Your Pizza Idea in our Next Book (CONTEST NOW CLOSED, WINNING PIZZA CHOSEN)

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!

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If you enjoyed this post, please consider sharing it with others using one of the social sharing buttons above. Thanks, Jeff and Zoë

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

  1. Whole wheat pizza dough rolled out thin, prebaked, with cream cheese (lightened with some light sour cream) topped with thinly sliced smoked salmon, chopped dill, capers, and thinly sliced red onion. Yummy!!!

  2. A pizza I like to make to serve as an appetizer, cut into small pieces is made as follows:
    1- 10 oz. box of frozen artichoke hearts, defrosted, sauteed in olive oil with half a diced onion and the juice of 1 lemon. On top of pizza dough of choice, layer about 8 oz. fresh mozzarella, sliced, followed by about 1 cup of ricotta, 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano- Reggiano cheese. Spread artichoke topping over cheese. Bake.

  3. Jeff and Zoe, I received your AB in 5 book for Christmas and I’m eager to get started. Instead of using a plastic container to mix, rise and store the dough in, can I use a pot or something else which is not plastic? I’m trying to get away from using plastic products due to the chemicals. Please advise me of alternatives. Thanks in advance:)

  4. For dessert, bake a crust & cool. Then add a half & half mix of cream cheese and … wait for it… marshmallow fluff. Top with fresh sliced fruits.

  5. I made caramel corn with the additions of cashews and pieces of crispy bacon recently, and it was great! So how about those flavors in a pizza that, like this caramel-bacon popcorn, could be cut into small pieces as a sweet-salty accompaniment to your favorite beverage?

  6. HB dough with flax seeds; hommus instead of sauce and cheese; artichoke hearts and sun dried tomatoes. Delicious and also happens to be vegan/lactose-free!

  7. I make my own homemade pizza right now from a kitchenaid recipe, although I will of course buy your book the moment it’s out, I have the other two and make the master recipes all the time. :P For my pizzas, I prefer to use olive oil instead of marinara — it keeps longer and better and is easier on the stomach than acidic marinara. For toppings I love the combinations of:

    * Green olives and fresh tomatoes (seeded so the pizza doesn’t get mushy)
    * Kalamatas and fresh romas (seeded)
    * A double-olive veggie pizza: Green olives, kalamatas, green peppers, red onion, mushroom and fresh romas (seeded)

    Have you ever had Indian Fry Bread? How about making something similar with your dough, perhaps adding a little sugar and cinnamon to the dough to make it sweet, and then when it’s still fresh from the oven, putting butter on it and sprinkling it with confectioner’s sugar and topping it all with honey?

    Okay now I can’t wait to try that last one. :)

  8. I don’t know how healthy this is, but we make it at our house on pizza nights and its SO DIVINE! Prepare your pizza crust from the master recipe. Mix a cream cheese filling (1 8-oz cream cheese + 1/2 cup sugar + 1 egg + 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Blend well and spread on the unbaked crust. Sprinkle with dry yellow cake mix (not the whole thing). Bake until done. When cool drizzle with just a little powdered sugar glaze. Seriously – this is DA BOMB!

  9. Kale pesto base, made with kale stems and leaves that have been sauteed in olive oil with onion and garlic and then blended with walnuts, lemon juice, and fresh parsley; figs; and grated or shaved Parmesan. Yum!

  10. This is the Polish Pizza – we love it, Kielbasa sausage with sauerkraut, grated mozzarella cheese and spaghetti sauce, simple and delicious.

  11. I put this one togeterh this fall: smoked provolone cheese with sliced Kabocha or Acorn squash and caramelized onion and garlic. You can also add spinach or basil for color and flavor.

  12. shredded or diced chicken, apricots, shallots, fresh minced ginger, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, crumbled goat cheese drizzled with olive oil.

  13. I was going to suggest a thin olive oil crust with a layer of carmelized onions for the sauce, then a sprinkle of stilton and asian pears. When it comes out of the oven top with chopped arugula, toasted walnuts, and a drizzle of olive oil. (This is my favorite pizza…. but it looks like Stephanie beat me to it- her idea is pretty simalr to mine).
    Another pizza idea that is a little different is using a dough with Masa Harina and topping it with a black bean chili recipe (I use black beans, a chipoltle chile in adobo sauce, sweet peppers, corn,tomatoes, spices, lime… a little chocolate and cinnamon…. you get the idea), I top it with cheese and bake it in the oven. When it comes out I top with a dollop of sour cream, chives, cilantro, lettuce, and a side of salsa. Hope I win…. I love pizza and love your books. There are so many great pizza ideas!

