Monday, January 7, 2013

Homemade Pizza

My family likes to eat pizza (what family doesn't?) and I like to make it. Did you know that depending on the ingredients you buy for toppings, you can make your own pizza at home and save some money? And you will get a better product than that $5 stuff.

Pepperoni is the favorite topping around here, with some of us liking olives, and some of us not. Another favorite is cheese. I like to use a shredded Italian blend that includes mozzarella and provolone. I also add grated parmesan to all my pizzas.

Here's the recipe for the crust I use. I make it in my bread machine which makes it especially easy to do.

Pizza Dough
If using a bread machine, put the ingredients in the mixer in this order:
3 T. sugar or honey
1 1/2 t. salt
1 1/2 T. yeast
3 T. olive oil
2 cups warm water
approximately 4 cups all purpose flour

I watch how the dough forms as it goes through the first knead, and add more flour if it's looking too sticky. Once the dough has risen, remove from bread machine and divide for pizza crusts. I make 2 15x10 inch pans, and one 12-inch round, so about a quarter of the dough goes to the round, and the rest is cut in half and divided between the large rectangles. Spread the dough from the middle out to the edges. If the dough isn't spreading easily, let it rest for 5-10 minutes and try again--it will spread much easier. Once dough is spread, pierce with a fork all over to prevent bubbles. Put in a preheated 400 degree oven for 10 minutes, or until light golden brown. Top with sauce, cheese and your favorite toppings. Return to the oven for approximately 5-6 minutes. I like to put the broiler on low at the end and get the cheese lightly browned and bubbly. Let the pizzas cool for about 5 minutes before slicing.

**For the sauce, I pour one 14 oz. can of Diced Italian-Style Tomatoes in the blender and blend til smooth. This is enough to cover all three pizzas lightly--if you like thick sauce I'd do two cans.**

**I bought Carando Classic Italian Pepperoni from Smith's on sale for $2.59 for a 6 oz. pouch. It had something like 96 slices, which was plenty for both large rectangle pizzas and tasted great.**

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