I've been meaning to add recipes to this blog for a long time. I'm going to stick to the crowd-pleasers that work consistently for me and along with the basic ingredients and instructions I'll tell you how I save money with them.
My son did some calculating today and figured out that we make five pizzas for under $20.00 with this recipe. The price sure beats any you'll find for frozen or take out pizzas and it tastes just as good (my family thinks it's better!). I'm giving you the basic recipe for cheese or pepperoni pizza here. Obviously there's a million different toppings you can use to suit your own tastes.
I cut costs in several ways. The dough is just cheap to make. You can substitute canola oil for the olive oil to drive down the cost even more and no one will notice.
I get a huge blocks of mozzarella (4" x 4" x 12"?) at the wholesale club. It costs $27.00. I used a little less than a third of it for all five pizzas. For the sauce I use canned spaghetti sauce which I find for about $1.18 a 680 ml (around 20 oz) can but often is $.99 in the US.
For the dough:
2 cups warm water
4 tsp. yeast
4 tsp. sugar or honey
7 cups flour
4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup olive or canola oil
2 cups warm water
For the sauce:
1 1/2 cans (680 ml or about 20 oz) of spaghetti sauce
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
dried basil and oregano to taste
salt and pepper to taste
5 cups grated cheese (measure after grating)
1 pepperoni stick (1 1/2 inches wide x at least 5 inches long), sliced very thinly
1. Mix yeast and sugar or honey into the warm water until it is dissolved and let sit for 10 minutes. The yeast should form a froth on top of the water, otherwise it is inactive and you need to start again with new yeast.
2. Mix flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Pour in the yeast mixture. Add the oil and another cup of warm water. Mix it all together thoroughly until it forms a ball. Add in more water as needed to get a doughy consistency.
3. Knead the dough to mix it thoroughly for about four minutes. Clean your bowl, add a tsp. of oil to it and return the dough to it, turning it over to coat with the oil. Cover with a clean cloth and let rise for 15 - 45 minutes. If you let it rise longer, the final dough will be lighter, but I've used it after barely 10 minutes or so and it's really just fine.
4. Put a drop of oil on each baking pan and spread it around to grease the pans. I use rectangular pans sized so that I can have two side-by-side on an oven rack at one time. Divide the dough into 5 equal chunks and roll them out until they fit your pan with a little overlapping the edges. Place on the pan and then roll the edges over to make a crust.
5. Pierce each one in several places with a fork so no air bubbles build up during cooking time. Use a quarter of a can of sauce on each pizza (roughly 1/2 - 1 cup) and spread it around. Sprinkle with some of the garlic, basil, oregano, salt and pepper to taste. Spread a cup of grated mozzarella cheese over each pizza (use more if necessary to get good coverage). Top with thin slices of pepperoni, if desired.
6. Only bake what you can fit on one rack at a time. Watch your pizzas until you get a feel for how long they take in your oven since temperatures can vary from oven to over and your pans might be different than mine. I cook mine at just under 350 degrees F for 15 minutes.