  14. My absolute favorite pizza that we make frequently (usually Sundays) at my house is pureed roasted red peppers for the sauce (with the addition of herbs and such usually) and then either raw or roasted veggies with cheese of choice. Mozarella goes well but if we’re in the mood for tangy we’ll do goat cheese, feta cheese, whatever. My favorite is the roasted red pepper sauce, topped with zucchini, thyme, and some goat cheese. Mint is a frequent substitute for the thyme as well. If I’m in the mood, I’ll add some toasted pine nuts.

    Another fave is a “doner” pizza (which is similar to a gyro). Ground lamb (easier) or cooked strips of lamb, resting on a thick tomato sauce or hot pepper sauce (on the pizza dough), topped with some diced tomatoes and cubanelle peppers. Add feta if desired and a little melted butter if you’re feeling indulgent. YUMYUMYUM.

  15. Here’s an idea for a dessert pizza.
    I’m imagining a Mexican chocolate spread or sauce on the crust topped with:

    Chopped pecans, bacon crumbles spiced w/chili powder & brown sugar, then chopped dried cherries. Unsweetened coconut gets sprinkled on in the last 5 minutes of baking.

  16. This isn’t all that creative but I use the basic whole wheat dough for pizza with my granddaughters. They each get a piece of parchment paper and a baseball-sized piece of dough. They press the dough out themselves then spoon on sauce.I mix Itallian herbs with tomato paste. They then are offered a variety of toppings (small cut broccoli, red onion, red pepper, mushrooms, whatever I have) and put whatever cheese is available on top. Even the picky eater will eat a pizza with vegetables that they made themselves.

  17. I like a variation of Wolfgang Puck’s pizza @ Spago: I bake the pizza without any toppings, then after it cools about 5 minutes, I spread a thin layer of softened whipped cream cheese (or creme fraiche) on the pizza, topped with smoked salmon (lox) and minced red onion and some capers. Love it for breakfast, or any other time.

  18. a thanksgiving pizza…sage, thyme, bread crumbs or bread cubes (can you tell that I LOVE bread!!), turkey cubes or slices, olive oil, corn, celery, onion, and maybe some more bread crumbs!!! ha ha… this actually sounds good…think i will give it a try!!! thanks for the creative opportunity :)

  19. Can I pre-cook the pizza crust recipe from first Five Minutes cookbook? I was thinking that might keep the cheese from burning. Just wondered if anyone had tried that. Thanks!

    • Hi Andrea,

      We have a book coming out this fall all about pizza and we have ALL kinds of tips for preventing these kinds of issues with pizzas. Hope you will check it out! Yes, you can prebake the crust, be sure to poke holes in it first so that it won’t puff like a pita!

      Enjoy, Zoë

  20. My 10 year old grandson thought up ham and cheddar cheese pizza………no pizza sauce and asked to have it made at a pizza restaurant. He loves bacon. How about a bacon pizza, but substitute the traditional red sauce with Alfredo sauce?

  21. cranberry chicken is a fave around here. bet it would be great on a pizza. Another favorite combo i sweet potatoes and black beans.

  22. Thank you Zoe. I will definitely check out the book! Looking forward to it. I have 4 guys who love pizza! Thanks for responding to my questions :-)

  23. I think a stromboli filled with meat cheese and veggies rolled up and brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with parmesan, dunk in sauce, we all love it!

  24. How about a peaches and cream (cream cheese with some sugar and lemon zest topped with sliced peaches) dessert pizza. Or white pizza with goat cheese, fig and prosciutto. Or caramelized onion and roasted tomatoes. mmmmmmm ok now i’m getting hungry

  25. We love to use the brioche dough for our dessert pizza. We buy leftover candy after holidays (PB cups, M&Ms, etc.,) and chop it (if we don’t have that, we use a variety of chocolate chips–white, dark and butterscotch). Brush with butter, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar and bake until just beginning to brown. Then top with an icing made with butter, powdered sugar and vanilla.

  26. We used the European Peasant Bread dough to make a duck pizza! Duck confit along with sesame oil (you can use a little chili oil) gruyere cheese, scallions, sauted mushrooms and a drizzle of hoisen sauce.

