photo by Mark Luinenburg

We can’t stop thinking of pizza even though we made deadline for our upcoming pizza and flatbread book (Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day, Macmillan/Th Dunne Bks Oct 2011).  Even though we’re technically done, there’s still time to put a new recipe or two into the book, and you can see that there are a world of ingredients that could end up on pizza other than mozzarella and tomato (though we love that too).

We’d love some help with new recipes.  All we’d need is your concept, as in “how about yak sausage, lemon rind, and Slim Jim on a pizza?”  We’re not looking for full recipes here, but something imaginative, like Zoe’s pizza with a fresh cracked egg and an assortment of Tuscan goodies:

The winning concept entry will be selected by a jury (Zoe, me, and our editor at Thomas Dunne Books), will win a copy of Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day, and have their concept published in our pizza book this October (see “Betsy’s Seeded Oat Bread” in Healthy Bread -first names only in the book).  See rules for our contests, the most important being US entries only.  In addition, for this contest, the Authors reserve the right to decline to publish any recipe in the upcoming book if none meets with the jury’s approval.  Also, the winning entrant agrees to grant all copyright for the winning entry to Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois.  Five random entrants will also receive a free copy of Healthy Bread in Five. Contest CLOSED!

Be imaginative– it doesn’t have to be a main course, so even desserts are fair game.  And remember that many of the ingredients and ideas you might think of are already in our almost-finished manuscript, so being creative increases your chance of selection.  Entries are due anytime before January 19, 2011. Contest CLOSED!

259 thoughts to “Your Pizza Idea in our Next Book (CONTEST NOW CLOSED, WINNING PIZZA CHOSEN)”

  1. Here is one I make because of my german and polish background.. My family and friends enjoy this as one of their favorites. Its sauerkraut and low fat kielbasa pizza with good mustard base like dijon on top of the partially prebaked crust with a little swiss cheese then I add the sauerkraut which has been squeezed dry( the bagged sauerkraut) , I add the sliced precooked kielbassa on top with just a little more swiss or mozzarella or provolone….I switch it up. It reminds me of a rueben sandwich…I love it and its different from all the other pizzas. Even adding an herb like fresh dill in the pizza dough would be good.

  2. We like to make Garlic Chicken Pizza using 4 oz. cream cheese and 1/2 cup sour cream with fresh garlic for the sauce. We top the pizza with cooked chicken, Rotel tomatoes (squeezed dry) and thin slices of red onion. Then two cups of mozzarella cheese goes on top.

    This sauce also makes a great breakfast pizza. You can prepare all your toppings the night before and have breakfast in no time at all. It works well to make scrambled eggs in the microwave because they stay nice and puffy. We don’t pre-cook any of the veggies for the breakfast pizza, just put them on fresh. Green pepper, onion, mushrooms and bacon topped with mozzarella and a little cheddar are a great combination.

  3. One of the reasons I started using your bread recipes (I own both books) is that most are vegan. My pizza idea is pretty basic, but it IS vegan: pizza sauce, chopped red onions, chopped artichokes, diced fresh tomatoes, & fresh basil. & with 5 mins baking time left, top w/ meltable cheddar flavored and mozzarella flavored vegan “cheese.”

  4. Being from Texas, I think a white pizza (blanco) with cilantro/pecan pesto, a Mexican cheese like panela (which is a smooth melt) would be awesome. I’ve made a pizza like this, and added homemade sundried tomatoes. The pizza would be red (tomatoes), white (cheese), and green (pesto), the colors of the Mexican flag. Meat lovers could add chorizo (a Mexican sausage). Spice lovers could add fresh, sliced jalapenos or roasted, seeded, and peeled poblanos.

  5. I just tried something very exciting that I had to share. I was just finishing making dinner when I notice I was all out of baked bread. I though I don’t have time to heat the oven to even make a piece of flat bread what should I do. I got out the George Forman grill heated it up and rolled out a piece of flat bread. I sprayed the hot grill with cooking spray and put the dough on the grill and closed the lid. I let it cook for about 5 minutes and it worked wonderfully. The bread is nice and browned on the outside and soft in the middle. It would be so easy to stirfry up some vegetables and some chicken and make a flatbread in the grill and have a nice quick flatbread sandwich.

