I love pizza – in restaurants, as take-out, or made at home. However, making pizza at home poses a few challenges. I don’t normally have time to make pizza dough from scratch (plus, it feels too much like baking, which isn’t my favorite thing). I’ve tried refrigerated pizza dough, but it always ends up misshapen, uneven, and full of holes. (Probably due to my lack of rolling and baking finesse). I’ve also tried the store bought prepared pizza doughs, like Boboli, but the taste and texture don’t quite do it for me.
But, necessity is the mother of invention (and pizza is a necessity!). In the past few months I’ve started noticing Naan bread in supermarkets – with the bread or fresh bakery items. Naan bread, if you haven’t tried it, is a type of soft flatbread eaten in India and other countries – it’s available at most Indian restaurants and it’s delicious. My husband and I started snatching it up and eating it as, well, bread. As we continued to buy it, it occurred to me to vary its usage.
I started making Naan bread pizzas and my pizza-making dilemmas were solved. Naan bread works perfectly as a pizza crust, albeit a non-traditional one! The size we buy is perfect for a personal pizza, and there are usually 2-4 per package. I’ve since made several with all manner of ingredients. I started with the traditional red-sauce, cheese, and veggie combos but soon began to experiment. One of our favorites included an egg on the top of the pizza (this may sound strange, but it’s fairly common in Italy) – the egg bakes to a lovely consistency in the oven, and the soft yolk is wonderful with the crust. I used a whole wheat Naan bread, drizzled on olive oil, a little chopped garlic and my other toppings. Then, you crack the egg right onto the pizza and bake it at 375 degrees until the egg whites are just cooked through (roughly 10 minutes).
Another favorite non-traditional pizza topping is potatoes, also more common in Italy. Add slices or chunks of roasted, baked, or boiled potatoes on top of your pizza (a great use of leftover potatoes). I added mine to an olive oil and ricotta base and threw some leftover peas on top for color and extra veggies (I figured if I was going to be non-traditional – I might as well go all out!) I seasoned with kosher salt, parsley, and oregano. It was unusual, but delicious. Next time you’re craving home-made pizza, give the naan-traditional kind a try!