Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Easiest Homemade Pizza Night Ever

 What can I say?  I married a guy who loves pizza.  But when we moved to this very rural part of Indiana, our delivery options sort of went out the window. 

So now we make it ourselves and have made it a family tradition every Sunday night.  It works out great because the hubby is always starving after church in the evening (and after a busy day of preaching and stuff) - he just wants to kick back.

So what I do is throw the ingredients into the bread machine before we leave for the Sunday night service and voila - when we get back home the pizza dough is ready. 

Now, you may be thinking - I don't have a bread machine nor do I want to spend the money on one.  They are usually pretty easy to pick up at a thrift store, if you know what you are looking for.  If the machine can be plugged in and turns on that is a good sign.  Then it needs to have the metal "basket" (as I like to call it - see the handle below) which is removable.  The last piece is that small (but very important) paddle that actually mixes the dough you will find in the bottom of the metal "basket."  I found mine at a thrift store for $8 and I am so glad I took the risk, since at the time I knew nothing about bread machines.

 Here is the recipe I use for my pizza dough made in a bread machine.  I wish I could give credit, but I have no idea where it is from since I have had it copied on a recipe card for a while.  So follow this simple tutorial and you'll be making your own pizza in no time.
3/4 C warm water
1 T oil
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1 T sugar
1 T dry milk powder
2 1/4 C bread flour (you can also use all-purpose flour)
1 tsp active dry yeast

 Put everything in your bread machine (or in the order recommended by the manufacturer of your bread machine) in the order you see listed above.  Select Dough cycle.  When it is done, it should look like this.

 Pull it out and this is where you can show off your pizza twirling skills.  If you lack that skill, like me, you can just do your best to fight with the dough until it gets to the shape you need it to be to look nice on your pizza pan (or if you happen to have one of those awesome pizza stones, then use that).  I also like to throw out some cornmeal to keep things from getting to sticky (same concept as using flour to roll out other kinds of dough).

Next I spoon on some sauce.  Use the amount that looks good to you.  One observation that I have had is that you need more sauce when you have made a crust with bread flour.  Now I am not a pizza connoisseur like my husband, but that is the only significant difference I have noticed between using bread flour and all-purpose flour in the dough.

 Here is the recipe I use for my pizza sauce.  I don't put everything in - just what I have on hand.  I have to say this is my favorite recipe, probably because it starts with just a little can of tomato paste.

Now top that with some mozzarella cheese and pepperoni or whatever toppings you would like.  If you haven't noticed, we do not branch out too much.  But, by all means, be creative and come up with some yummy topping combinations.

 Now before you throw that delicious looking pizza into the oven (which by the way, needs to be preheating at 350 degrees) I will throw in my little plug for Aldi.  No, I do not work for them, but I just have to say I love this little grinder (is anyone else addicted to spice grinders?)  I like to put this on our pizza before putting it in the oven.

 Then let it bake for about 25- 30 minutes. 

And that is it --ENJOY . . . and think about starting your own little family tradition!

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