During the years I was a stay at home mom, living below poverty level, we often craved delivery pizza. Of course we couldn’t afford such a thing very often so I might have ordered a pizza for a special occasion once or twice a year, maybe for someone’s birthday. When we did happen to have delivery pizza, we could seldom afford to have more than one or two toppings. I decided to learn how to make pizza myself so that we could have our favorite toppings and still stay within our food budget.
This talent would come in handy once we moved out to the rural area where we still – after being here for eight years – aren’t able to have pizza delivered.
The important thing is to keep these ingredients on hand so that you can make pizza whenever the urge strikes. I always buy my baking yeast from Costco or Smart and Final, where I can buy a two pound package for less than $4. If you rely on buying the tiny little packets from the baking section of your local grocery store you aren’t going to save much money in the long run.
Here is the recipe I used for many years. I say used, because I am currently not eating gluten, wheat or yeast products of any kind. I have not yet found a substitute for pizza dough without using any of those ingredients! If I am ever able to reintroduce dairy products, I am planning to try this Cauliflower Pizza Crust. At any rate, you will love this pizza dough.
- 2 Tablespoon baker’s yeast
- 1 cup warm water (run the water on your wrist until it feels warm to the touch, too hot and it will kill the yeast)
- 1 Tablespoon honey (or sugar)
- 3 to 4 cups flour (whole wheat or a mixture of whole wheat and unbleached, or you may use white all purpose if you prefer)
- 1 eight ounce can tomato sauce
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 clove fresh crushed garlic
- toppings of your choice (pepperoni, ham, sausage, green bell peppers, black olives, green olives, mushrooms, onions, zucchini squash slices, eggplant, sliced jalapenos, sun-dried tomatoes, pineapple chunks, whatever you desire!)
- cheese (preferably mozzarella but you can use any kind of cheese you like)
Dissolve yeast in water with the honey (or sugar). Allow to sit for 5 minutes, you should see a “head” rising up in the mixture, this means the yeast is alive and active. Mix in two cups of flour. Mix with whisk 200 times, let rest five minutes. Mix in remaining flour until you have a stiff dough. Depending on how fresh your flour is, you may need more or less. Fresher flour tends to have more moisture and need less liquid added to it. Older flour tends to be drier and needs more liquid. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead for about five minutes until smooth and elastic. Place in a greased bowl. Turn the dough to grease it on all sides. Cover with a towel and leave in a warm place until double in size. This will take about 90 minutes.
While you’re waiting, make the tomato sauce. Mix the canned tomato sauce with the teaspoon of Italian seasoning and allow to simmer for about five minutes. Add the freshly squeezed clove of garlic, and salt to taste.
Punch down and divide in half. Grease two 12″ to 14″ Pizza Pans. Place each half on the pizza pan and press out to the sides. You can fold up the outer edge to make a thicker crust. You can place french fry sized cuts of cheese into the crust and roll it over to make cheese stuffed crust. This dough can be used to one deep dish Chicago style pizza, or you can use ceramic dinner plates to make individual portion pizzas. This was a great favorite with my boys. I would spread out the dough on a dinner plate for each of us and we would put on our favorite toppings.
Spread the warm pizza sauce onto the crust, add your favorite toppings and plenty of cheese.
Bake at 425°F for 15 to 25 minutes until the crust is brown. The dough can be frozen and used later by placing it in a freezer ziploc bag. When you’re ready to use it, remove from the freezer and place it in the fridge to thaw out about one day prior to baking. You can also press it into the pizza pan, add the toppings and freeze it that way. You’ll want to add some time for baking if you put it into the oven frozen. I would say lower the temperature to 400°F and allow to bake for 25-30 minutes.
Yummy pizza cookbooks:
- Pizza on the Grill: 100 Feisty Fire-Roasted Recipes for Pizza & More (I have made individual pizzas on the grill, oh they are so yummy!)
- The Art of Pizza Making: Trade Secrets and Recipes
- American Pie: My Search for the Perfect Pizza
- 500 Pizzas & Flatbreads: The Only Pizza & Flatbread Compendium You’ll Ever Need (500 (Sellers Publishing))
- Pizza: More than 60 Recipes for Delicious Homemade Pizza
Have you ever made your own pizza? It is amazingly delicious when you make it yourself. Let me know in the comments if you have ever made your own pizza, or if you might try my recipe.