Crazy Pizza Bread

ivoryhut crazy pizza bread Lindsay Olives

When Rachael of Fuji Mama asked me if I’d be interested in developing a recipe for Lindsay Olive’s Back-To-School Challenge, I immediately said yes. See, at first all I heard was “Rachael…Fuji Mama…Lindsay Olives…” and of course, at some point someone mentioned food. What was there to think about? I love Rachael, I love olives, and olives are food. It was a no-brainer as far as I was concerned.

Then, of course, the whole “challenge” part of the deal suddenly started sinking in. For one, it’s a back-to-school theme. Which means kids. Kids who might start crying if they open up their lunchbox and find something they really don’t want to eat. And as much as I love olives now, I wasn’t a big fan of them when I was a kid. Growing up, I had great appreciation for recipes that disguised the olives. I could not, for the life of me, understand how my mom could snack on olives and appear to enjoy them without gagging.

Of course, now I do the same thing. Whenever I pop open a can of olives for a recipe, I snack on whatever is left. And it’s not because olives are good for you (they are) or that they’ll make my skin look much better (they will). It’s just that I absolutely love their taste, even though it did take me a few years to get to this point.

ivoryhut crazy pizza bread Lindsay Olives

But of course, this isn’t about me. It’s about lunchbox recipes for kids heading back to school—recipes that have olives in them that all kids will love, whether or not they’re crazy about olives. And so the wheels in my head went ’round and ’round, and I decided that I wouldn’t try to be too fancy or elaborate (kids appreciate simple food) and it had to be something that a busy mom can make without too much fuss.

ivoryhut crazy pizza bread Lindsay Olives

Enter Crazy Pizza Bread.

ivoryhut crazy pizza bread Lindsay Olives

I need to back up a minute here. My original idea was to create Crazy Pizza Sticks, each one like a little pizza crust twist thingie filled with gooey cheese and combo pizza toppings. The problem was that it was a bit messy to make. They came out great but I wasn’t looking forward to going through the motions of making the sticks again. So while the taste was a winner, the method needed to be made easier. A lot easier.

ivoryhut crazy pizza bread Lindsay Olives

So I decided instead to make a pizza loaf instead. Since I loved the gooey cheese in the middle of the sticks, my plan was to fill the loaf with cheese inside then bake it as a whole loaf and slice it up into lovely “sticks.” This way was much easier, and based on the fact that the two boys in the house polished off an entire loaf in practically one sitting then had all the leftover pizza loaf slices and original sticks COLD for breakfast the next day, it was safe to assume that the taste was still a homerun.

You can make this the night before and pack it for lunch the next day. Just cut 1” thick slices, wrap them in foil, and lightly toast them before packing them in the lunchbox. Send your little one off with a small bowl of tomato soup or a container of marinara dipping sauce, and they’ll be the envy of the lunchroom. Or make it a special afternoon snack to welcome them home after a long day at school.

ivoryhut crazy pizza bread Lindsay Olives

I aso love that you can let the kids help you make this. They’ll have fun getting their hands in it and mixing everything into the dough. Let them add their favorite toppings, too! Mushrooms, pineapple, bacon, sausage, different kinds of cheeses—let them create their own variety of pizza bread! And if they make it, they’re more likely to eat it.

ivoryhut crazy pizza bread Lindsay Olives

For a grown up version, try adding a few roasted garlic cloves, caramelized onions, and goat cheese. If you love anchovies but need to share the loaf with less adventurous tikes, make a puttanesca sauce for dipping. That way, you get to enjoy anchovies in your pizza without the kids wrinkling their nose at you.


Crazy Pizza Bread
Serves 4 to 6

Use your favorite pizza toppings for this. I used red bell peppers, green peppers and pepperoni to keep it kid-friendly. Other suggested add-ins: caramelized onions and roasted garlic (dry roast unpeeled cloves on a skillet for about 5 minutes, then finely mince or mash into a paste). If using a topping that will render fat, microwave it for a minute or two to prevent the fat from rendering into the dough while baking, which will alter the texture of the bread.

Serve with a simple marinara sauce or tomato soup for dipping.


1 teaspoon yeast
3/4 cup warm water
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup Lindsay Chopped California Ripe Olives or 1/2 cup Lindsay Large Pitted Black Ripe Olives, sliced
1 1/2 cups favorite toppings, chopped
8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil

Sprinkle yeast over warm water in a bowl. Let it sit for 3 minutes until foamy, then add in flour and salt. Mix (using a mixer, spoon, or your hands) just until it comes together. Add in the olives and toppings and combine well. Dough will be tacky, but feel free to dust with a bit more extra flour if it feels too tacky. Let rise for about 1 hour, then put in the refrigerator for another hour.

