Since I do so much cooking and baking, there are definitely recipes that I have found that are my favorites. I thought I would start sharing some of those with you. I won’t always have this many pictures, but it just so happened that I was making this pizza on Friday night, so I took some pictures as I baked and thought I’d post them here as a little how-to. This recipe is not my own – I got it from my friend and fellow missionary Joy, and I make it at least twice a month!
For the dough, you will need water, powdered milk, salt, flour, sugar, yeast, and oil.
First, measure 1 1/3 cup water into a bowl and heat it up in the microwave until it is warm but not hot to the touch. (if you don’t have powdered milk, use about 2/3 cup milk and 2/3 cup water.)
Dump it into a bowl, and add 1 tablespoon sugar and 1 tablespoon yeast:
Mix it up and let it sit for a few minutes. While you are waiting, get out two or three round cake pans (or one round cake pan and one 9×13 rectangular pan) and coat the bottom with oil. Use a pretty generous amount of oil, you want about 1/8 inch oil in the bottom of each pan:
After you’ve done this, the mixture in your bowl should be getting nice and foamy. That is the yeast starting to work. Just a note: When we lived in the States, I was scared of yeast for the longest time. I was scared of using too-hot water, too-cold water, the yeast not working, etc. But here I have no choice. So when we moved here, I just had to dive in and start using it. And you know what? It’s not so scary! Sometimes my bread rises like crazy, and sometimes it takes a little longer. Sometimes at this point I don’t see my yeast getting foamy, so I start over with new water, sugar, and yeast mixture. And that’s okay! But it will work! Don’t be scared! There is something SO satisfying about mixing together such simple ingredients and getting a nice puffy loaf of bread or a nice pizza crust for your efforts!
Then,start adding the rest of your ingredients – 1/4 cup powdered milk (if you didn’t use liquid milk), 1/2 t. salt, and 2 tablespoons of oil. (I was so busy taking pictures that later I realized I completely forgot to add the oil. And you know what? It still turned out just fine!)
Then, start adding flour a little at a time:
This recipe calls for 4 cups of flour but I rarely use exactly that much. It all depends on the weather and your flour. Just add most of the flour (about 3 cups) and then add a bit more at a time until the dough is not super sticky and wet anymore. For me, it is when the dough starts pulling away from the sides of the bowl. Sometimes I will end up adding less than the required amount, and sometimes quite a bit more. If you’re using a mixer, let it knead for a bit. If you don’t have a mixer, don’t be scared! Sometimes I knead my dough by hand if I am making a small batch of dough, or if I just feel like kneading the dough! It’s not hard, your arms get a nice workout, and it can actually be kind of fun and satisfying!
After kneading for a few minutes, divide the dough into three parts. If you are using a round pan and a rectangular pan, put 2 of those together and those will be for the rectangular pan. At this point, since our family will only eat 2 pizzas, I wrap one of the balls in plastic wrap and stick it in the freezer. When I want to use it again, I just thaw it out and pick up in the recipe right where I left off!
Press your dough balls into flat circles and put them into your cake pans right on top of the oil.
Then, cover them with a towel and just leave them alone for 1 1/2 hours! It’s that easy!
After 1 1/2 hours they should be getting a bit puffy. Turn on your oven now to preheat to 450F. Now is the time to add your sauce and toppings. But I have found that I like it better if I poke some dents into my pizza dough, like so:
I leave the edges alone, but poke dents all over the surface of the dough. This keeps the nice pizza dough texture but it is more crust-like and not as big and bread-like when it bakes:
Then add your sauce… (I put tomato sauce on one and barbecue sauce on the other)…
…mozzarella cheese, and toppings of your choice. I have sausage on one and bacon on the other – yum!
When the oven is pre-heated, bake them for about 15 minutes or until brown. (if you are using a rectangular pan, that one might take a little longer.) When they are done, I use a spatula to pop out the pizza onto a dinner plate, and slice and serve from there. That way the crust stays nice and crispy. If I leave the pizza in the pan, it will absorb all the excess oil that is in the bottom of the pan, and just gets extra-greasy.
That’s it! For some reason I didn’t get any pictures of the finished product, oh well!
Here is the full recipe for you:
“Pizza Hut” style pizza
1 1/3 cup warm water (or 2/3 cup water plus 2/3 cup milk, and don’t add powdered milk)
1 T sugar
1 T yeast
1/4 cup powdered milk
1/2 t. salt
2 T oil
4 cups flour
Put warm water into a bowl with sugar and yeast, stir and let sit for a few minutes until yeast is bubbly. Add salt, powdered milk, oil, and flour. Knead for a few minutes. Divide dough into 3 balls, press into circles, and place in oiled cake pans. Cover and let rise 1 1/2 hours. Cover with sauce and toppings. Bake at 450F for 15 minutes or until crust is browned.
Saute 1 onion (chopped) and 3-4 cloves garlic (minced) in a couple tablespoons of oil.
3 cups tomato sauce/puree (I use 1 can of tomato paste and then fill up the empty can with water 2 times.)
1/2 t. sugar
1 1/2 t. brown sugar
1/2 t. salt
1 t. dried oregano
1/2 t. dried basil
Simmer for a bit, and then it is ready to put on the pizza. This is very tasty homemade pizza sauce!
This is one of my favorite homemade pizza recipes. I find that it doesn’t take a lot of planning ahead – I usually start the dough about 2 hours before I want dinner served – with 1 1/2 hours of rising time, 15 minutes to mix the dough together and 15 minutes to bake, starting 2 hours ahead of time is just about exactly the right amount of time. I can prep all the toppings while the dough is rising, and even start the oven pre-heating a bit early, so when the dough is done rising, all I have to do is add the toppings and pop them in the oven. A lot of times I even have leftover pizza sauce stored in the fridge, so I don’t even have to do the extra work to make the pizza sauce! With some carrot and cucumber sticks and some ranch dressing, this is a pretty common Friday night dinner for us!