Friday, April 3, 2009

Super Fast Pizza

For years, whenever I didn't want to cook, or if my husband and I were going to go out on a date, we would order pizza for the kids. Normally we would order 2 medium pizzas, or one 16" pizza. Each time they would deliver the pizza, I would be frustrated when I wrote the check! Yes, the pizza was delicious, but was it really worth the $20-$25+ dollars when you paid for tip and pizza? Over the past year, I decided to just make my own pizza instead. When I saw the savings, I was hooked. When I tasted it, I was even more hooked. Then, when my kids started saying, "This is the best pizza EVER", I knew I was done ordering out. As of today, Domino's 16" Original Crust Pepperoni & Olive pizza is $18 (plus tax & tip), and deep dish is $19.50 (plus tax & tip). Making your own is a great way to use your food storage and save a ton of money.

So, here is a recipe I love for perfect pizza crust:

1 1/2 cup warm water
2 TBS olive oil
4 1/2 cup all purpose flour (or can use 1/2 whole wheat)
2 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp dry yeast

Put water, yeast and sugar in bowl. Let sit for a couple of minutes until yeast starts to bubble. Add remainder of ingredients and knead with dough hook for about 5 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic. Note: If you are in a hurry, just put all ingredients in order listed and start kneading. When done, remove to floured board if using immediately. Or, place in bowl greased with olive oil, turn dough over to coat it, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.

Makes either 2 12" pizzas or one thicker 16" pizza.

Here is how I finish it:

Roll out or stretch by hand.

Spray pizza pan and cover with cornmeal.

Place crust on pan.

Spread a 6 oz can of tomato paste onto crust. You can use pizza sauce or spaghetti sauce, but tomato paste is very inexpensive. Sprinkle Italian seasonsing all over crust. We like a lot.

Put toppings on. Sprinkle again with seasonings. Now, you can wrap the pizza with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use, or freeze for another day. If you are ready to eat, bake it now!

Place in preheated 400 degree oven until crust is golden brown and toppings are hot and bubbly. If you have a pizza stone, follow directions for that. It makes the crust crispy and even more delicious.

Total cost of pizza"
Crust: less than $1.00
Tomato Paste: .33 cents
Cheese: $1.33 (I bought a 2 lb. loaf on sale for $3.98 and used 1/3 of it)
Pepperoni: .99 cents (I bought a 6 oz package on sale for $1.98 and used 1/2 of it)
Total cost: less than $3.65

Tip: When cheese goes on sale for $2.00 or less per pound (usually in 2 pound loafs), buy lots. I shred it in my food processor and then freeze it. Same with pepperoni. It stays in the freezer for when we need another quick pizza meal. Right now at Smith's you can buy a 5 lb bag of shredded cheddar for $7.99! That is an AWESOME price. Only $1.60 per pound!

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