I love pizza, but can’t afford to eat delivery very often. I decided to try making it myself at one point and I found that it is a very cheap meal to make and is better than delivery. I started out with a recipe for the crust from the Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book and I “fixed” it.
I use an XL round pizza pan (16” I think), so this recipe makes a rather large pizza. If you have smaller pans, you can probably get away with either halving the recipe or just cut the resultant dough ball in half and make two. The dough is storable also, so if you don’t want to bake the other half right away, it can go in the refrigerator for a couple of days.
3 cups flour (total)
Approx. 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
12 oz. of Hunt’s canned spaghetti sauce (I use the 4-cheese variety. You can use any other brand you like)
Any assorted toppings you want on it. A 6oz. bag of pepperoni will make two pizzas.
2 tablespoons of oil (I use a canola blend, but olive oil works well too)
1 ½ teaspoon dry active yeast (approx. 1 package)
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup warm water
Olive oil cooking spray
Bake time 30 min.
Prep time 30 min.
Heat oven to 425 degrees F
Put 1 ½ cup of flour in a large non-metallic bowl, spreading the flour out in the bottom. Make two small depressions on opposite sides of the flour with your measuring cup. In one depression, place the yeast and the salt. Put the oil in the other. Add the water and stir with a non-metallic spoon. The dough will be a little runny and lumpy at this stage which is ok because you’ll be adding in the rest of the flour in ½ cup at a time so that by the end of the mixing, you’ll have added all three cups. You want the dough to look and feel a bit like a ball of playdough. If it’s sticky, add a little more flour or if it’s too dry with little pieces flaking off add more water, just a few splashes at a time (be sure the water you add is warm).
The original recipe called for using a hand mixer, but I’d advise against that unless you have a large mixer with a dough hook. You can also use a bread machine for making the dough. I generally just use a big spoon and mix it by hand because any other way makes a huge mess and the bread machine takes an hour for pizza dough.
Once you’ve got a nice dough ball, set the bowl with the dough ball in it in a warm spot to rest for 15 min. I set mine on the oven with a small towel over the bowl. Don’t let it rest for longer than 15 min because you don’t want it to have a chance to rise.
After the 15 min rest time, spray the pizza pan with the cooking spray. Place the dough on the pan and spray the dough a little with the cooking spray – just enough so that your rolling pin won’t stick or you can spray the rolling pin. I spray the dough because I use my hands instead of a rolling pin.
If you use your hands, use the heels of your palms to start out with, in the center of the dough ball and start squishing it out evenly toward the edges of the pan. I do it this way because it makes it much easier to form the ring for the crust – you want the outer inch or so to be thicker. Once the dough is spread most of the way out, you can finish flattening it out with a rolling pin in the center and then push the excess into the crust ring.
Once the dough is flattened out in the pan, prick it all over with a fork (except for the outer crust), then spray lightly with cooking spray. Bake for 10 min or until it starts to brown.
Spread the spaghetti sauce out on the crust, avoiding the thicker outer crust.
Sprinkle about half of the cheese on top of the sauce followed by any toppings you like, and then sprinkle the other half of the cheese on top of the toppings.
Bake again for about 10 min or until bubbly, cut and enjoy!