Monday, January 28, 2013


What’s cooking? Pizza!

I’m going to assume that not everyone knows how to make pizza, or how to make pizza dough. Whether you chose to make your own dough or to use store bought dough, creating your own gourmet pizzas to feed your family will give you a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment.

Not to mention saving you money. Most gourmet pizzas from places like Bertucci’s, Ronzios, or other national pizza shops cost upwards of $15.99 or more. Believe me, with a little time and instruction, you can make these pizzas for way less, and have the satisfaction of nourishing your family and pleasing them beyond measure.

Using a bread machine to make pizza dough, or making it “by hand” doesn’t matter; either way gets the job done.

Here is a simple pizza dough recipe that works in the bread maker or by hand and instructions for making it half whole wheat, which my family has found to be very tasty.

Pizza Dough                                                         Half & Half Pizza Dough
(all white)

10 ½ oz. very warm water                                   12 oz. very warm water (1 ½ c.)
     (1 ¼ c. plus 1 Tbl.)                                         1  tsp. sugar
1 tsp. sugar                                                         2 ¼ tsp. yeast                                                          
2 ¼ tsp. yeast (or 1 packet)                                  1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. salt                                                            2 Tbl. Vegetable oil
¼ c. vegetable oil                                                 2 c. white flour
4 c. flour                                                              2 c. whole wheat flour

Put sugar into bowl and add the warm water. Add yeast, cover bowl with a cloth, and let sit about 5 minutes to activate yeast. Add salt, oil, and flour(s), mixing well with wooden spoon. Knead dough on floured surface for about 5 minutes. Grease bowl well. Place dough into bowl, then flip, so top is greased. Cover with a cloth and let rise in a warm spot for 45 minutes to an hour. I heat my electric oven up to 150° for about 10 minutes while I’m making the dough, then shut it off before I put it in to rise. When doubled in size, take the bowl out and punch the dough down. Knead again for about 5 minutes and let rest, covered, for 10 minutes. Cut in half and press into greased pans for your pizza. Both these recipes make enough for 2 full cookie sheets or large round pizza pans.

Now the real fun begins…what kind of sauce and toppings do you want? Even if you want a typical tomato-based sauce, there are many ways you can make it. You can use jarred pizza sauce or even spaghetti  sauce for days when time is at a premium, or create your own. We’ll talk about tomato-based sauce now, and other sauces and different cheeses another time.

Simply use tomato sauce, or tomato paste with water added to thin it out (2/3 c. water per 6 oz. can of paste).

For each small can add 1 tsp. sugar, 1 tsp. dry basil, 1 tsp. dry oregano, ½ tsp. onion powder, ½ tsp. garlic powder (any or all of these spices, according to your taste).

You can also use drained diced tomatoes in place of “sauce,” or use crushed tomatoes, and add the above sugar and spices or leave it au natural. I actually love to have “chunk” to my sauce, whether it’s on spaghetti or pizza, so I prefer crushed or diced, but I have used all of these sauce recipes.

Some people also prefer to use fresh tomatoes, either diced small or even sliced and layered on the pizza. You can sprinkle some spices on top if you’d like, or just leave them alone. Or add freshly minced garlic, freshly picked basil, the sky’s the limit.

All of these choices for tomato-based sauces are tasty on pizza, but it all comes down to your particular tastes, and also what toppings you plan to put on your pizza. Most meats and vegetables pair well with them, but some of the spices may not. As I always say, don’t be afraid to fool around with the recipe and try things. You never know when you’ll come up with a new family favorite! ~TMMF

1 comment:

  1. Very well done your writing and the "results" of your recipe that we all enjoyed!