is an incredibly versatile food with great kid appeal. Best of
all, using the
recipes and techniques on this page you'll be able to make a large
pizza with the works for less than $3!
Home made pizza
differs a little bit from the delivery and frozen varieties.
Made at home, pizza is less greasy, the flavor is usually fresher,
and the texture of the crust is a little different, to my taste buds,
much better. There is a plethora of choices for inexpensive
toppings at home, and we'll get to them in a minute. In order
to explain this as simply as I can though, I will start at the bottom
and work my way up to the toppings. First come the:
You don't need round pizza pans to make homemade pizza. Any
ordinary rectangular pan will work just as well.
Pizza dough doesn't know what shape it is supposed to be, so you can
use this to your advantange, making your pizza in a combination of
pans you already own. With that said, I must confess that I use
round pizza pans which I found on sale once for $2 a piece. My
children had been covetting round pizza for so long, that when I saw
them I went ahead and bought them. My pans are about 16-inches
in diameter. This is equivalent to a large delivery pizza.
I almost always make two at a time so I will have enough leftovers
for lunch boxes the next day. My recipes are geared for two
16-inch round pizzas, or two 9 by 13-inch rectangular baking
pans. Use whatever sized pans you find lurking in the
cabinet. If you are making individual pizzas for a bevy of boy
scouts or a gaggle of girl scouts, these recipes will make about 4 to
6 aluminum pie pans worth.
Three good crust recipes appear to the
right. All 3 makes good tasting crusts. Each type has
it's ove advantages so use the one that suits your situation the
best. Make sure you allow the dough to rest before pressing it
into the pan. This relaxes the protein or gluten in the dough
and makes it easier to roll out.
If you don't want to
make your own dough from scratch, frozen bread dough may be used
instead. Two loaves of frozen bread dough can be taken out to
thaw in the morning. They will be ready to press into
cookie sheets or baking pans by evening.
If you like a crispy
crust for gnawing on after eating the rest of the pizza, try this
trick. Use a pastry brush or small spoon to dribble a little
oil around the outer edge of the crust right before baking the
pizza. I fill a clean ketchup bottle with oil and dribble it
though the squirty spout onto the edges of the pizza. This does
something exotic and delicious to the crust that is difficult to
explain, but tastes very good. I like it so much; I always
prepare it this way.
To the right you'll find 2 tomato based sauces
and one cream based sauce. All 3 are delicious, easy and fast
to prepare. If you prefer you can use a large can of spaghetti
sauce instead of a hoemmade sauce. A 26-ounce can will cover 2
Mozzarella and Parmesan are traditional for pizza, but other cheeses
add variety. Cheddar, Monterey Jack, and Provolone are
good alone or in combination with Mozzarella.
To make a plain cheese
pizza spread the sauce on a prepared crust. Scatter about two
cups of cheese on top of the sauce and then sprinkle with a few
shakes of Parmesan. The final sprinkling with Parmesan cooks up
very nicely, and makes for a tastier pizza. This is one of the
secrets to an extra good finished product. For cheese pizza I
usually use 1-1/2 cups of Mozzarella and 1/2-cup of Cheddar
cheese. This is attractive to look at and tastes good too. I
used to put a lot more cheese on pizza, closer to 3 or 4-cups per
16-inch pizza. One day I didn't have much cheese in the fridge
so I was forced to use less by circumstances. The pizza turned
out much nicer with less cheese. Since then I have made it my
custom to use no more than 2-cups of cheese per pizza. For
individual pie-plate-sized pizzas 1/2-cup of cheese is plenty.
Probably not everyone is as much of a cheese glutton as I am, and has
figured this one out already.
Vegetarian Toppings: Many
types of vegetables are delicious on pizza. Green Peppers,
Green & Black Olives, Mushrooms,
Onions, Sliced Tomatoes, Green Chilies and Hot Peppers are the most
common. Fresh vegetables should be thinly sliced or finely
chopped before arranging on top of the cheese. Some fresh
vegetables like bell peppers, onions and mushrooms can be
sautéed into the sauce if desired, this adds depth of flavor
to both the veggies and the sauce.
Canned items should be
very well drained, and even rinsed if you think it necessary. I
buy canned mushroom stems & pieces in 4-ounce cans for fifty
cents a piece at my local dollar store. One
can, well drained, is enough to generously cover a 16"
pizza. Small cans of minced black olives are widely available
and inexpensive. The kids hate them, but adults adore
them. Fresh tomatoes, thinly sliced are scrumptious on pizza,
especially if you drizzle them with a tiny bit of oil before
baking. They lend a juicy and toothsome quality to the finished
dish. Hot peppers are available from mild Green Chili Peppers
to fiery Jalapenos and smokey Chipolte Peppers which should be used
sparingly, even by hot pepper lovers.