  6. Here’s a pizza I’ve made several times after having it at a pizzeria in Ottawa about, oh, 20 years ago. It may sound weird, but it’s astonishly delicious.

    Brie, mango and caramelized onion pizza

    Load with caramelized onions, add slices of fresh ripe mango, top with slices of good brie (chose one that’s still young and not too runny so it’s easier to slice). Finally, dust with nutmeg (powdered is fine, freshly microplaned off a nutmeg is awesome).

    Oh now I’m hungry.

  7. What about a pretzel dough based pizza? Pretzel bread is super tasty (as are soft pretzels), so why not base a pizza on the beloved pretzel? The toppings could be more classic with salt, cheddar or more adventurous with sun dried tomatoes and parmesan or dessert-like with cinnamon, sugar, raisins, frosting. Yum!

  8. Another idea is a Thanksgiving pizza. Use a somewhat savory dough (to mimic the stuffing), and top with cranberry sauce, piles of mashed potatoes, and turkey. The dipping sauce could be based on turkey gravy.

  9. Hey… a question not related to this post directly… but one I’m hoping you can help with… I got your original cookbook for Xmas and am super excited to get started, but I’m looking for the dough storage container for the fridge. Seems like all of them I can find online have BPA in the plastic. I’m a mom and am pregnant, so I try to avoid BPA as much as I can… any suggestions for BPA-free storage containers? Thanks! 🙂

    1. Wendy– anything will work: glass, a stainless steel or enameled cooking pot (prob avoid un-enameled cast iron), crockery, food-safe glazed clay. So long as it doesn’t have an air-tight cap screwed down, it will work. For the basic batch, you need five or six-quart capacity.

      The cloudy plastic, I believe, is bpa-free, like the one from Cambro that’s available on the King Arthur Flour website, but don’t quote me on that. Please confirm with Cambro and with King Arthur. It’s at The site doesn’t mention bpa one way or another, but I think this one doesn’t have it. Not helpful if you’re avoiding all plastics. Jeff

  10. I’ve made this one a couple of times at home… it’s delicious and works with all crust types. Start with a white Alfredo sauce base (no marinara) top with white mozzarella and Romano blend… grilled chicken, coconut, and sweet Chile sauce.

  11. My favorite pizza has only olive oil as a sauce, good quality mozzarella, artichokes, olives, spinach, garlic, and carmelized onions. Not too creative, but oh so good!

  12. Wow! after reading some of the above posts this sounds pretty tame, but here goes. I usually add a handful of uncooked bulgur wheat to my dough to give some texture and nutrition, plus I use sour dough starter, no yeast, mixing in baking soda with olive oil, salt and a little more flour after the first 8-hour (or more) rising.

    A favorite topping is stuffed mushroom caps — pre-baked– on a pesto or a red sauce– with either feta or a grated goat or sheep cheese sprinkled over the top since a family member is lactose intolerant but can eat non-dairy (cow) products.

  13. Can I ask a pizza-related question? I’ve been using the white master recipe for my pizza with delicious results. But, am wishing the center of my pizza crust was a little more crisp. By the time I get it done on bottom the cheese is burned. Using a pizza stone, and pre-heating 40 minutes minimum, tried rolling the dough thinner (with a pasta rolling machine), but on setting 3 I can still manage the dough and anything thinner than that and it is too wet and falls apart.

    Otherwise, love love loving your books, can’t believe how many people I have told about this. If my husband comes home and there is NOT a beautiful fresh loaf of bread on the dinner table, he is pretty put out. You’ve ruined him for life. In the best sense. 🙂

    1. Thanks Jenny. Sounds like “baking blind” will solve your problem, just dock (puncture) the dough round all over with a fork, and bake for about five minutes without any toppings. Slide it back out, top, and finish.

      Depending on your oven, you may need to adjust the baking blind time. Jeff

  14. How about taking everything on your favorite antipasto platter and putting it on a pizza? Really good olives, marinated artichokes and mushrooms, Italian cold cuts, some fresh green herbs, fresh mozzarella and smoked provolone? All in a flavorful, hopefully homemade, tomato sauce. Yum!

