Nana made pizza bread all the time, as did the Nana before her. This is a cherished family recipe from generations before us, and has the Italian comforts of bubbly cheese, the freshness of tomatoes, and a simple but delicious dough.
This is my husband’s grandmother’s recipe, and is very special to our family. Peter’s Nana died long before he and I met, but my mother-in-law made her mother’s pizza bread all the time. Caryn made it so much that I’m sure the recipe was second-hand knowledge to her. It was sitting on the counter so often that it quickly became a staple to me. I’m not sure if it’s technically an appetizer, side, main, or snack. It can easily be all of those things.
My mother-in-law passed away in August of 2018, and it flipped our worlds upside down. She was very involved in our lives, and was “Nana” to our children. It hit our oldest very hard, at the young age of 4. She is sorely missed, and we will keep Nana’s Pizza Bread around for generations to come!
In true Italian fashion, my mother-in-law didn’t add the measurements of cheese. She always eyeballed it. But my husband and I found what we agree is the perfect amount of both mozzarella and parmesan for those that prefer to stick to measurements.
I hope you love this special recipe from the Kuhlman family.
A true family recipe from generations past, this is a cherished Kuhlman favorite. Soft bread similar to focaccia topped with a fresh and aromatic Italian mixture, and sprinkled with cheese. Nana’s pizza bread is often eaten at any part of the day, making it fit for any occassion.
- 1 package yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
- 1 cup warm water
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tbsp sugar (I use pure cane sugar)
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp italian seasoning (click for homemade seasoning mix)
- 1/2 cup grated mozzarella
- 1/2 cup parmesan
- salt and pepper to taste
- Add the first three dough ingredients (yeast, warm water, and oil) to the bowl of a stand mixer attached with the dough hook. Wait a few minutes for the yeast to start to bubble. Add the remaining dough ingredients. Mix on low for ten minutes until combined well and a dough forms. It will seem dry at first, but do not add water. It will come together as it mixes. Detach bowl, cover with a towel, and let rise for 1 hour. I set my covered bowl in the oven with the oven light on (and the oven is OFF).
- Punch dough a couple of times and let sit for an additional hour (covered). Place in a greased 9 x 13 baking pan. Bake at 325 degrees for about 25 minutes or until golden brown.
- While the dough is baking, sauté onion and garlic in olive oil until the onion is translucent. Add tomatoes, sugar, and seasonings. Heat until boiling. Lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
- Remove from oven and add tomato mixture on top of dough. Top with parmesan and mozzarella cheeses, salt, and pepper. Bake for 15-20 more minutes until the cheese bubbles. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
Remember not to drain the tomatoes. I know it seems weird, but trust Nana. Nana knows. I prefer petite diced tomatoes, but any will do.