Thursday, June 5, 2008

Pizza from scratch

One of my mom's favorite stories to tell about her newlywed days is what has come to be known as the Pizza Debacle. She wanted to make something special for my dad, and she really wanted to prove that she could be a Happy Homemaker. She did EVERYTHING from scratch, including the dough. She popped her new pizza in the oven and about 30 minutes later went in to check on it and the dough had risen to the point of no return. She ended up with a disgusting and nasty blob of food that didn't really resemble anything. And, she hasn't made pizza since.

Interestingly enough, I never learned to make pizza from my Big Fat Italian Family. Lasagna, pasta, gnocchi, you name it! Pizza--never. My mom was scarred after her newlywed experience. I made my first pizza in college and realized it wasn't as difficult as my mom made it sound. My senior year, I orchestrated a social for my floor that included me buying the ingredients and making a few pizzas for the girls before finals. I've found that they're incredibly easy and it's almost impossible to screw them up.

Graham has had a taste for pizza for a while, but we're trying to curb our spending and eating out habits since everything is getting so expensive. This meal is super cheap to make if you're on a tight budget, and so simple and they're also fun to customize. Tonight I just did a basic pizza since that was what Graham had a taste for--next time, I get to pick what kind of pizza to make!

1 small package pepperoni
3/4 cup tomato sauce
1 small tube frozen pizza dough
Diced ham, crumbled sausage, bacon--your preference
Oregano
Basil
Onion powder
Garlic powder
1 onion, diced.
Mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Unroll the pizza dough and flatten to desired thickness. Cover dough with sauce.

Season dough and sauce with onion powder and garlic powder, enough to coat evening. Top with oregano and basil as your tastes allow.

Chop onion and top on pizza dough. Add ham/pepperoni/etc.

Cover with cheese. Leave room for the cheese to melt. Top with a few extra pepperoni/whatevers.

Pop in the oven for 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted and crust is golden brown.

Notes:
  • So...I've done this so many times that I don't even know what I'm buying. I know what I'm looking for, so I pick it up. I don't really think to take notes on sizes and ounces, etc. My apologies.
  • I used mozzarella cheese tonight. I bought a brick of it and needed to use it. I used all of it. I sliced the cheese as thin as I could, and I laid them crosswise on the pizza. They all melted pretty quickly.
  • Allow time for the pizza dough to cool after you take it out of the freezer so it's easier to manipulate. I learned that the hard way a few years ago!
  • Any kind of cheese would be great on this--I typically like to blend my cheeses, but it doesn't always matter.
  • Try a green pizza--green peppers, green onions, maybe some green salsa? It would definitely shake things up and it allows for lots of possibilities.
  • Like I said, very simple to make. Almost ridiculous in the, "Gosh, I feel stupid because I never knew it was this easy!" sort of way.
  • We like our pizza thicker, so I barely touched the crust. Keep in mind it will rise, so if you want a thinner crust, really flatten it out.
  • I made this on a rectangle cookie sheet. It's also very easy to do on a round pizza pan, but be sure to manipulate the dough so it fits the sheet and has room to rise.
  • Have a can opener on hand in case your tube of dough doesn't open the way it should. I always have this problem!

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