Take the dough out of the refrigerator and flour a Silpat or waxed paper. Roll out into a rectangle about 11×17”. Sprinkle cheese over top. Then, using the Silpat or paper, fold along the long side, like an envelope. Seal sides so cheese is not exposed. Let rest while you preheat oven to 450 degrees. Let oven stay at 450 degrees for 20 minutes.

Bake the bread, either on a pizza stone or baking sheet, for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown. About 3 minutes before taking it out, lightly brush the top with olive oil and let it finish baking. Let rest on a wire rack to cool slightly before slicing.

To pack for lunch, wrap slices in foil and lightly toast before putting it in a lunchbox. Include a small container of tomato soup or marinara sauce for dipping.

ivoryhut crazy pizza bread Lindsay Olives

Oh, and resist slicing into it immediately. It burns. Don’t ask me how I know this.


Full disclosure: For developing this recipe, I received a few cans of different varieties of Lindsay Olives to play with, along with a nominal fee as compensation for participating in Lindsay’s Back-To-School Olive Challenge. But the cheese was all mine, baby. All mine. And so was the burn on my finger from the hot stone. But I don’t really want to talk about that right now.


55 Responses to Crazy Pizza Bread
  1. Jessica @ How Sweet
    August 16, 2010 | 9:23 am

    Oh dear… I want to go home and make this tonight. It looks amazing. I can practically SMELL how good it must smell too.

    • ivoryhut
      August 16, 2010 | 11:35 am

      Thanks, Jessica! The great thing about this is that you can use any dough you have. Pizza dough, bread dough, even dinner roll dough. Then throw in any toppings you want, and you’re all set!

  2. Tracy
    August 16, 2010 | 9:53 am

    I love how colorful this bread is with all the different ingredients! Also, your note totally cracked me up! Seriously, you are hilarious. :-)

    • ivoryhut
      August 16, 2010 | 11:37 am

      Yes, it was indeed quite colorful. I may have been admiring the color too intently, which caused the not-to-be-discussed burn. :)

  3. Paula - bell'alimento
    August 16, 2010 | 11:23 am

    What a great way to incorporate OLIVES! This was such a fun challenge to be a part of! We <3 pizza and this is def going on our list, lunchbox and beyond ; ) xoxo

  4. Lana @ Never Enough Thyme
    August 16, 2010 | 11:44 am

    What a fun idea! And I really like the suggestion of the added caramelized onions and garlic. You’ve got a winner in this recipe!

  5. Tickled Red
    August 16, 2010 | 11:47 am

    Let’s see how about “Ta-Dow Olive Loaf”…I am drooling all over my laptop right now. Fortunately for me my monkeys love olives. They always put them on their fingers which reminds me of that scene from “Legend’s” with the elderberry juice :)

  6. polwig
    August 16, 2010 | 11:50 am

    This looks amazing. I am all up for anchovies, I may even get my toddlers to try it.

  7. Souffle Bombay
    August 16, 2010 | 11:57 am

    Looks great, my kids are into Pizza Dunkers…we make dough sticks with the cheese in the center and they dunk them in sauce…I like you suggestions. I haven’t thought to start adding anything (mmmm carmalized onions) to the Dunkers but will now, thanks!

  8. CKay
    August 16, 2010 | 12:01 pm

    Ohhhhh that looks so yummy! I am getting hunger pangs thinking about it!

  9. Fuji Mama
    August 16, 2010 | 2:30 pm

    I CANNOT WAIT to try making this bread! I think I’ll be packing myself a lunchbox! Thank you so much for participating in the challenge!

  10. Cookin' Canuck
    August 16, 2010 | 7:21 pm

    This is such a fun recipe! Forget the kids’ lunch boxes – I think this will play the starring role on our next Friday night pizza night.

  11. Kate @ Our Best Bites
    August 16, 2010 | 8:39 pm

    Y.U.M. Forget the kids, I’m going straight for it myself… :)

  12. natalie
    August 23, 2010 | 11:14 am

    yum! i worked at a bread shop way back in highschool and we used to make a pizza bread that i loved! it was always great dipped in marinara sauce!! this totally brings me back!

  13. Amy Lucille
    August 23, 2010 | 3:43 pm

    I love this idea, I think encouraging people to make there own bread is a great idea. Kids will love this for sure.

