Thursday, December 04, 2008
I love making our own homemade pizza. It isn't difficult once you master it and is less expensive than ordering out!
Even though pizza isn't difficult to make, I like to make extras and freeze them for busy times. Sometimes I freeze a completely prepared pizza and sometimes I just freeze the plain crusts. I love the convenience of frozen pizzas and it is cheaper and healthier to make my own. A frozen homemade pizza is just as quick to throw in the oven as a store-bought one!
Another benefit to making your own pizzas is the ability to customize them to however you like. Our pizzas generally consist of some combination of pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, green peppers, and black olives. I also love making a pesto pizza with pesto spread on the crust instead of traditional tomato sauce and topped with yummy sauteed veggies.
The recipe that I use is a Taste of Home recipe from several years ago. I've tweaked it and made enough changes to the original recipe that I think I can safely call it my own!
I use my Bosch mixer to mix and knead my dough. This is a small enough recipe to be easily done by hand as well, which I have done a few times with great success.
This recipe makes two 12 inch pizzas. Making just two makes the crust quite thick, I think, so I usually end up making one or two personal pan size crusts along with the bigger ones. You can decide how you want to do yours!
Homemade Pizza Crust
1 package(1 tablespoon) active dry yeast
2 cups warm water(110 to 115 degrees)
3 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
garlic powder, dried basil and oregano, to taste
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 -4 cups all-purpose white flour
In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add oil, salt, spices, and whole wheat flour. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes.
Stir in enough white flour to form a soft dough(not too sticky and not too stiff). If kneading by hand, be extra careful with the flour amount as kneading on a floured surface adds more flour into the dough.
If using a heavy-duty mixer, continue to mix for about 5 minutes or so. If kneading by hand, turn out on floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes.
Place dough in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rest in a warm place for 10 minutes.
Divide dough in half. On a greased surface, roll each portion into a 13 inch circle. (I start the rolling process on my counter top then transfer the dough to the greased pan and use my fingers and this amazing roller to roll the dough right in the pan. )
Transfer dough to two greased 12 inch pizza pans; build up edges slightly. bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. This step is called par-baking the crust.
Now, you can cool and freeze the plain par-baked crusts(double-wrapped in plastic wrap and foil) or you can top the pizzas and freeze the same way. To bake after being frozen, place on greased pan and bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes or until done.
Or if you decide you want to eat the pizzas right away(imagine that!), you will top the crusts as desired and bake for an additional 15- 20 minutes.
**For pizza sauce, I add a little grated onion, basil, oregano and garlic powder to an 8 ounce can of tomato sauce. This makes enough for 1 or 2 pizzas, depending how much sauce you like. I spread it right on the crust then top with toppings and cheese. This is the simple way to make sauce and we like it that way! My sister likes to cook her sauce a little and then spread it on. Or you can use jarred spaghetti or pizza sauce from the store. Whatever you like!
**The pizza pictured above is a stuffed crust pizza. To make, I rolled the dough our to reach a little over the edge of the pizza pan. Inside the edge of the pan, I placed small sticks of mozzarella cheese. You can also cut string cheese for this. I like to cut slits in the dough all around and then roll it in under the cheese stick for kind of a twisted crust look, but you don't have to cut the dough but just roll it under the cheese all around the pan. Bake as usual.
What kind of pizzas do you and your family enjoy?