With the holidays coming, we have family visiting from out of town and out of state. We generally have a Christmas Eve buffet for the entire family and then a traditional Christmas ham dinner with folks who are able to attend. But with the hustle and bustle that comes with the season, add in the multiple family obligations, and things get a bit crazy. I’m sure you’re family is a lot like mine in this respect. Some nights, dinner can be a challenge.
People are tired of rich foods. People don’t have time to eat. People are in and out of the house for shopping and school programs. When I was a child, we often had homemade pizzas for a special treat meal. When I grew up, takeout pizza became a standard option when life got too busy for cooking. I’ll admit I prefer homemade pizza to takeout, since I can be more selective in the toppings I add. However, I’ve had real trouble finding a good crust recipe.
I’ve used all the pre-packaged dough mixes, and had varying degrees of success with those. I’ve used the pre-made refrigerated dough from the grocery, with better results. But I’ve finally found a made from scratch dough recipe that works for me! My husband even says that it’s “Better than takeout”!
Perfect Pizza Dough
1 teaspoon salt
3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ¼ cup water
1 package yeast
Using warm water, about 100 degrees Fahrenheit, fill a measuring cup to 1 and ¼ marking. Sprinkle yeast on top and stir to mix. Let yeast and water rest for about 5 minutes. Mix salt and 1 cup of flour in a large mixing bowl. Stir yeast and water into flour and salt mix. Use a large wooden spoon for stirring and add remaining flour, one cup at a time. Stir between additions so dough will form.
Lightly flour counter or kneading surface. Place dough on surface and knead for 10 minutes. Dough will become elastic with kneading. Place dough in oil coated bowl. Set in warm spot to rise for one hour. Punch dough down, and allow dough to rest for 5 minutes.
Spread on pizza stone or baking sheet. Bake in 415 degree Fahrenheit oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and add toppings, return to oven and bake another 10 to 15 minutes.
Approximate Nutritional Information: Servings Per Recipe: 16, Amount Per Serving: Calories: 100, Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 145g, Total Carbs: 21g, Protein: 3g.
Mozzarella cheese, pepperoni and mushrooms
Ham, pineapple and cheddar cheese
Barbecue sauce, chicken and onions with cheddar cheese
Mozzarella cheese, ham, bacon and sausage
Green peppers, red peppers, onions, mushrooms and mozzarella cheese
Alfredo sauce, broccoli and chicken with mozzarella cheese
Make it a Meal: serve with tossed salad for a fully balanced meal.
Variation: Add oregano or Italian spice mix to the flour while mixing the dough to bake in extra seasoning flavor. Bake the dough without traditional pizza topping, adding light coating of oil, spices and Parmesan cheese during the last 5 minutes of baking time. Serve this bread with pasta dishes.
This is a good recipe to use when the kids invite all their friends over and you want to give them some entertainment along with their meal. Divide the dough into individual portion sized balls and let each children top their own pizza.