ever making ciabatta, and it turned out OK for a first time, though mine didn’t have the large and numerous holes pictured above. I had forgotten tomatoes at the store, so we used lots of pepperoni and sauteed red bell peppers to top our pizzas. I loved the garlic butter and the contrast of the crisp outside and spongy inside of the bread, but we both agreed that the tomatoes will be on there the next time we make these. Thanks for this blog entry….we’ll get it perfect next time.

    John, with baking, the pleasure is often as much in the journey as in the destination, and this is especially true with yeast baking. Each time you bake, you’ll come closer to your goal – and each time you’ll learn something, AND enjoy something yummy! Good luck – PJH

    Reply
  23. Cissa

    I just made 2 large pizzas for myself and my husband, and we found them- meh. It sounded so perfect! Ciabatta! Garlic butter! Parm! Mozz! Fresh tomatoes!

    It’s got a good garlic flavor- I’ll use this garlic butter recipe again- but the pizza part disappointed us. Maybe with the fresh mozz and the fresh tomatoes we’re lacking in salt; I’ll salt it when we have some of the rest tomorrow. (I thought the salty parm would do the trick- and yes, I did add the salt to the garlic butter mixture).

    Anyway- I like the basic concept, but as written- for us it was REALLY bland.

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel , post author

      Cissa, sorry this wasn’t a hit for you guys. I think you’re right – you might want to add a sprinkle of fine salt to the whole thing, to point up those flavors. Hope the leftovers (with salt) get a better reception! PJH

  24. Anne

    Well, yum. The stuffed pizza recipe on this site is one of my fiancé’s favorite things I’ve ever made (he has a photo of it on his cell phone that he likes to show people) but I bet this one would give that a run for its money. Do you think the ciabatta would work using a portion of semolina flour in place of the all-purpose? We all like the flavor of that a lot, but since it seems creamier to me, I wonder if it would ruin the airiness of the loaf.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Anne, I would encourage you to use a bit of semolina in your dough!~Jaydl@KAF

  25. sanvn

    my bread was great until baking. It turned out quite flat!! Don’t know what I did wrong. Smells good though. Will have to trim the top thin crust off to make one large round of thin bread for pizza.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Ciabatta is pretty flat but sounds like maybe yours was a little flatter than the usual! There is the possibility that you allowed your dough to rise too long. We hope you will try again sanvn! Elisabeth@KAF

  26. Darlene

    The ciabatta was outstanding and I was thrilled to see all the nooks and crannies. We have never had such fresh garlic bread before! Can’t wait to try the pizza and the pressed Italian sandwich. As usual another successful recipe from KAF:)

    Reply

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