Tuesday, July 7, 2015

District 5: Pizza Bread.

(Want to start with District 1?)

District 5's bread isn't described in the books, but we do know that this district's primary industry was power (electric, solar, wind, etc.) and that they were one of the wealthiest of the twelve districts.  This gave me a little liberty to try out a bread that looked delicious, but that might be tougher to pull off in another district, given the numerous (and diverse) ingredients and the need to refrigerate the dough (of all the districts, District 5 would be most likely, I surmise, to have household refrigerators).

District 5: Pizza Bread.

The inspiration for this recipe was this one, which was adapted from this one.

You'll need:

  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1 tsp yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups pizza toppings of your choice
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • Olive oil, to taste
  • Optional: marinara, for dipping


The first thing I did was roast a head of garlic, since I wanted roasted garlic as one of my pizza toppings mix-ins (I'd definitely recommend it!).  To do this, preheat the oven to 350*F, and start with a head of garlic:

Peel off the outer layer:

Cut the tops off of as many bulbs as possible:

Place, tops up, on a large piece of foil:

Drizzle liberally with olive oil:

Wrap in foil:

And bake for half an hour:

Once the garlic is done roasting, open the foil and let the head cool while you start on the bread.

In your mixing bowl, add the yeast to the warm water, stirring to dissolve:

Add the salt and sugar, and stir to mix:

Next, add your flour:

Knead, by hand or by mixer.  If you have a stand mixer, you can let it do the hard work...

...while you start prepping the toppings:

You can see that the roasted garlic is minced on that plate.  If it's one of your toppings, too, then once the head of garlic has cooled enough to be handled, remove it from the foil:

Squeeze each bulb from the bottom to push it out the cut-open top:

At this point, you could probably just mash it into tiny pieces with your fingers--it's super soft and squishy.  But I prefer to use my garlic press:

I ended up with quite a pile:

On to other toppings!  I opted for a few classics--pepperoni, sun-dried tomatoes, and red and green peppers, all of which were easy to find in the pizza aisle of the grocery store.

It would have been nice to use diced pepperoni, but I was too lazy to shop around for it.  Instead, I just chopped these up into small enough pieces:

I wasn't sure how well I'd like the tomatoes and peppers--I'm a picky eater--so I went light on those, but I did want enough to add a little flavor (and color):

Here they are, all chopped:

This bit is so very customizeable.  You'll want to end up with about a cup and a half of toppings to mix in, but they can be in whatever ratio you prefer, so I just winged it and filled the measuring cups as I liked--starting with the tomatoes and peppers:

Next up, I knew I probably wanted to use ALL the pepperoni, so I topped off the half-cup:

I also knew I wanted a LOT of grated Parmesan, so I filled the one-cup almost halfway:

Next, about two-thirds of the garlic I'd pressed:

And the rest of the pepperoni:

I added crushed red peppers and quite a bit of oregano:

And topped it off with more Parmesan:

At some point, my mixer had kneaded the dough well enough, so I turned it off when it looked like this:

When all the toppings are ready, transfer the dough into a large bowl:

Add your toppings:

And knead by hand, thoroughly mixing in all ingredients:

Cover it with a clean towel and let it rise for an hour on the counter:

After an hour, it'll look like this:

Transfer it to the refrigerator for another hour (I left it uncovered, but it doesn't make much difference):

Once it's been in the fridge for an hour, preheat the oven to 450*F and prepare a floured surface to work on:

Here's what it looks like, just out of the fridge:

Spread the dough into a large rectangle on your floured surface:

Now, pile on the mozzarella:

My life motto is, always err on the side of too much mozzarella.  There's rarely any such thing as too much mozzarella, so this rule is usually for the best.

