Thursday, September 27, 2007

Recipe: Homemade Pizza Any Way You Like It

We almost always make our pizza at home instead ordering from a delivery place or going out (inexpensive pizza buffet would be the exception).

Pizza from scratch is much less expensive. When I use pepperoni and mozzarella cheese both bought in bulk at the warehouse store and the remaining ingredients bought at Aldi or on a good sale at the regular grocery store, I can make two 12" thick crust pizzas, topped with pepperoni, green peppers and black olives for about $1.50 each. Even if I bought everything at regular price, I can't imagine a couple of pizzas made from scratch would cost more than $4 each. Compare that to pizza shop prices. Papa John's had coupons this week for two medium 3-topping pizzas for $17. Plus a tip and maybe a delivery charge.

It doesn't take that long to make, either. It takes about 10 minutes to mix the dough, about 45 minutes waiting for the dough to rise (time that can be used doing something else) and about 10 minutes of active time involved to roll out the dough and top the pizza. They take about 20 minutes to bake. On a busy night in town, it can take that long to have a pizza delivered. If time is a concern, you could use a pre-made crust such as Boboli. You'll still save money over delivery.

Dadguy asked what kind of sauce I use on homemade pizza. I use either homemade pizza and pasta sauce (recipe to follow) or Ragu Pizza sauce that I buy in the large institutional-size cans at the warehouse club. Which I do depends on my mood and the cost of tomato sauce. At regular prices, the homemade is only a fraction of a cent per ounce cheaper than the Ragu. But occasionally I can find the institutional-size cans of tomato sauce at a very low price* and will make my own.

I use a versatile bread recipe for the crust. It's suitable for both thin or deep-dish pizzas, bread sticks, dinner rolls, buns, pitas and of course, bread. It can be made with water or milk, sugar or honey, your choice of cooking oil and with white, wheat or a combination of flours.

Pizza Crust from Versatile Bread Recipe

2 cups water or milk at 105° to 110° F.
2 Tablespoons bulk dry yeast (or individual 2 packets)
2 Tablespoons sugar or honey
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
2 Tablespoons olive oil (or oil of your choice)
5 to 5-1/2 cups flour

Combine warm water, yeast and sugar in bowl of standing mixer (or large bowl if mixing by hand). Let stand for 10 minutes to proof.

Add salt; stir. Add oil; stir. Add flour: I use a Bosch Universal mixer and can add it all at once. If you are using a KitchenAid, other mixer, or mixing by hand, add flour a little at a time. Using the dough hook attachment, knead dough until soft, smooth and elastic. That will take about 4 minutes in a Bosch, about 10 minutes in a KitchenAid and who knows how long by hand.

Turn dough out into a well-oiled bowl. Cover and let rise in a draft-free place (inside the microwave is good) until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

After dough rises, punch down and knead lightly by hand about 5 times.

For thick "hand-tossed: crust: Heat oven to 375°F. Divide dough into 2 portions. Using rolling pin, roll each portion of dough into a circle about 12 inches in diameter or to the size of your pan or pizza stone. Using a fork, prick holes all over surface of the dough. Bake for about 7 minutes, remove from oven and top with sauce and your favorite toppings, then return to oven and bake until cheese is golden brown, about 12 minutes more.

For thin crust pizza: Follow above directions, but divide dough into 3, or even 4, portions before rolling.

For deep-dish pizza similar to Pizza Hut Pan pizza: Divide dough into three equal portions. Pour 1/4 to 1/3 cup of oil into each of three 12" deep-dish pizza pans. Roll each dough portion into a 13-14" circle, lift and place into pan (dough will contract to fit fairly well). Don't be concerned if oil comes up over top of dough. Cover pans and let dough rise for an hour. While dough rises, heat oven to 400°. Top each pan of dough with sauce and favorite toppings. Bake for 15-20 minutes until cheese is golden brown and crust is brown on bottom.

Annie's Pizza and Pasta Sauce

This is a no-cook sauce. Just add the ingredients to tomato sauce. Use what you need and freeze the rest in 2 cup portions in zipper freezer bags. Just fill them, lay them on a cookie sheet to freeze, the stack them in the freezer after they've frozen solid.

30 ounces (2 15-ounce cans) tomato sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons oregano leaves
2 teaspoons basil leaves
1-1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1-1/2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1-1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon fennel seed, crushed
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 "splashes" (about 1/8 teaspoon or so) Worcestershire sauce

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well. Heat over low heat to use over pasta, or use at room temperature when making homemade pizza.

Freeze leftovers in zippered freezer bags.

Makes approximately 4 cups of sauce.

I also have this recipe proportioned for the extra-large institutional can (6.5 pound can) of tomato sauce. Anyone who can use that version of the recipe is welcome to request it by email. The address is in my profile.

* We have a couple of good freight salvage stores in our area. They have grocery items at very low prices. This isn't spoiled, damaged or out-of-date food. It's simply food (and other merchandise) that has somehow been lost during shipping and ends up in central clearing houses to be auctioned off to store owners like these who sell the merchandise at deep discounts.


DadGuy said...

Thanks for posting your pizza recipe! We use a bread machine to mix the pizza crust and then spread it out on a pizza stone. It's a bit different than regular bread/roll dough, but not vastly different than what you have posted. We have a "sweeter" recipe and a more healthy recipe. They both taste quite good. Drop me a line if you're interested in those. (Or maybe my wife, she might get it to you faster... =) )

I'll have to try your sauce recipe. What is labeled as ragu here where I live tastes... pretty bad. It is in the same exact bottles as the wal-mart generic stuff, just with a different label. I've tried a few different sauces, but the only one that is fairly good is contadina's pizza sauce. I've not found something that is quite right, but that comes close. I'm looking forward to trying out yours. Thanks!

Annie Jones said...

So, do you do most of the cooking at your house, or is it a joint effort. Shane will join me in the kitchen any time I ask, but rarely does he fly solo. He does do most of the grilling, though.

My homemade sauce is somewhere between a pasta sauce and a pizza sauce. I haven't quite figured out how to replicate the pizza sauce flavor. Try might like it, and if not, my feelings won't be hurt.

And yes, I'm interested in the recipes. Whenever you or Bon have a free moment. (Yeah, I know you're LOLing at the idea of a "free moment".)

DadGuy said...

I'm about as picky and opinionated about food as a person can get. So I tend to end up cooking so I can eat what I like. My wife has much more time to do so, but I've always liked cooking. I just have a pretty narrow scope of what I cook. Like most things I do, I prefer to do it right or not at all.

I'll see what I can do for you on the recipes.

Maria said...

I came across your recipe after doing a search for deep dish pizza crust recipes and fixed it for dinner tonight. My entire family LOVED it! That is the closest recipe to Pizza Hut deep dish that we've ever had! Thank you so much! With a recipe like this one I think that we will go for homemade more often than take out too!

Anonymous said...

can i freeze the pizza for later use??? and how long does it last if frozen?