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Bread of the Dead

By 10/16/2020February 15th, 20248 Comments

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Main Dish - Bread of the Dead

Ok, maybe I was a little hasty to say that my Cottontini was the last of my Carn’Evil’ themed recipes because I do have one more to add to the show. Our marathon of reimagined carnival food wouldn’t be complete without a spooky pizza, now would it?  Truth be told, I developed and posted this recipe on Castellon’s Kitchen while Ghoul at Heart was still under construction, but Bread of the Dead is the perfect final addition to our Carn’Evil’ menu so, I’m re-posting it here.  A dramatic and delicious take on flatbread pizza made with savory mushroom skulls, shallots and herbs topped with a balsamic glaze drizzle. Enjoy!

I like a good flatbread where the bread is soft and chewy with a crisp bottom that holds up the toppings well and gives a little crunch when you bite all the way through it, and this dough is just that. The dark color comes from the addition of squid ink, but don’t let that scare you. It’s just for color and will not leave a fishy taste or smell to the flatbread once it’s baked. However, it will smell faintly of the sea while the dough is unbaked, but I promise you it won’t taste like that once it’s baked. Another pizza ingredient I changed was the cheese. Instead of the typical mozzarella, I used a beautiful Pesto Gouda which complements the pesto flavor of the sauce.  I picked it up on-line from

I also topped them with an assortment of fresh herbs from my garden, like thyme, parsley, oregano, savory, and marjoram. Feel free to use your favorite herbs or whatever you have on hand. And then to bring all those savory flavors together I added a sweet and sour element with a Balsamic glaze to drizzle over every bite. Delicious!

Bread of the Dead

Squid Ink Flatbread with Mushroom Skulls, Shallots and Fresh Herbs
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Carnival Food
Keyword: carnevil, flatbread pizza, Halloween, Halloween Food, meatless meal, mushroom skulls, skulls
Servings: 4 flatbread pizzas


Squid Ink Flatbread Dough

  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil (plus more to grease the bowl)
  • 1/2 tsp squid ink
  • 1 cup warm water (110 degrees)

Flatbread Toppings

  • 4 oz. button mushrooms (see mushroom skull preparation below)
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup shallots, thinly sliced (substitute with red onion)
  • 4-5 cloves garlic (sliced thin)
  • 2 Tbsp cooking sherry
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 1 cup jarred pesto sauce
  • cup Green Pesto Gouda cheese
  • mixed fresh herbs

Balsamic Glaze

  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp honey


Squid Ink Flatbread Dough

  • Stir together flour, garlic powder, salt and yeast in a medium bowl. Add the olive oil to flour mixture and lightly mix. Dissolve squid ink in the warm water and add to the flour mixture, and mix with a fork until it comes together into a shaggy dough. Use your hands to work the loose flour into your dough while in the bowl until its mostly incorporated. Turn it out on a floured surface and knead lightly, forming the dough into a ball. Clean and dry the bowl you used to mix the dough. Oil the bowl and place the dough in it and roll to coat the dough with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to double in volume. About 2 hours.
  • While dough rises, grate cheese, prepare mushrooms skulls toppings, and balsamic glaze.
  • When dough has doubled, remove from bowl and cut into 4 equal pieces and shape into a ball pinching edges together. Push in a circular motion to form a taut ball. Repeat with the remaining pieces. Brush each with oil, cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes. (Note: Only 2 of the 4 are pictured below)

Mushroom Skull Preparation

  • Create two skull faces on opposite sides of each mushroom using a straw to form the large eye holes. Use a pairing knife to cut the nose holes and to scrape down the stem to create teeth. Trim the stems if desired.Once you've made skull faces on both sides of each mushroom, cut each mushroom in half to create two skull halves.
  • Melt butter in a large skillet, add mushroom skulls and sauté about 5-8 minutes. Add shallots, garlic and sherry and continue to cook until all the liquid has cooked down, about 3-5 minutes more. Add thyme leaves, salt and pepper and set aside.

Balsamic Glaze

  • Over medium heat, reduce the balsamic vinegar to about 1/3 cup. Cool and add honey to taste. Set aside.

Assembling the Flatbread

  • Place a pizza stone or a rimless cookie sheet on the bottom rack of the oven and preheat oven to 500 degrees.
  • Cut a length of parchment paper. Coat hands with oil and gently pull one piece of dough into an 6 inch length. Place it on the parchment paper and gently dimple surface of dough with fingertips and then flatten with your palms into a 8" by 4" oval. Repeat with remaining dough. Brush each flatbread generously with pesto sauce, grated Pesto Gouda cheese, and the mushroom and shallot mixture.
  • Transfer the parchment with the flatbreads onto the pizza stone, or cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes. To remove from the oven, pull the parchment paper with flatbread on it onto another cool baking sheet. Transfer to a cutting board and let cool 5 minutes then cut crosswise into triangles. Top with your favorite fresh herbs and drizzle with the Balsamic glaze. Bone Appetit!


Recipe was originally posted on Castellon's Kitchen, April 9, 2020
Green Pesto Gouda Cheese from


  • Michele M says:

    2 Tablespoons of garlic powder seems like a lot. Is this the correct amount?

    • Lori Castellon says:

      Oops, yes indeed, that is a lot of garlic powder…I went back to look at my recipe notes and you are correct, I added 2 tsp of garlic powder, not 2 Tbsp. I’ll correct the recipe and Thank you so much for letting me know Michele.

  • Kim says:

    One of the best pizza recipes I have ever made! It’s too delicious to share with someone. Thank you so much!

    • Lori Castellon says:

      Aww, thank you so much Kim. The fact that you took to time to comment on it makes me so happy and I’m glad you enjoy the recipe. Happy Halloween!

  • Traci JOHNSON says:

    I have some people allergic to seafood so I am worried about squid ink… Could food coloring be used?

    • Lori Castellon says:

      Hi Traci
      Yes, you absolutely can use food coloring in place of the squid ink. Just might have to adjust the amount you add until you get the desired hue you want.

  • KG says:

    5 stars
    Super good and very cool!
    Usually I mess up bread, but this came out perfect. I didn’t have squid ink or cooking sherry, so I substituted black food dye and red wine vinegar and it was fine. I also just used regular smoked gouda, as well as homemade pesto.

    • Lori Castellon says:

      Wonderful! So glad you enjoyed it Kai. Love your substitutions too. Happy Halloween 🎃
      Lori 🖤

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