February 15, 2010

What's Cookin': Homemade Pizza

I love me some pizza (or "peetsee" as my munchkins call it). But even at $6.99 for the hot and ready stuff from Little Ceasar's (which is the cheapest we've found and is really tasty) it's still expensive to bring home. Plus we wind up getting the bread sticks and everything to go with it. So by the time it's all said and done a take home pizza dinner for us is about $11. By my standards, that's expensive. So when I want pizza I try to make it. I like to fancy it up a bit, so this is my pizza dough recipe that I have adjusted to the way we like it.

 Pizza Dough - makes about 10 slices
1 C warm water
2 1/4 tsp yeast 
1 tsp sugar
2 1/2 - 3 C AP flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder(or more if you like)
1/4 C grated Parmesan (from a can
2 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs dried basil

Place the water, yeast and sugar in a small bowl or measuring cup to allow the yeast to soften and get happy. Let it sit for about 5 minutes, or until it's puffy and bubbly. Mix together two cups of the flour, salt, garlic powder, and cheese. After the yeast has "bloomed" stir it up, add in the basil leaves and let sit for another minute or two. This will bring out the flavor of the basil and let it incorporate into the dough better. It's like steeping tea leaves.  I found this out by trial and error. Just mixing the herbs into the dough didn't give much flavor.

Add the water and oil to the flour. Mix the dough together, adding flour as needed, until it's soft and workable. Knead for 8-10 minutes (you can do this in the bowl to save the hassle of cleaning the counter, just make smaller movements). Then coat with more olive oil, place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Stick it in the fridge for as long as you can. I usually make my dough in the morning so it sits for a good 6 or so hours. I've also let it go overnight. This will help all the flavors from the garlic, herbs and cheese work its way through the dough, as well as give it a slight sourdough taste.Very tasty.

Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Stretch out the dough into whatever shape you like. I don't have a round pan, so mine winds up in a rectangular-like shape. Maybe a trapezoid... Parallelogram? See picture above. Par-bake the crust for about 7 minutes. Then remove, cover in whatever toppings you choose, and bake another 8-10 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly. If you're feeling particularly frisky (which I usually am) you can sprinkle more Parmesan cheese around the outer edge crust before popping it in the oven.

I'm not including the price for this because it can vary widely depending on toppings. For us it usually includes equal  parts mozzarella and cheddar cheeses and whatever meat I have on hand. I've made it with leftover chicken, sausage or in tonight's case, a package of pepperoni. You could also go totally veggie and do onions, peppers, mushrooms, olives... whatever. It's pizza! Make it like you would order it or better. If you want a calzone, fold it over on itself then bake. The dough itself, with all my additions is about $1.40(ish).

Ben Rating: 3.


Farm Girl said...

What only a Ben rating of 3? I was reading the cook book by Pioneer Woman and her recipe for pizza dough is almost mine. The one thing she does that I tried is she cooks her pizza in a 500 degree over for 10 minutes. I did it and wow do you get crunchy crust if you like that. It changed the texture completely and made it more like take out. Since no
Wednesday this week, I just have to write you. :)

Meg said...

Yeah just a 3. The last pizza I made has sausage as the topping and real Parmesan on the crust (instead of the can) and he REALLY liked that. But this is what I had so he said it wasn't quite as good. Oh well! LOL

NetRaptor said...

Oooh, if you use barbecue sauce as the sauce, sprinkle with some cheese like Jack and put cut up chicken on it, it is some FINE stuff.

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