The great thing about this week is that it’s a short week. Am I right or am I right? Let’s rejoice in knowing that we’re two days down and only three left to get through until the weekend. I don’t know about you, but I’m already making plans for how I won’t be working, doing chores, or even running errands. What kind of weekend is that? I don’t know what it is, but there’s something about three day weekends that make me feel even lazier than normal. I feel like I need some time off to recuperate from my time off, do you know what I mean? Also another thing, when it comes to being home not working, I for some reason become hungrier than normal. That’s saying something because I’m always hungry. What is it about being home doing nothing that makes me want to eat everything in sight? Someone tell me the answer, I NEED to know.
Sometimes I’m so hungry that I can’t decide if I want pizza or a sandwich. Before you laugh though, this is a very important decision any grown adult has to make at least once in their life. Both are equally as delicious, and both are always a yes in my book. So as you can imagine, it’s something that keeps me up at night. How can anyone be expected to pick one between the two? That seems almost unfair and downright evil, if you ask me. Lucky for us all though, we don’t have to make such an awful choice anymore because I’ve gone ahead and merged the two worlds together. You didn’t ask me to, and I didn’t even know I was going to do it, but somehow I don’t think any of us will be mad about it. I know I’m not complaining. Homemade pizza dough, filled with cheese, pepperoni, salami, ham, and arugula. You combine all of those ingredients and components together and you get Pizza Sandwiches. Just about the greatest thing to ever cross my path…at the moment. If you need me, I’ll be at home making all the different pizza sandwich variations out there. Lucky for me, the possibilities are endless. And lucky for you, I have one ultimate variation right here below in this post. I guess what know what you’ll be cooking up this week.
Let’s start by making the dough for the pizza sandwiches. I’ll begin by saying that this makes a lot of dough, so don’t get scared by the amount of each ingredient in this recipe. This is basically pizza dough, so if you plan on making pizzas for a crowd, this will yield about 3 to 4 pizzas.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, or large mixing bowl, combine the warm water, yeast, sugar and salt. Again, don’t be thrown off by the amount of salt. This makes a lot of dough, so keep that in mind. Set in a warm spot for about 10 minutes.
**Note: This step is crucial, especially if you’re using active dry yeast as the yeast needs to activate and “wake” up so to speak, so don’t skip this part.**
Add the Italian seasoning, olive oil, and flour to the bowl. Stir together using the dough hook attachment until the dough comes together and pulls away from the sides. It should be soft, smooth and somewhat sticky.
**Note: You might need a little more or less flour depending, so if the dough is too stick and doesn’t come together, add more flour, a little at a time until desired texture is reached.**
Once the dough comes together, knead on high for about 7 minutes. Or transfer to a floured work surface and knead by hand until soft and smooth. Transfer to a well oiled bowl, cover loosely with plastic wrap and a damp kitchen towel, and let rest in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
**Tip: As I’ve mentioned before in other posts, the best spot for this is an oven that has been turned on for like 5 minutes and then once warm, shut it off. Once it’s warm in there, it’s the perfect place to proof dough!**
Once doubled in size, transfer the dough to a half sheet baking pan that has been lined with parchment paper and lightly oiled with olive oil. Press it out with your fingers, stretching it out if necessary, until the baking sheet is completely covered. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning, black pepper, crushed red pepper flakes and parmesan cheese.
Bake in a preheated 425 degree F oven until golden brown and cooked through the middle, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely, before cutting into 6 even squares.
**Note: This makes 6 giant sandwiches or 12 small sandwiches. So keep in mind what you want when you go to cut the pizza dough.**
To assemble each sandwich, cut open each piece of pizza dough bread. Spread the top and bottom, cut side, with olive oil and balsamic vinegar that has been mixed together somewhat. Top with arugula, cheese, salami, pepperoni, ham and fresh basil.
Sandwich together and then cut in half diagonally. Continue with the remaining bread and sandwiches until they’re all assembled. Place them on a baking sheet and bake for about 5 to 8 minutes or until heated through and the cheese has melted.
The great thing about this recipe is that it’s just an idea. You can really fill these pizza sandwiches with any and all of your favorite toppings. If you love Hawaiian pizza, then fill with cheese, bacon, Canadian bacon, and pineapple. If you love a supreme pizza, then add all of those veggies you normally find on supreme pizza! The sky’s the limit.
The toasting is completely optional, as you can totally eat this sandwich at room temperature and it would still be to die for, but I love to melt the cheese and warm them up because it takes them to the next level. Also because pizza is usually served hot. I’ve been known to eat it cold from time to time.
You can keep things vegetarian by spreading store-bought pesto on each side and then layering in lots of your favorite veggies. Try it with heirloom tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, summer squash, and roasted red peppers. That would be a great vegetarian option. Or go simple and classic with a classic caprese route.
You can make these ahead of time and wrap them individually with plastic wrap and store them in the fridge until ready to eat. Keep them in the fridge until ready to eat and then just rewarm in a preheated oven right before serving. These would be great to keep on hand during the week for lunches or easy dinners that you don’t have to worry about.
If you’re looking for your next weekend project in the kitchen, look no further. This is it. This is calling your name. And if you don’t feel like making the dough from scratch, just pick up a few pre-made pizza dough from the store or your local pizza shop. They’ll be happy to sell you some dough. Either way, just make these sandwiches!
- 2¾ cups warm water
- 2¼ teaspoons (1¼-ounce packet) active dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning, plus 1 teaspoon for topping
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 7½ to 8 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 12 sliced mozzarella cheese
- 4 cups loosely packed baby arugula
- salt and pepper to taste
- 6 slices ham
- ½ pound sliced salami
- ½ pound sliced spicy salami
- ½ pound sliced large pepperoni
- ½ pound prosciutto
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the water, yeast, sugar and salt. Let rest in a warm spot for about 10 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning, olive oil, and 7 cups flour. Stir until well combined, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add as much of the remaining flour as needed to bring the dough together and form a soft and somewhat sticky dough. Knead on high for about 7 minutes. Transfer to a well-oiled bowl. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and a damp kitchen towel and let rest in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and line a half sheet baking sheet with parchment paper and oil with olive oil.
- Add the dough and press down into an even layer until the baking sheet is completely covered in pizza dough. Sprinkle with remaining Italian seasoning and parmesan cheese. Bake until golden brown and the middle is cooked through, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely. Slice into 6 large squares.
- To assemble each sandwich, slice open the pizza crust square. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and brush both sides with it. Top each with 2 slices mozzarella cheese, a handful of arugula (seasoned with a bit of salt and pepper), 1 slice ham, a few slices of salami, pepperoni and prosciutto. Sandwich together and then slice in half diagonally. Continue this process until all sandwiches are made. Place on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until warmed through and the cheese has melted, about 5 to 8 minutes. Serve immediately or at room temperature.