When my big kid found out that Souplantation (or Sweet Tomatoes, depending on where you live up) had closed permanently due to the pandemic, he cried.
When you have food texture aversions, you rely a lot on your favorite standby foods and restaurants. I was on a mission to try and recreate one of his Souplantation favorites, which was the Cheesy Garlic Focaccia Bread.
I started with my pizza dough base (the recipe can be found here). And here’s where it gets crazy (and by crazy I mean this is not super healthy, so don’t eat it daily). The remaining ingredients are:
1/2 cup melted butter (that’s 1 stick)
2T. granulated garlic
1t. of each of the following: dried rosemary, dried tarragon, dried oregano, dried basil
2cups+ Italian cheese
Make dough as directed here. I only let it rise once for this recipe.
While dough rises, combine melted butter, garlic, and herbs. Set aside.
Once the dough is down rising, turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and knead for about 5 minutes, until smooth and elastic.
Separate dough into two pieces and roll out to fit onto your pizza pan (I use a cookie sheet that is covered in tin foil and sprayed with spray release).
Spread half of the herbed butter onto the dough, top with cheese. Repeat for the other half of the dough.
If there is any butter left, drizzle it over the bread.
Bake at 450 degrees for 11-14 minutes.
Remove from the baking sheet and slice into long skinny pieces to mimic the Souplantation feel.
It’s easy -only three ingredients, but I usually add a few extra! You can make a few batches, put a ball of dough in the freezer, and save it for when you want pizza, but are feeling lazy. OR- You can make a couple frozen pizzas (which I do once a month), and when you are feeling really lazy, you’ll have no need to call Noid or Cesar (wow, both of those totally date me, right?)
DIY Frozen Pizza
Makes 1 pizza
Crust (recipe adapted from Mark Bittman’s):
3 c flour, plus extra for kneading
2 t. yeast
1 c. very warm water (90-100 degrees)
2 T parmesan cheese (it’s ok to use the Kraft in a green canister stuff)-OMIT IF YOU ARE VEGAN!
1 T Olive Oil
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Mix all of the ingredients together until a soft sticky dough ball forms.
Turn out onto a floured board or counter top and knead briefly.
smooth a round ball of dough into a clean bowl. Cover bowl with a cool, damp cloth and allow to rise someplace undisturbed for 1 hour.
After an hour, punch the dough, and turn out onto a floured board or counter top and knead for 2-3 minutes. At this time, you can roll the dough out and move onto the next step, or you can do a secondary rise (makes the crust extra crispy and chewy). If you elect to do a second rise, repeat step 3 and 4.
After dough is rolled out to your preferred size and shape, lift into well greased cookie sheet or pizza pan. pierce the crust with a fork several times. This keeps the crust from getting weird bumps and lumps during the par-baking.
Par-bake crust for 3-5 minutes. Allow crust to cool completely.
Now that you have cooled par-baked crust, it’s time to get topping! Transfer the pizza to a large piece of aluminum foil.
Top the pizza as you like,, wrap the foil around the pizza, loosely around the top of the pizza so you don’t squash the toppings. Place in a large freezer zip top bag (don’t forget to label what kind of pizza it is) and freeze. pizzas should freeze at least 24 hours before cooking.
To heat, bake pizzas at 450 degrees for 8-10 minutes
Some of our favorite pizzas include:
Gyro (Sprouts sells it wit hthe pre-sliced deli meat!), feta, and spinach
Caramelized onions and peppers and sliced meatballs with cheese
whatever veggies we have in the house (broccoli, spinach, onions, peppers) topped with cheese
chicken, bacon, and pepper jack cheese
You can substitute in whatever your fav crust is, whatever sauce, cheese, and toppings you like! And because the pizzas are room temp/cooled when you top them, it’s a great opportunity for kids to help assemble pizzas. These pizzas are a frugal way to have a yummy dinner- Each pizza costs about $3.00 and feeds the three of us!