Here's a good way to use up slightly stale or hard
italian or french bread. It's easy, fast and

French Bread Pizza Bake

Loaf of italian or french bread (preferrably stale or
Tomato sauce (how much varies depending on the size of
the dish and how much bread, but for an average loaf,
about 1 jar, 26 ounces)
Shredded mozzarella cheese (again depends, but about 2
cups sounds right)
Your favorite pizza toppings (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut the bread 1/2 to 3/4 inches thick, trying to cut
slices evenly. Line bottom of large baking dish with
the slices, fitting them side by side, close together.
I use a 10 x 15 inch dish, but any size will work
depending on how much bread. Season the tomato sauce
with spices if desired. Pour tomato sauce or pizza
sauce over the bread, making sure each piece is
covered. Be generous--as it bakes, the sauce will
saturate and soften the bread. Sprinkle cheese over
the sauce, spreading it evenly. Add whatever toppings
you want, or just leave it plain.

Bake for 10-15 minutes, until cheese is melted.

Serve with napkins, this one's messy!

P.S. I buy my mozzarella cheese from Sam's, where a 5
lb bag is about $8. Then I bag it up, 2 cups to a bag,
and freeze it. It keeps quite well this way for up to
6 months. I haven't ordered a takeout pizza for quite
some time, probably over a year! Since we used to
order pizza every 2 weeks or so, at about $11-12 bucks
a pop, I figure we save about $240 a year just on
pizza! I make it with the recipe above and also with a
traditional crust.

Jen K