  27. My grandfather always would peel garlic and store it whole in a jar in the fridge full of olive oil. Over time, this results in a STRONGLY infused oil… which I use in the olive oil dough for an amazingly garlicky pizza crust. I like simplicity in toppings for that one, usually just some fresh basil, tomato and mozzarella cheese.

    I also tie dough strips into little knots, brushed with garlic butter and finished with a dusting of Parmesan cheese, just like I used to get from the pizzerias back home. Garlic knots never last around here.:D

  28. Spinach artichoke pizza- take a spinach artichoke dip recipe(can of artichokes, drained frozen chopped spinach, 2 cups mozzarella, 3/4c Parmesan, 1 T garlic powder, 10 oz mayo) mix spread on top of crust bake. Cut thin slices for an appitizer

  29. Home made mace and cheese pizza! (not the kraft kind, good ole, from scratch cheese sauce on whole wheat noodles!)
    My kids LOVE it! (heck the hubby and I love it!) My daughter came up with the idea while we were playing in her pretend kitchen, “I said, mac n cheese pizza?? why not?” we have it at least once every few weeks!
    thanks for the chance to win!
    Jenn Post

  30. Here are two ideas: 1) thinly sliced potatoes, fresh mushrooms, and Swiss cheese. 2) Brie and escargot (We had this in France, but they called it a tarte flambé, and it was made with real, French Munster cheese–which you cannot find here.)

  31. One of my favorites – apple, red onion, pecan or walnut, and a little bit of interesting cheese aside from the mozzarella – leftover blue cheese, shavings of a good parm, or even a nice smoked mozz is yummy. Nom nom nom….

  32. chicken pot pie pizza: peas, corn, carrots, celery, onion, chicken cookedd with less gravy than usual topped with parm.

    also Tinga (pronounced Ting-Ga) is a mexican dish i love that consists of chicken cooked with chorizo and translucent onions topped with a sauce made from blending chicken broth with cilantro and chipotles packed in adobo. I’d love you guys to take that idea and run :)

  33. This is a pizza I like to make and call the Italian Flag – One third of the pie is covered with homemade pesto and covered with a combination of fresh grated parm and mozzarella cheese. The next third uses homemade marinara sauce (whatever your favorite/family recipe is), with a sprinkle of hot peppers for a little heat, then also covered with the fresh grated parm/mozzarella blend. In a pinch, bruschetta makes a good substitute. The final third is brushed with some extra virgin olive oil, and anointed with marinated eggplant (from your favorite Italian deli or family recipe), and a few sliced pepperonchinis, and again cover with the parm/mozzarella blend. You and your guests will be in heaven over this tastebud trifecta. Enjoy!

  34. Wow! So many great ideas! I had similar ideas, and it’s hard to pick just one to share…but here goes: Cheesy grits with fried pickles, fried okra, fish, eggs, cheese, and maple syrup. Sounds crazy–but it’s good! I’ve used various doughs for the crust (all GF) and used anything from tomato sauce to alfredo sauce with all kinds of veggies. Once I substituted fish for a chipped beef gravy sauce. Yum!

  35. What about topping it with risotto? Whip up a batch of butternut squash risotto, spread it on the top, and dot with goat cheese and pecans? Let it broil just long enough for the cheese to melt, and then top with fresh arugala!

  36. I have another idea–I think this one is a bit more original.

    I am going to try a version of your Il Bollo from HBin5 where I substitute lavender for the anise, canola for the olive oil, and omit the vanilla. I haven’t tried it yet, but lemon and lavender is a great combination. I think this type of dough could make a good base for a brunch-style fruit pizza with either lemon curd or whipped cream for the sauce.

    I haven’t tried my idea yet, but another thought I had was maybe the dried herb will be too herb-y. In which case, the lavender should be steeped like tea, and used for the water in the recipe.

    My mother in law visited an organic lavender farm in Tennessee and gave me a packet of dried lavender for Christmas. I am trying to come up with creative ways to use it.

  37. I don’t see many (if any) vegan pizza ideas below… how about if you featured a vegan pizza in the book? Such as…

    *Roasted garlic, white bean, and butternut squash pizza. The sauce could either be traditional tomato, or pesto (which goes great with butternut squash), or even pureed white beans that are thinned out with some veggie stock, to make a creamy bechamel-type sauce.
    *Kale chips are a fun way to add crunch to pizza. Just chop kale roughly, add some chili flakes and olive oil, and bake in the oven – 350-400 for 15-20 minutes or so. Also good with a spritz of lemon on top.

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