I’m a big fan of pizza, as any teenage girl living in a thirty-something-year-old-body could be ;). My pizza making has evolved from pepperoni and cheese on top of English muffins and bagels, to store bought already cooked crust, to a ball of store bought dough, to me actually making the dough from scratch. I’ve been experimenting a lot with my crust recipe and have settled into a winning pizza crust method! This recipe is from “My Bread” by Jim Lahey, which is a great book if you are just getting into making your own bread.
If you do not own a food scale, buy one! You can find them for as little as $12 new or even less if you happen upon one at a yard sale or thrift shop. One of the great things about Lahey’s book is that he has measurements in both cups and weight.
Bread Flour – 500g (3 3/4 cups sifted)
Instant or active dry yeast – 10g (2 1/2 teaspoon)
Salt – 5g (3/4 teaspoon)
Sugar – 3G (3/4 teaspoon plus a pinch)
Water at room temperature – 300g (1 1/3 cup)
Extra virgin olive oil for the pans
1. In medium bowl combine dry ingredients and mix, add water and mix with wooden spoon for 30 seconds. This should give you a stiff ball of dough.
2. Cover bowl with plastic wrap or a wet towel and let sit at room temperature for 2 hours.
3. Use an oiled spoon or bowl scraper to remove the dough from the bowl. Divide into 2 parts. I put one of the halves in a plastic container and freeze it for later. (This is where I deviate from the recipe) For thin crust divide the ball in half again and shape into a ball, allow to rest for 30 minutes.
4. Preheat oven to 425. Oil pizza pans liberally. Use your hands to stretch the dough, place the dough on the pizza pan and press it out towards the sides of the pan. Alternate between working the dough into a pizza shape and allowing it to rest, this will allow the dough to stay stretched.
5. Once your dough is stretched out on the pan, allow to rest for 5 minutes. Put in preheated oven and bake for 5 minutes.
6. Remove from oven and top crust with your pizza toppings.
7. Bake pizza for 7-8 minutes until crust is brown.
Making pizza is a yummy way to re-purpose leftovers. I’ve been experimenting with the different meats that I would have in my fridge every week and pulled pork pizza is a favorite. To see how I make pulled pork check out this post. For two pizzas you will need 1 cup of pulled pork, 1/2 lbs of mozzarella cheese, and your favorite BBQ sauce.
Stretch out your crust and bake partway according to the above directions. With the low temperature of my oven, cooking the crust part way before adding toppings will give you a more sturdy crust. If you like a softer, fold in half type of pizza you can skip the partial baking and put your topping directly on the raw dough. I have tried it both ways and prefer a sturdy crust.
Spread the pulled pork out on the crust. It will be easier to break apart if the pork is warmed in the microwave. A little bit of meat goes a long way on pizza. Once your meat is evenly distributed on the pizza crust squeeze out about 1/4 cup of BBQ sauce per pizza.
Top with mozzarella cheese and continue baking for another 7-9 minutes. Once the pizza is done, use a rubber spatula to loosen the pizza from the pan. Transfer to a cutting board and cut into pieces.
Pizza is so easy and cheap to make. I did a price break down in this post of how much pizza cost me to make. When you cook from scratch you not only save money the majority of the time but you know exactly what ingredients are in your food.