How To Make Pizza!
First, you’ll need a crust: a sturdy one that has plenty of crunch. This one has done well for me:
Classic Pizza Dough Crust
- 2 cups flour (add a few tablespoons of whole wheat, if you like an ‘artisan’ texture)
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds (optional, but good)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon yeast
- 1 cup warm water
- Sprinkle of sugar
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
Mix everything but the flour, and let it ‘proof’ in a warm spot for ten or so minutes, until bubbles or fuzz are starting to form. Add the flour gradually until the dough is stiff, then knead until elastic. For best results, let rise for at least an hour — but the dough can be used right away, too. (P.S. This recipe can be doubled, or used for calzones. It’s also good rolled into sticks, sprinkled with garlic salt and parmesan cheese, too.)
This recipe for ‘Pizza Hut Clone’ dough is good, too, thanks to Frugal Upstate.
So make time now, and you’ll have dough for tonight’s supper, plus an extra, thanks to Money-Saving Mom’s ‘freezer-friendly pizza dough’ recipe.
Plain tomato sauce works, when sprinkled with Italian herbs. Or try a commercial spaghetti sauce. A mix of diced or sliced tomatoes, basil and onion is good, too. (Try them sprinkled on top of the cheese, rather than underneath.)
The mix shown below (broccoli, red pepper, onion) is tasty. Other veggies are delicious on pizza, including mushrooms, green onions, pepper rings, even snow peas. So are any number of meats: crumbled bacon, chopped ham, hamburger or sausage, chopped chicken or turkey, shrimp. Pretty much anything you can chop can go on a pizza, provided the mix tastes good together. (If you’re not sure, saute some of the ingredients together and taste. That will tell you for sure.)
Mozzarella is the big favorite, but provolone and parmesan are good, too. (We’ll discuss other cheeses in a minute.)
Construction And Baking
Turn oven to 425 degrees. 1. Pull up a good-sized ball of dough, then roll or push it out onto a greased pizza pan. Bake for approx. 10 minutes, until the dough is set and beginning to brown. (You can start shaping the next pizza or make up a batch of breadsticks while the first one’s baking.)
2. Take the pizza out, and add sauce, toppings and cheese. (You’ll need approx. 1 cup of sauce, 2 cups of chopped or sliced stuff, and 2 cups of cheese for each regular-sized pizza.)
3. Open your oven door, and slide the pizza off the pan and directly on the rack instead. (This is key to getting that ‘pizza oven’ texture and taste.) Bake for another 10 minutes, until dough is brown and everything is heated and bubbling. Cut, then serve.
Variations On The Theme
- Not only can you make up the crust ahead of time, then freeze it…you can also partly bake the dough through step #1, and freeze it, as well. Or assemble the pizza, like step #2, and freeze it then.
- Try your pizza without tomato sauce — spreading it with cream cheese or even ranch dressing is a tasty way to start. Sprinkle with chicken or ham and vegetables, then top with grated cheddar, Monterey Jack, or even Swiss cheese, instead of mozzarella. Bake as usual.
Cindy Brick is a personal property appraiser, judge and national teacher who loves to write about frugality and other personal finance topics. She has written six books and hundreds of articles, but often focuses on quilting, her teaching specialty. She lives in Colorado with her husband, two golden labs and a flock of very suspicious chickens. Find out more at Brickworks, http://www.cindybrick.com, or visit her personal blog: http://www.cindybrick.blogspot.com