Blitz Pizza: feeding without the frenzy

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Are you looking for a fast and easy way to make a BIG pizza?

One that can be prepped several days ahead, so that when you find yourself surrounded by hungry kids who need something substantial to eat FAST, all you need to do is add toppings and bake – no rising required?

A pizza whose crust is so simple, it doesn’t even need to be kneaded?

Read on.

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This generously proportioned (13″ x 18″) Sicilian-style, thick-crust pie starts out as Blitz Bread – one of our most popular yeast bread recipes.

A thick focaccia made from yeast “batter” ( remember, I said no kneading), Blitz Bread lives up to its name: it takes just about 90 minutes to go from pouring flour into a mixing bowl to pulling a hot, aromatic loaf of yeast bread out of the oven.

And, as one of the most common Facebook memes goes, “But it’s what comes next that might surprise you.”

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Let’s start with this thick focaccia, which you’ve baked in a 9″ x 13″ pan.

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Cut it in half around its perimeter; a long, serrated knife is a useful tool for this task.

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Place the two halves on a baking sheet, and top as desired.

This is your opportunity to A) use up lots of leftovers from the fridge, and/or B) let everyone create his/her own personal pizza. If B), you might want to cut the crust into 4 or even 8 pieces (8 for lighter eaters).

Notice I’ve flipped the right-hand half so its crust (rather than its cut side) is on top.

Why? Just wanted to see what difference it made in the finished pizza.

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Bake in a preheated 400°F oven until the toppings are hot and the cheese has melted.

How long? Gosh, I didn’t time it… maybe 15 to 20 minutes or so? Up to you and your oven, really.

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Remove the pizza from the oven, and use a pair of scissors to cut it into serving-sized pieces.

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See that light, airy crumb? It’s perfect for absorbing the wetter bits of topping.

Which brings us back to my experiment: open-side up, vs. crust side up.

The pizza topped on its “crumb” side wasn’t quite as crisp, since some of the toppings had sunk in. But I actually liked it better than the pizza topped on its “crust” side, which was crunchier – but also assertively “this is the crust, this is the topping, and never the twain shall meet.”

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Speaking of topping, here’s my favorite: sliced chicken sausage, fresh spinach, and low-fat mozzarella. Almost sounds healthy, doesn’t it? We can always dream…

So, I know you’re dying to try this “pizza” (which, in reality, is simply topped and toasted bread – but let’s not quibble over terminology). The first thing you need to do is make Blitz Bread – check out the step-by-step photos in our blog post, Yeast Bread in a Hurry.

Happy pizza baking!

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. Stephanie @ A Magpie in the Sky

    Such a great idea! Not just for the kids, I can see this going down well at any party. For a girls night in, we could all pick a corner and get topping!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Absolutely, Stephanie! I would probably just slather the entire thing in buffalo chicken…mmm. Jon@KAF

  2. waikikirie

    I make the blitz focaiccia. Never thought to split and make pizza. Two no less….I’ve said it before and no doubt I’ll say it again, Brilliant PJ….
    xoxooxox

    Reply
  3. Laurie

    This inspired me to make blitz bread tonight for dinner. The family was giddy with excitement and circled it like wolves when it came out of the oven. Not one crumb was left to use for a pizza. Next time…

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel , post author

      Laurie, I often have to make two blitz breads – one to throw to the wolves, one to feed ‘em later! :) PJH

  4. PauL from Ohio

    Brilliant as always PJ – and the timing could not be more perfect – I’ll be traveling to visit ‘family’ 5 hungry kids, mom and dad and me……and I’d thought I’d make them the over-the-top pizza but hey, they all probably like different toppings than what I’d do …. so this is definitely a GO TO ! Or in this case – bring along/make for them. Thanks.

    Reply
  5. mitzimuffins

    I too was inspired to make this for dinner last night. I was happy that I could make the “crust” in the morning and then when the dinner spirit moved me I could heat up the pizza stone and complete dinner. I loved it! The crust is crunchy and soft at the same time. It has a great texture. I did not add any flavorings to the bread except to sprinkle on some oregano, basil, and freshly cracked black pepper to the top just before backing. I enjoyed it that way but next time I may add some cheese to up the flavor a bit. The bread itself could not be easier to make. Give it a try!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Happy to hear that you enjoyed this recipe! It really does make pizza for dinner (or anytime) super fast and delicious. Happy baking! Jon@KAF