I am very fond
of canned pineapple chunks on my pizza, especially when paired with
ham or bacon-type toppings. Not everyone can go for fruit on
their pizzas though, so let your own family's taste buds be your
guide. If you decide to use them, then drain them well and
scatter about a cup of pineapple chunks over the cheese before
baking. They are sweet and contrast nicely with hot peppers for
a vegetarian delight.
Spinach Alfredo Pizza is
easily made at home. Use your standard crust recipe and then
prepare the Alfredo Sauce to the right. Top the sauce with at least 2
cups of finely chopped fresh spinach. If you must use frozen
spinach then follow this procedure. First allow the spinach to
thaw. Then squeeze the spinach to remove as much of the liquid as
possible. Tear it into small bits with your fingers and then arrange
it on the pizza. One cup of well drained spinach is plenty for
a large pizza. Some people add additional mozzarella or
Parmesan cheese to their pizza at this point but I do not. A
light sprinkling of parmesan would be nice if you had plenty to spare.
Meat Toppings: Many
types of meat products are good on pizza. I
have used most meats, to good advantage on pizza.
Ground Beef or Turkey
is a favorite. Fry it loose in a skillet and drain off all the
fat. Then spoon it over the cheese. Half a pound of
ground beef is enough for one 16-inch pizza. A pound is enough
for a large cookie sheet pizza.
Bulk Pork or Turkey Sausage
may be prepared the same way. As with the beef, be certain to
cook it all the way through. Pork Sausage is Fred's favorite
topping on pizza, besides pepperoni, which I seldom buy because of
Prepared meats, like
baloney, hotdogs, bacon and smoked sausage are good on pizza too.
Baloney is best
cut into triangles and fried before putting on the pizza.
Hotdogs and Smoked Sausage
should be sliced thinly and scattered about the surface of the
cheese. Two to three hotdogs, or a third of a pound of smoked
sausage will be enough for a 16-inch pizza, depending on how thinly
you slice them.
Six or eight slices
of Pork or Turkey
are enough for one 16-inch pizza. Fry the bacon crisp and
then crumble it onto the pizza.
Other items you might
not have thought of
are tuna packed in oil (and well drained) and canned anchovies.
I am very fond of anchovies, so this is a favorite of mind.
Tuna is especially good with black olives. One 6-ounce can is
enough for a 16-inch pizza.
Ham makes a
great topping. Sliced Sandwich Ham is best cut into thin strips
and sizzled in a little oil before scattering over the pizza.
Baked or Canned Hams should be cut up finely and scattered over the
cheese before baking. About 4 to 6-ounces of ham is enough for a
Bye Bye Delivery!
Crust - Make Ahead Crust - Bread
Machine Pizza Crust - Almost Instant
Pizza Sauce - Easy Seasoned Italian Sauce
- Alfredo Sauce - Cooking Instructions
- Final Cost
For the Crust:
2-1/2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dry yeast
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup oil
In a medium sized
bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt and yeast. Stir it
up to distribute the salt and yeast evenly. Add the water and
oil. You may need a spoonful or two more of water if the day is
dry. Mix the dough with a wooden spoon until it forms a big ball in
the middle of the bowl. It will be a little stiffer than
biscuit dough. Knead the dough about 10 or 12 times and then
form it into a ball. Place the ball in the center of 16-inch
pizza pan, or a 9 by 13-inch rectangular pan. Use your hands
and a rolling pin, to press the dough into the pan. I find a
rolling pin most effective in this effort. The dough will be a
Top the crust with
a sauce and toppings of your choice. Bake at 400° for
about 15 to 20 minutes. Eat and enjoy. Makes 1 pizza.
First prepare the
dough. In a big bowl combine the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt.
Mix it up together with a fork or spoon. Add the oil and warm
water. The water should be lukewarm, not hot. Stir with a
big spoon to form a soft bowl. Knead the dough for 3 to 5
minutes. Now set the dough aside to rest for 20 minutes. This
relaxes the gluten so it will be easier to roll out.
Now divide the
dough into two balls. Each one will make a 16-inch round pizza
or a 9 by 13-inch rectangular pan.
If you have a bevy
of boy scouts,
or a gaggle of girl scouts, give them each their own pie or cake
pan, and let them make individual pizzas. This recipe will make
4 to 6 pie-plate sized pizzas. They will think you are the finest den
mother in town.
Press the dough
into the pans. Now they are ready to be pre-baked. After
the pre-baking process they can be refrigerated or frozen until needed.
Preheat your oven
to 400°. Bake the crusts for about 8 to 10 minutes, or
until they puff up and appear slightly dry on the surface.
Allow them to cool.
To freeze the
crusts, wrap them in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil.
Smaller crusts can go into zip-lock bags. If you plan to
refrigerate them for 2 or 3 days then plastic wrap alone will be sufficient.
