December 6, 2015

Crossguard Lightsaber French Bread Pizza

We are less than two weeks away from Star Wars: The Force Awakens! And we have already established the fact that I express excitement for nerd movies with pizza, so you should have expected this to come at some point. In fact this is only the first Force Awakens pizza post I have planned for you.

C'mon, I made all 6 of the Avengers into pizza, did you really think I'd stop at one pizza for Star Wars Episode 7? Do you even know me at all?

I split them up into different post because, unlike PizzAvengers where the only difference was the toppings, these pizzas are each prepared differently, so having them all together would be a massive post. Also, I did not want to make them all together, and this is my blog, so nyah. Expect more to come.

Anyway-- lightsaber pizza!! For those of you that may not know, the crossguard lightsaber is new to the Star Wars universe. We  caught a glimpse of it in the very first trailer, and it sparked a huge controversy. Some people thought it looked awesome, some people thought it didn't make sense, and a lot of people were hating on JJ Abrams for the change.
Personally, I can understand the reasoning behind the crossguard. Swords have crossguards to protect the wielder's hand and arm. People seem to lose an awful lot of limbs in the Star Wars universe, so if dude wants that extra protection, I can understand it. It does seem a little dangerous-- I would lose a few fingers the first time I turned it on-- but presumably between Jedi training and Force manipulation, that's not an issue.

Also, dude's a Sith. Clearly some of them enjoy hacking their lightsabers. Darth Maul had the double one. I know Vader was a purist but he also ended up being a good guy, so obviously he was more Jedi than Sith the whole time.


I didn't need to put a spoiler warning on that, did I? If you haven't seen the original trilogy, what are you even doing here?
I was browsing Star Wars pizza on Pinterest, like you do, and I saw a recipe for crossguard French bread pizza. I thought it was such a great idea since French bread is already vaguely lightsaber shaped, and the crossguard lightsaber is unique to Episode 7, so it's an easy way to celebrate the new movie.

If you've ever made French bread pizza, you know it's super simple. Take a loaf, slice it in half, add toppings, toast it. And you can totally make it that simple, especially if you're not necessarily interested in making the crossguard lightsaber. I made it with a few extra steps, because it's what I do.
Firstly, I decided to use refrigerated bread dough (I used Pillsbury. It was pretty good, but tasted more like sourdough than French bread), so that I could shape it into one piece. That seemed easier to me, but you can totally just get two loaves already baked and cut them up to make the same shape. Easy peasy.

Secondly, instead of slicing the loaf in half, I cut a slit in the crust and hollowed out the loaf a bit to make more of a pizza boat. I thought that would make the toppings look more lightsaber-y. Also, the words "pizza boat" sound delicious, and the cheese and sauce stay warm longer because they're enclosed in the crust.
The toppings are simple: just tomato sauce, shredded mozzarella, chopped olives for the "handle" and pepperoni for the... blade? I actually don't know what the light part of the lightsaber is called. Wow, uh, that's um, I don't know what to say. I feel ashamed. Let's just keep this between you and me, okay? Pinky swear?

Anyway, I like turkey pepperoni, just in general, but I especially like it for this pizza because it tends to be more red than the regular pepperoni. It's not a huge difference, but I think it looks better. You could also use chopped red bell pepper and avoid the pepperoni all together.
This pizza would be a great appetizer or movie time snack (you know, while you're rewatching the original trilogy to prepare to watch Episode 7). To make it easier to serve, you can slice the bread 3/4 of the way through, so you can just pull off a slice. I wasn't sharing, so I didn't worry about that.

How excited for The Force Awakens are you? True story: I had to darken some of these photos because they were a bit washed out, and as I was doing that, I found myself whispering, "good, good. Let the hate flow through you. Embrace the power of the dark side." I surprise myself sometimes with my own level of nerdiness.

French Bread Pizza
Yield: about 6 servings, depending on the size of the loaves

1 1/2 loaves French bread*
Approx. 1 cup prepared tomato sauce
Shredded mozzarella cheese
Pepperoni and diced olives to top

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place your loaves on a baking sheet. With a sharp knife, cut out a long, thin section of the crust, and remove some of the inside bread to make room for the toppings.

Fill the hollow you made with the tomato sauce and shredded mozzarella. Top with olives and pepperoni. Bake 8-10 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Let cool slightly before serving.

*I used Pillsbury refrigerated dough

Recipe inspired by Cooking with Plants
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