  14. Kate
    August 24, 2010 | 4:29 pm

    This looks SO delicious. I’ve been wanting to get into bread-baking. I think this would be something my family would enjoy.

  15. Melly
    August 24, 2010 | 11:29 pm

    This looks amazing. I can’t wait to make it.

  16. Meseidy
    August 24, 2010 | 11:36 pm

    I am in love with this idea! It is a perfect snack to pack for the husband’s lunch! Only problem is that I may eat it all before it makes it to his lunch sack.

  17. Paula
    August 25, 2010 | 4:47 am

    wow, that bread looks so delicious! I`m going to do this soon!

    have a nice time!

  18. […] made a version of this recipe for CRAZY PIZZA BREAD. […]

  19. Kim
    August 28, 2010 | 11:21 am

    I saw this recipe on The Kitchn and immediately scoured my fridge and freezer to see what pizza goodies I could stuff in this bread. Luckily I found pepperoni, Italian sausage, olives and sun-dried tomatoes. I can’t wait to taste the final product!

  20. Christine
    August 28, 2010 | 7:45 pm

    1 and 2/3 cup flour does not seem like nearly enough flour for a loaf of bread. Am I reading something wrong?

    • ivoryhut
      August 29, 2010 | 12:20 am

      Christine, this should make enough dough for a 1-pound loaf. With the added toppings and the cheese filling, it ends up being one substantial loaf. Of course, if you too have hungry boys in the house with bottomless pits for stomachs, you might want to consider doing a double batch. :)

  21. Anne
    September 15, 2010 | 1:53 pm

    Great, now I need to wipe the drool off my laptop. LOL

    Okay, can I sub whole wheat flour? Or at at least a portion?

  22. Brook
    September 17, 2010 | 2:00 pm

    I too am wondering if it’s possible to subsitute WW Flour…I’m assuming we may need to add Vital Wheat Gluten though…anyone try this recipe with WW flour?

  23. Tina
    September 17, 2010 | 5:07 pm

    I have a question since I am not a bread baker. At what point do you punch it down after it has risen? Before it goes in the fridge? It looks amazing!

  24. baahar
    September 20, 2010 | 3:46 pm

    This looks delicious !! I love that all the ingredients go in at once .. saves time :) Will try this out hopefully next week.

  25. leslie burroughs
    October 6, 2010 | 10:10 am

    My question…how do you print just the recipe? I print them off and put them in a clear sleeve in a binder for quick reference. Do you have to print the whole blog? My computer skills were developed later in life and I need help! LOVE you blog! baking your recipes in Montana! :)

  26. Ellamae Reckart
    October 21, 2010 | 11:35 am

    keep up the good work

  27. Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen
    November 2, 2010 | 6:40 pm

    My boys are gonna love this!

  28. Aimee's Petite Maison » Mid week randomness.
    November 3, 2010 | 10:51 am

    […] pizza, I discovered this blog via Twitter and came across this amazing sounding recipe for “Crazy Pizza Bread“. I have wanted to try it ever since! The blog that it comes from, The Ivory Hut, is one that […]

  29. faisal
    January 6, 2011 | 5:53 pm

    I really like it it is very delicious

  30. Ellen
    January 16, 2011 | 2:49 pm

    This recipe was easy and so yummy!!! Helps with the pizza craving . . I love that it is so versatile. I will try bread flour next time. And yes .. a baking stone would be best. Gives that nice crust on the bottom.

  31. Eileen (BossyChef)
    June 14, 2011 | 1:45 pm

    That looks so good I want to cry since I cannot have cheese any time in the near future :( I may be drooling on my desk.

  32. sexshop
    September 14, 2011 | 8:27 am

    Thanks to this blog I learnt a lot and changed the way I perceive many things.

  33. ZoeDawn
    November 5, 2011 | 1:40 pm

    Making if for supper tonight! one question: in the instructions, you say not to add the cheese until you roll out the dough but it looks like you added it to the dough with all of the other toppings in the picture. What’s correct?

    Also, I’m trying half whole wheat bread flour. I’m pretty experienced with baking bread so I’m sure it will be fine. I’ll let the other curious readers know how it gets!

