Want to toss pizza night up to new heights but your budget is stretched thin? Gourmet pizzeria prices leaving you cheesed off? Is there a way to stretch your dough and still raise your pizza expectations?
Pizza at home is a slice above when you make your own dough and sauce and experiment with toppings. This method for homemade pizza simplicity is cheap, easy, and fast.
Make your own dough for homemade pizza simplicity
Making a delicious dough that can even be accomplished on a weeknight is the key to homemade pizza simplicity. You can make pizza dough that is ready for the oven in less than an hour. Of course, yeast, water, salt, sugar, and flour cost next to nothing. I often get my basic staples at Aldi where they are even cheaper.
Related post: Is Aldi Worth an Extra Trip?
To a large bowl add…
- 1.25 cups warm water
- 1.5 teaspoons sugar (dissolve by stirring)
- .25 ounces (2.25 teaspoons) active dry yeast (give a gentle stir to moisten the yeast cells)
- Allow the mix to rest for 5 minutes.
- Then add 3 cups flour (you can add some whole wheat etc. for texture)
- 2 teaspoons salt (optional)
- Mix together for 2 minutes (I use a stand mixer with a dough hook, but kneading works).
- Then add 1 teaspoon olive oil (lubricating the mixing a bit)
- Mix or knead for another 6 minutes or so.
- Place the dough in an oily bowl and cover it. A warm spot will speed rising.
- Allow the dough to rise for 45 minutes or so.
Homemade pizza simplicity: pizza sauce
Making your own sauce is easy and yields a healthier product. You have complete control over sugar, salt, and additives. Even if you only used uncooked, crushed tomato as your sauce, it would still tastes pretty good, so don’t worry about messing it up. You can decide the amount of oregano, basil, garlic, etc. If you want to get adventurous, there are a lot of unconventional sauce ideas to try.
- Add the tomatoes. I like to use canned, crushed tomatoes with no salt added when tomatoes are out of season. You can add tomato paste if you like a thicker sauce. The large can in the picture will make sauce for two pizzas. If you are watching your sodium intake, pay attention when buy canned tomatoes.
- Olive oil (a couple table spoons)
- Seasoning (basil, fresh garlic, oregano, etc… to taste)
- Simmer for a while and taste it a couple of times. Simmer the sauce while your dough is rising so the flavors can meld and some moisture can evaporate.
If you really want homemade pizza simplicity, you don’t even have to make a true sauce. Slice some tomatoes (thin) and allow some of the moisture to drip out of the slices. Then spread them out on the pizza dough with some olive oil and Italian seasonings – very fresh and tasty.
You could also make a pesto sauce that is ready in thirty minutes.
Put it all together
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees (a little lower for thicker crust).
Oil your pan. Almost any kind of cooking tray or pan will work; you don’t need to go out and buy something just for pizza.
Spread the dough. Decide if you want thin, hand-tossed, thick, whatever. Sprinkle some flour on your prep. surface and hands. Stretch the dough out from the center with your finger tips and the heels of your palms. Flip the dough over once or twice while you do this. Once the dough is close to your desired shape, flop it onto the cookware and give a final shaping.
Chop all your desired ingredients. This is my favorite part and works best with a glass of wine and good company. I always keep some marinated veggies, canned olives, red onions, anchovies, etc. on hand. Remember that a large quantity of fresh veggies will release a lot of moisture and could make your pizza soggy.
Add the sauce, cheese, and toppings. Go easy on the cheese and sauce; you don’t need too much. When the cheese melts, it will seem like more and you can always put extra sauce in the freezer.
Put the pizza in the oven. If you have convection, use it.
How do you know when your homemade pizza simplicity is ready to eat? When the pizza looks done (top and bottom) it is done.
NOTE: No matter how great your oven is, cooking two pizzas at the same time can cause them to cook unevenly. If they are side-by-side, it is not so bad, but if they are on different racks at the same time, it can cause problems (e.g., the top is burned and the bottom is doughy).
Homemade pizza simplicity conclusion
If you call a gourmet pizzeria when you want to have a fancier pizza night, you could end up dropping a nice chunk of cash. Bargain pizza tends to be bit gross. Pizza is supposed to be cheap but also good. When you take the time to make your own pizza from scratch, the difference is easy to taste. You have complete control over the ingredients, the recipe, and the costs.
Homemade pizza simplicity means that you can get creative. I recommend trying eggs and bacon pizza. Fry the bacon first and then plop three or four eggs on the top of the pizza when it is about half-way done – I love it.
How do you like your pizza? Any bizarre combinations that I should try? Please leave a comment.