  15. How about a southwestern pizza: roasted Hatch green chiles, cream cheese, tomatoes and something sweet …. pineapple.

  16. Being married to an amazing Cuban man- my mind is always fixed on the island’s amazing heritage of recipes. I’ve made before a “ropa vieja doble” pizza. Tomato sauce is already in the “leftover” mixture of flank steak, red and green peppers and onions and cumin. Top the mixture on the pizza with drained and dried canned black beans and gouda cheese- or a gouda blend and some fresh cilantro… Mama mia! serve if you like with a topping of mango salsa. Tropical paradise!

  17. Whoever invented pizza was a brilliant genuis . . . . and so many of these sound amazing! I started thinking about what I might submit for consideration, and I remembered a dessert pizza we haven’t done in a really long time . . . .
    We used to take a plain pizza crust – an enriched dough would work really well – and bake it just until it was done. THen we’d gently melt chocolate chips on it (that was pre-Nutella days 🙂 and spread it around. A sprinkling of broken/crushed graham crackers later and it was ready to be decorated with marshmallows. Once the marshmallows were where we wanted them we’d stick the whole thing back under the broiler until the marshmallows were toasty. Voila! S’More pizza!
    I never could figure out how to get the thing sliced without all the marshmallows sliding off . . . .
    Any suggestions?

  18. My husband spreads cream cheese on a pizza crust, sprinkles with capers and thinly sliced red onion, then drapes lox over the whole thing. My personal favorite pizza is a white pizza with mozzarella, ricotta, brocolli and garlic – perhaps not creative, but absolutely classic. Final suggestion, a winter pizza: sauteed garlicky greens (ex. blanched kale) tossed through with kalamata olives, red pepper flakes and a generous pinch of salt, topped with knobs of chevre or feta.

  19. Fritos, grape jelly, bacon, & pecorino….

    Add ons could be Canadian bacon, avocado, onion…they would go with all the other ingredients well…

  20. Savory grilled pork, grilled or broiled onions, red and green peppers (maybe some purple peppers too!)
    and chunks of juicy mango over a thin, crispy crust spread with a light layer of pesto and sprinkled all over with provolone cheese.

  21. Here is my favorite pizza: Top the dough with pesto, a modest amount of grated garlic, mozzarella cheese, bite size pieces of cooked chicken breast, modest amount of thinly sliced red onion, dash of salt and coarse ground pepper, and topped with Parmesan. Bake and serve with salad and a cold beverage. Awesome!

  22. What about the meat from pickled pigs feet/hocks, pickled red beet eggs, and cheddar bar cheese spread.

    You also could add something sweet like fruits, blackberries, figs, pineapple, or if you are adventurous, there’s a Russian appetizer of dill pickles, sour cream and honey, which sounds like it would taste bad, but actually tastes good-that could be the sweet component…cheers!

  23. Or how about a tikka chicken pizza. Always a hit. Tikka chicken sauce, chicken chunks, cheese, topped fresh coriander and perhaps dotted with a yoghurt raita when it’s out of the oven.

  24. A pizza base with brie, sweet red caramelized onions and a generous scattering of sesame seeds. It is really divine.

  25. One last one that I can’t believe hasn’t been mentioned yet! A nice mature cheddar with roasted garlic chips, shredded beef jerky, peppadew peppers and topped with some avo, and some rocket would go well on there too.

  26. I would put lots of chopped scallions, cubed boiled potatoes, and sliced teriyaki chicken over the dough and squeeze out from a plastic bag some mayo on top and bake. Then after taking the pizza out of the oven, I would sprinkle some black sesame seeds over.

  27. I would use butternut squash puree seasoned with a bit of nutmeg, cinnamon, and cayenne peppper in place of tomato sauce. Toppings would include: roasted shallots, goat cheese (gorgonzola would be good too), and a bit of arugala.