When you are ready
to prepare your pizza remove the crusts and allow them to thaw if
necessary. It won't take very long. Top with sauce and
the toppings of your choice. Bake at 400º for about 10 to
ingredients into the bread pan in the order listed. Make a well
in the flour and sprinkle the yeast into it. Set the machine to
it's Dough Cycle. After the dough has mixed a few minutes add a
spoonful or two of water if the dough seems very dry. On my machine
the Dough Cylce lasts 1-1/2 hours. The dough will be risen and
puffy in the bread pan when it is done kneading and rising.
Punch it down (with out hurting your fist on the paddle); and remove
it from the pan. Knead it a few times to get it deflated
properly. Divide the dough in half. Let the dough halves
rest for about 10 to 15 minutes to relax the gluten, so it's easier
to roll out. Press the dough into 2 - 14" or 16"
Top the dough with
your favorite sauce and pizza toppings. Bake at 400º for
about 15 to 20 minutes. Cut each pan into 12 slices of
pizza. Serve hot.
In a large cereal
bowl combine the tomato sauce, Italian Seasoning (or basil and
oregano), garlic powder, sugar, onion powder and oil. Mix it
well and spread it on the pizza crust. This makes enough for a
single 16-inch crust. The recipe may be doubled or tripled as desired.
2 tablespoons oil
- 2 tablespoons
- 1/2 teaspoon
- 12 oz can
- 2 cans filled
- 1 teaspoon basil
- 1/4 teaspoon
- 1 tablespoon
sugar or honey
- 1 teaspoon salt
Heat the oil in a
2 quart size saucepan. Add the dried onion and garlic. Stir the
onion and garlic around in the oil for about 20 seconds, or until it
starts to smell good. Add the tomato paste. Now fill the empty
can with fresh water and add it to the pot. Do it again, so two cans
of water have been added. Stir it all up until the sauce is smooth
and thick. Add the seasonings. Cover and simmer for about 5 or
10 minutes depending on your time and fuel situation. After the
flavors have mingled long enough to know each other better, you are
done. This makes enough for 4 pizzas.
for Spinach Pizza
1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/2 cup
freshly shredded parmesan cheese
amount of pepper
This is a very
easy and sinfully delicious recipe. Measure the cream and
butter into a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil.
Stir with a fork. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 5
minutes, or until the butter and cream are well mixed. Remove
the sauce from the heat and stir in the parmesan cheese. Stir
and stir until the cheese is melted. Add pepper to taste.
Reheat briefly if necessary. Try not to boil it or the cheese
will get all clumpy and stringy. Spread over a prepared
crust. Makes enough for 1 thickly sauced pizza crust.
You must use real cream, real butter and real parmesan for this
recipe to work. If you use substitutes like evaporated milk,
margarine and parmesan in a can the recipe won't turn out. Sorry.
It is difficult to give an exact time for how long your pizzas should
bake. Many factors go into determining this. The size of
the pan, the quantity and density of your toppings, the temperature
of the toppings and many other variables contribute to the length of
time it takes for the pizza to cook completely. As a general
rule most homemade pizzas will take between 12 and 20 minutes to cook
completely. A large thick 9 by 13-inch pizza with a pound of
cooked meat on it, and 3/4-pound of cheese may take as long as 30
minutes, so use your good sense to help you determine when it is done.
Plain cheese pizzas
cook the fastest, usually in about 12 minutes or so. The clues
I use most often is the color of the crust and the bubbly-ness of the
cheese. When the cheese it completely melted, slightly brown in
a couple of spots, and bubbling in a sort of volcanic mass, then the
pizza is done.
I usually bake my
pizza at about 400 or 425°. The high temperature makes the
crust a little lighter, and the toppings are less likely to
overcook. If the pizza seems done, take it out and stab it in
the center with a fork. Peer down at the crust, the toppings
and the cheese. If the center appears cooked all the way
through, then you can eat it. If you aren't sure, or if it
still seems a little raw in the center, then place it back in the
oven and test it again in a few minutes. If the edges are
burning, go ahead and take it out and eat it as is. The kids
won't notice, and you'll know to keep the stove temperature a little
lower next time.
Using these methods a Large Cheese Pizza winds up costing well under
$2. It can be as cheap as $1.50 per pizza if all the
ingredients are purchased on sale. Mushrooms, olives and other
vegetables increase the cost about 40 to 50¢, depending
on their purchase price. The meat toppings suggested above add
between 30¢ and 75¢ (per pizza) to the final cost, with hot
dogs and baloney being at the low end, and sausage, ground beef and
ham being at the high end. All said, exotic pizzas, with lots
of fancy toppings can be made for about $3 a piece. Or to put
it another way, for the price of one
sized name-brand frozen cheese pizza from the store, you can prepare two
with THE WORKS at home!