One of the disadvantages of living in the middle of nowhere is that no matter how tired you are, no matter how busy you are, no matter how lazy you are, there's just no pizza places around that are willing to deliver 40 miles north or 45 miles south. I can't imagine why! After doing some rummaging around in recipes boxes, cookbooks and on-line sites, I found a recipe for homemade pizza that's almost as easy as delivery, and way better than DiGiorno!! In fact, it's become a bit of a Friday night staple at our house.
One of the things I like best about it is that the crust is made in my bread-maker, so I just have to throw the ingredients in and walk away for an hour. So here is that part of the recipe which I found on cdkitchen.com:
(makes 2 crusts)
1 cup water PLUS
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons oil
3 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast+
I use warm water, to speed up the rising time, olive oil instead of vegetable, and about 2 tsp. of sugar. Be sure to add the ingredients to the mixing bowl of your machine in the order given. You could also add any herbs you wanted at the end of this list too. Then turn on your machine to the "dough" feature and let it go to work.
After about 55 minutes, my dough is ready to go.
I learned a little secret from my friend the Farmer's Wife, and that is to use vegetable shortening to grease the pizza pans. It works really slick because it is sticky enough to help keep the dough where you want it while you're stretching it and it makes a really crisp bottom crust too. I like to make a bit of a rim around the pizza pan with the dough to make a more pronounced crust.
Now, I will let you in on my pizza sauce. I discovered it purely by accident. I was mixing up pizzas one night, only to discover that I had only one can of tomato paste--no sauce either, but lots of tomato soup. One of the things I dislike about some pizza sauce is that it is so acidic due to the tomato, so one usually needs to add a little sugar to counter act. But this time I pulled out a can of condensed tomato soup, so I could stretch the paste a little further. I was kind of expecting it to be a one-time deal, because I didn't think it would taste very good. But I added some Italian seasoning and some garlic salt, spread it around and then added our toppings (sausage and mushroom, cheese, ham and pineapple, and tomato and bacon are the favorites around here). I gotta say, it's a pretty darn good sauce, and I haven't gone back to jarred pizza sauce since! What is it that they say? Necessity is the mother of invention right?
After the toppings are good to go, you bake it in a preheated 400 degree oven for 18-20 minutes.
All four of my kids, plus my husband (and really, even me) are pretty much pizza hounds. We like it a lot. Now, they actually prefer MY pizza to any we can get in town except at the Airport Inn. That's a pretty good compliment, I think. Ben even likes me to make extra so he can take it to school in his lunch as a leftover... and he hates leftovers.
If you're ever craving good pizza, but can't have it delivered for some reason or another, give this a try. It's not fancy or gourmet, but it passes the kid and husband test!