  28. My personal favorites are all without tomato sauce: corn and stilton (and mozzarella); sliced kalamata olives, rosemary and garlic chopped together, and cambozola (and mozzarella); onions finely chopped and sauteed with finely chopped anchovies until they sort of melt into each other (and mozzarella); spinach sauteed with garlic, pine nuts, and pecorino romano (and mozzarella).

  29. I call this the cuban: shredded pork, grilled onions, green olives, blend of swiss and mozzarella cheese, with spicy mustard mixed with some olive oil as the base.

  30. Reuben pizza- Rinsed and drained sauerkraut, thinly sliced turkey lunch meat, shredded swiss cheese, drizzle with Russian salad dressing and sprinkle with caraway seeds.

  31. Sometimes I make special occasion dish & write ‘happy Birthday’. ‘Way To Go!’ a name or what is shortest words to make a point’ On pizza sliced & shaped veggies & fruits can be used for letters. Also hard cheese can be used & letters put on just as it comes out of oven. Kids of all ages like funny faces too. nut for eyes, carrot noses,shredded anything for hair. Combos are endless fun.
    PS. Love your books & have given several as gifts with some ingredients & equip to make a starter kit. I annotate the book too.

  32. Spinach, slivers of bacon, caramelized onions, minced garlic, and Havarti, sprinkled with a bit of fresh ground pepper. I made this a few months ago and it was insanely good.

  33. Wendy and Jeff, For dough storage, I use a glass canister that I bought at Target. It came with a metal lid, which I replaced with plastic wrap. Although heavier than a plastic container, it has a good rim to grip, and it works well. (I am avoiding plastics for my young grandchildren.)

  34. Hi! My husband & I are going on vacation next week; staying in a condo with a full kitchen. I was wondering if the basic dough travels well (can I take some with me in our cooler for the 10 hr drive)? I am not sure what baking pans, etc. are available and I don’t want to carry extra stuff…any advice?

  35. Gluten-free pizza: I’m having trouble rolling out G-F pizza dough. I’ve tried sprinkling the dough with extra rice flour to flatten it out. I’ve also tried sprinkling extra rice flour and then placing plastic wrap on the dough to roll it out without sticking. Any hints? And by the way, will your new book on flat breads also have gluten-free recipes? Thanks

    1. Hi Denise,

      Yes, the new book will have new g-f recipes and we have written it in such a way that most all of the pizzas and flatbreads can be made with the g-f doughs.

      Have you tried rolling the dough out on a piece of parchment or a silpat? This allows you to get it thin, without fear of it sticking to the counter.

      Thanks, Zoë

  36. Hi Jeff and Zoe,

    I would love to see a recipe for the sandwich flats or deli flats I see in the stores all the time but can’t bring myself to purchase. They could be used for sandwiches, mini-pizzas and more so they would be perfect for the book…or the website if its an easy technique with, say, the wheat master dough. 🙂 I’ve been trying to find a recipe but no luck. I’m sure they’re fairly easy but I don’t have the guts to try myself blindly.

    Thanks for all your hard work and the inspiration and confidence you’ve given me in my own kitchen! Can’t wait for the new book.


  37. Just made a pizza with grated Mozzarella cheese, cooked bacon, Chorizo, pineapple chucks, then half of the pizza had anchovies, and the other half had sardines. Salty but yummy.

  38. I know the contest is over, but I just have to share this pizza recipe I made the other day:
    Bran-enriched white bread dough for the crust, brushed with olive oil, then covered all over with rings of peeled, cored apple (so pretty!). Dollops of fig jam and goat cheese amongst the apples. DIVINE.

  39. Hi ,Zoe,
    i have used the whole bread recipe from your book “Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a day ” and added between half and one cup of olive oil to make some pizza for friends .The dough was so good that i may be planning to make large quantities of this dough .What would be the rule of thumb for the yeast quantity if i would like to make very big batches which exeed three times the quantity listed in your book.
    Thanks for your help

    1. Claude: Yeast is increased proportionally with additional flour; if you quadruple everything else, you should quadruple the yeast to keep the performance the same. But, keep in mind that you can decrease our from our stated quantity of yeast, see our post on this at


  40. Are you supposed to “season” a new pizza stone and if so how? I’ve read differing views online and don’t know what to do!

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