  6. Virgil B

    Is it possible to skip the precooking of the crust?
    I would like to just add the toppings onto the uncooked crust then bake it.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Virgil- In this case, I would not recommend trying to change up the procedure that much as I’m not sure the base would cook up properly for you. If you are more interested in a traditional pizza that bakes with the toppings, I think you would be much better off finding a recipe designed to be baked that way from our website: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/pizza-and-flatbread. Happy Baking! JocelyN@KAF

  7. Nancy England

    Although I’ve been a King Arthur addict for years, this is my first time connecting with the email letter, and I sure am glad I did. I don’t particularly like pizza, but hubby has been asking for it for weeks now. So I’m going to corral the ingredients and make the basic dough in the morning – late afternoon I’m too pooped to tackle anything! Sounds like a perfect solution for a happy hubby!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      A happy hubby makes a happy house! I hope this recipe can strike the perfect balance between having a delicious homemade pizza while not requiring toooo much effort to make it! Happy Baking! Jocelyn@KAF

  8. wattle

    Can this recipe be halved?,I only have a European oven so can’t fit a very large pan,the recipe sure sounds easy,
    Thanks Kindly,
    Wattle.
    Yes, this can most definitely be done in half; I’ve done so in an 8″ square pan with no trouble. Susan

    Reply
  9. Sarah

    Can the dough be frozen? Or can the crust be baked and then frozen? I’d like to use half the crust now and freeze half for later.

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel , post author

      Yes, Sarah, bake the bread to completion, then freeze what you don’t want to use right away, tightly wrapped. Like anything else, it’ll gradually deteriorate in the freezer; but barring freezer burn or off flavors, it should stay pretty good for a month to six weeks. Enjoy – PJH

  10. Bessietaughtme

    Have made the Blitz Bread, husband, “LOVED IT”. I wonder what he’ll say if I make Pizza out of it before he makes it disappear right from the oven. Will have to try it.

    Reply
  11. Virginia

    I have been experimenting with the blitz focaccia since I found the recipe on your site maybe a couple of months ago. I am one who can never leave well-enough alone, so I have made various incarnations of it, most of which are pizza. I spread the dough out on the baking sheet, no 9 by 13 pan for me.

    I have a convection oven that heats from the top, so the bottom crust is never crunchy. To help compensate, I bake the bread (375) about 15 minutes, take it out of the oven, put the toppings on, and bake it another 15 minutes. That’s the best I can do with that oven. What I do to give it crisp crust is to heat up a couple of cast iron frying pans and put individual servings in the covered pan for a few minutes. It works. But you have to watch it carefully to avoid over browning.

    I have also made cheese bread by grating a half pound of cheddar on top (after 15 minutes) with some jalapenos under the cheese and sliced onions on top. Very successful.

    Then I made a sweet version, just to see if I could. I did add a couple of tablespoons of sugar to the dough. I spread it out on the baking sheet, let rise for the hour (as always), put reconstituted dried fruit on half of it (cherries, blueberries, chopped apricots), sprinkled liberally with cinnamon and sugar, and dotted it liberally with coconut oil. I folded the plain half over the “decorated” half loosely, and baked. I topped it with an orange glaze and sprinkled with pecans. I froze in pieces what we didn’t eat that day as I did not expect it to age well. Occasionally for dessert, we will take a piece out of the freezer (to share). Very satisfactory.

    Like so many of you, I love the play with my food.

    Reply
    1. Lynne

      You might want to invest in a pizza stone if you make pizza often. It heats with the oven and crisps up the bottom like a real pizza oven, where the pizzas bake right on the stone floor of the oven.

    2. Z

      Virginia,
      I use a Breville Oven and can’t use most regular sized things either. But, I have been using a pizza screen (very inexpensive), which I bought at a restaurant supply store. They come in different sizes and if you put it in the oven while preheating, they get quite hot and crisp up anything I’m baking.
      BTW, if you have anything made of cast iron or carbon steel that will fit in your oven, just preheat it on the stovetop before putting the pizza on it and into the oven.

    3. Virginia

      For a small oven that heats from the top (mine has an interior footprint of about 11″ x 17″), perhaps a cast-iron griddle would fit inside that could be preheated and provide heat from the bottom. It would serve the same function as a stone – just different material. Promising. And I’ll have to investigate pizza screens – something I didn’t know existed. Thank you all.

  12. diana

    Perfect timing….we are moving in a few weeks..I wanted to start planning on what to make to have easily at hand to feed all the people helping us move !

    Reply

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