Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Recipe Box: Homemade Pizza


Homemade pizza isn't actually cheaper.  If you're willing to eat at Little Ceasars or other chains you can get a pizza for around $5.  But while sometimes commercial food is cheaper, the homemade version is much, much better.

Crust:

1 Tablespoon white sugar
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1/3 cup warm water (between 90 and 110 degrees Fahrenheit)
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus 1 cup for dusting
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano

(note: if you're short on time, you can use a box or two of the Jiffy brand pizza crust mix, and add the garlic powder, onion powder and dried oregano when mixing and before rising.)

Mix the sugar and water in a small bowl.  Add the yeast and let sit about 10 minutes or until it looks creamy.

Mix the 2 cups flour, salt, onion and garlic powders and oregano in a large bowl.  Add yeast mixture and stir until all the flour is absorbed (you may need to add additional water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to get all the flour to absorb).

Dust the clean countertop with flour.  Turn the dough out onto the floured surface and knead for about 1 minute.

Coat a large bowl with olive oil.  Coat the ball of dough with oil and cover with a damp cloth or paper towel.  Let sit in warm, dry place for 30 minutes or until it doubles in size.

(Note: prepare toppings while crust is rising)

Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees (F)

Roll the dough out thin and lay on a greased cookie sheet (or pizza stone, if you've got one). Bake for 3-4 minutes.  Pull out from oven and add sauce, cheese and toppings.  Bake for an additional 20 minutes or until crust is golden and crusty.

For the pizza pictured, I used:

1/3 cup tomato sauce
2 cups mozzerella cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 cup sliced and browned italian sausage
1/3 cup chopped artichokes
1/4 cup grilled red pepper
1/4 cup green olives
1 Tablespoon nonpareil capers

Sure, the toppings were heavier than the crust.  That's the point :-)

4 comments:

hoppy okapi said...

I love the idea of putting the seasonings in the crust - I'll have to try that!

I've recently found that homemade pizza can be a quick weeknight meal if you mix the dough the night before, and put it in the fridge to rise - it will keep for a couple of days, so I might make the dough on Tuesday night, then bake pizzas on Wednesday and Thursday.

Heidi said...

How thick is the crust? My husband likes homemade pizza but is very picking about preferring a thinner vs. thicker crust. Can it be made fairly thin?

Yours looks *delicious* - I'd eat that in a heartbeat!

JoGeek said...

@Heidi:
For a thin crust you basically don't let the dough rise into bread. Subtract 1/4 cup of flour from the recipe. Knead for an extra minute when you first mix the dough, then roll right out for the pan (roll it thin) without letting it sit to rise. Only pre-bake for 2-3 minutes instead of 4-5, and reduce the final baking time to 12-15 minutes.

Erin said...

I usually dock my pizza crusts before pre-baking them, helps keep them a little flatter and avoid those big air pockets.

My dough recipe for pizza uses no sugar and more salt, which also helps keep it from rising as much. Although that leads to a chewier texture on the thick crusts, more like a french bread type thing going on.

I also always dust my pizza pan with a little corn meal -- helps the pizza slide right off, and we like the little bit of crunch that adds. Hey, if it works for commercial pizza places... heh.

My favorite toppings -- alfredo sauce, mozzarella cheese (or italian cheese blend), cooked scampi style shrimp, and chopped parsley. Yum!