Next, fold one side of the dough over the cheese, pressing edges to seal shut:

Trying to keep all the cheese in while I stretched the dough around it was a little like those last desperate days of trying to wear normal jeans a few months into pregnancy...it fits if you move slowly and keep pushing it in as you go... :-P  It's worth it, though!  The cheese, that is.  As for the other, just give in to the stretchy maternity jeans...they're much comfier. ;-)

Once the oven is preheated, let the dough rest another 20 minutes while the oven stays hot.  Then bake your loaf, on a pizza stone or baking sheet, for 15-20 minutes:

Towards the end, take the loaf out of the oven and brush it with a bit of olive oil, then pop it back in for the last minute or two.  Once it's done, let it cool on a wire rack for a few minutes before you slice it:

Pretty, isn't it? :-)

You should probably use a bigger plate, or whatever surface, to cut it on than I did:

My way was awkward, but I'm lazy like that...

Just look at all that oozy goodness!  "Too much" mozzarella was definitely a good choice. :-)

We polished off almost the entire loaf in one sitting.  It was delicious.  This one is definitely going to be happening again in my house!

And for your cut-and-paste convenience:

Pizza Bread
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1 tsp yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups pizza toppings of your choice
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • Olive oil, to taste
  • Optional: marinara, for dipping
  1. In large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water.
  2. Add salt and sugar; stir to mix.
  3. Add flour; knead to mix.
  4. Prepare toppings, in small pieces for mixing into dough.
  5. Add toppings; knead to combine thoroughly.
  6. Let dough rise for one hour.
  7. Transfer dough to refrigerator, for one hour.
  8. Preheat oven to 450*F.
  9. On floured surface, spread dough into large rectangle.
  10. Top with mozzarella, leaving room along edges.
  11. Fold dough, lengthwise, over cheese; press edges to seal.
  12. Let dough rest for 20 minutes, while oven is hot.
  13. Bake dough on pizza stone or baking sheet, for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.  Remove bread from oven 1-3 minutes early to brush with olive oil, then let finish baking.
  14. Let bread cool on wire rack before slicing.
  15. If desired, serve with marinara.

Easter Eggs

So, how'd you fare last time?  I warned you they were a little harder than usual--so this week's reference to another fandom is a little more obvious, to make up for it!  You may have already spotted it:

Find it yet?  If not, stay tuned, and I'll point it out in the next District Bread post! :-)

Ready for the last post's reveal?

I left you with the clue that you'd need to think a little old school for these ones--in fact, these cult classics came out in 1979 and 1993.  The name on the little boat is "Nostromo", which is the name of the mining spaceship in "Alien" (1979), on which almost the entire movie takes place; and the three seashells are a reference to "Demolition Man" (1993) (Spartan: "You're out of toilet paper. [...] The place where you're supposed to have the toilet paper, you've got this little shelf with three seashells on it." Someone else: "He doesn't know how to use the three seashells!" Was anyone else super curious how on earth that worked by the end of the movie?  They never explained it!!).

Let me know in the comments if you've caught this week's Easter egg, or if you try out this District 5 bread for yourself!  As always, may the odds be ever in your favor! :-)

(Ready for District 6?)


  1. OMG! This looks so yummy!!! :) I think I will give it a try! :) Thanks for the recipe!

    1. I hope you love it as much as I did--I'm pretty sure I'll be making it again next week, since I have leftover toppings anyway! ;-)

  2. Definitely pinning for later....this looks so delicious!!

    1. Thanks! It's definitely worth making! :-)

  3. Ooof, that looks so delicious. Definitely saving this recipe!

    1. Thanks! This one's been my favorite bread of the series so far! :-)

  4. Sara, this looks fantastic! We will have to try this soon. Would you say this is more of an appetizer/snack or could it be paired with a salad and turned into a meal?

    1. I'd make it the main dish, but you know me and my weird eating habits. ;-) It is actually really filling, though--I planned to eat all three pieces on the plate after getting the shots I needed with the props, but I had to stop after two, and wasn't hungry the rest of the day. :-P Going lighter on the cheese, or maybe rolling it out into a longer loaf (with a smaller circumferences = smaller pieces), might work for a good appetizer/snack.