    • ivoryhut
      November 5, 2011 | 3:29 pm

      Hi Zoe! Sharp eye you got there. Yes, two of the photos indeed show the cheese mixed in with the toppings (the first photo of the dough in the bowl, and one of the photos of all the toppings together in a bowl). Those photos were from my first recipe testing, and while the end product was still good, I thought it lacked a nice gooey cheese punch. The cheese bits throughout the dough also released a bit of oil, making the dough cook slightly unevenly. So I decided to instead to mix in the toppings first, then add the cheese in one layer before forming the loaf, which finally did the trick. (This after about 5 or 6 different experiments with slight variations.)

      Let me know how it goes for you!

      • ZoeDawn
        November 10, 2011 | 10:24 pm

        So delicious! Next time I will saute and DRAIN my mushrooms before adding them to the dough. It was a little soggy (but not underbaked). Still, it was great dipped in tomato soup!

        And of course it was fine with the whole wheat flour. I couldn’t even tell I used it.

  34. Heather
    March 9, 2012 | 4:09 pm

    I am making mine tonight! Glad to see that the whole-wheat flour works, that’s all I use. Have you ever made just a veggie one, with things like spinach, zucchini, sun dried tomato’s? The onion’s are cooked from the picture, do they need to be before I add it to the dough?

  35. Crazy Loaded Pizza Bread [Dinner Time]
    March 16, 2012 | 6:00 pm

    […] (via IvoryHut) […]

  36. Pizza Bread « Misadventures in Cooking
    April 4, 2012 | 10:47 am

    […] Pizza Bread, adapted from The Ivory Hut […]

  37. Courtney
    April 4, 2012 | 10:51 am

    Hi! I just made this last night and it was absolutely delicious!! Thank you for the wonderful recipe. I posted about it on my blog, gave you credit, and linked back. In case you are interested:

  38. Rochelle Moore
    May 26, 2012 | 12:02 am

    We made this to have with dinner this evening. I have to say that it is interesting how you came up with the idea, and I am glad you did! This was absolutely delicious! It was the first time that we made it, but certainly won’t be the last!

  39. Brianne
    June 8, 2012 | 7:16 pm

    Made four loaves of this bread today at work. I had to give them all away because I pretty much finished off an entire loaf on my own. Love love love! Will definitely make more!

  40. Theresa
    August 26, 2012 | 4:23 pm

    Can you make this and freeze it before cooking?

  41. Seph
    August 29, 2012 | 9:55 am

    It didn’t work very well for me. I loved the photos and the idea but when I made it up the mixture was super wet and there seemed to be too much toppings for the small amount of dough. I put in extra flour but it still came out too wet from the oven. May just be me though as it seems to have worked for some. Love the idea though and will try again.

  42. Marta
    October 15, 2012 | 1:46 pm

    I made this… It is raising as I type…. But I cheated… I have an extremely simple go to Italian bread dough…. I just cut back on the flour a little and mixed in the goodies… They look marvelous so far!

  43. Marlene
    December 1, 2012 | 9:09 pm

    This was easy and delicious! I did not refrigerate it. Just let it raise for one hour and baked it. Yummy!

  44. Jayne Nagy
    December 22, 2012 | 3:05 pm

    I have three loaves rising right now (doubled each recipe. Two are gifts). This looks crazy good! I am going to add the cheese, but one of the loaves will then be placed in a terra cotta flower pot (new of course :D), so I’ll find a way to place it with cheese in the middle.

  45. Mary
    November 11, 2013 | 9:13 pm

    Could you make this with fruits and nuts?

  46. Christy
    May 6, 2014 | 6:49 pm

    First, this looks Amazing and your toppings are just perfect with a little bit of everything sure to please all. We do home made Pizza every Friday evening with about 15 family members.We’ve done this for almost a year now. Lately it has become a bit blah, I can’t wait for this Friday to bring this pretty pizza loaf to shake things up a bit. So thank you for this divine inspiration. I am sure there will be as many happy tummies as there are family members at pizza night! Again, Thank you for giving us this amazing Crazy Pizza bread recipe.
    P.s. I hear that if you place the olives on your fingers just like the kiddos, it relieves and soothes the pain of burnt fingers. At the very least it will make you smile!

    Thanks again,

  47. Ginette
    September 23, 2014 | 11:42 am

    WOW… made this twice this summer at the cottage for my friends…it was a smash hit. Great idea for any party and so easy to make.

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I write, cook, play music, and make pictures. Not necessarily in that order. I was born and raised in the Philippines, and it shows. That means I eat rice with every meal, love my cousins like my own siblings, and firmly believe that avocados are best eaten with cream and sugar.

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One summer night in 2010, our house burned to the ground and we lost everything we had. This is the story of what happened and how life and hope can always rise from ashes.