After scalding the roof of your mouth, do you ever sit back and wonder about the history of your French bread pizza? Me neither. I’m not sure the good people at Stouffers® can take total credit for this genius idea of pizza on a baguette. But I for one am glad someone put this miracle product on the market. I’m a purist so I only bake my Stouffers’ French Bread Pizza in a conventional or toaster oven. They come out of the microwave much too flaccid for my taste. Still, I think this frozen food got me through college.
I don’t really care about etymology of the French Bread Pizza, but a recent Instagram post from @VintageTribune showed a glimpse of the Stouffer’s restaurant that used to be at Wabash and Washington.
See it there? Right in the corner.
No? Here’s a close up.
Stouffer’s began as a profitable dairy in the suburbs of Cleveland in the early 1900s. Eventually they expanded into a restaurant chain and opened up several locations in the Midwest. During the height of their original family ownership, the company owned hotels and started a packaged dinner line that’s now commonly seen on sale in your local grocer’s freezer section. By the 1990s they had sold to Nestle and from then continued only as lazy mom dinners.
While I wasn’t able to find a menu for the, now defunct, restaurant chain Stouffers history got me thinking. How could I make French Bread Pizza better?
I know what you’re thinking – don’t fix something if it’s not broken. This is true. But, if you like the original and have a little time on your hands, you’re going to love this D.I.Y version that costs twice as much.
Step 1: Make a quick pizza sauce by cooking onions, garlic and spices in a small amount of oil until tender. Add tomato sauce and simmer about 20 minutes.
Step 4: Stack the layers up high—just like Mama Stouffer maybe did. Top with cheese. Bake it off for about 20 minutes or until cheese is melt-y. The best part is that the middle won’t be ice-cold while the crust burns. If you have any shred of self-control-try to wait for it to cool before diving in.