Friday, June 4, 2010

Friday Night is Pizza Night!

This household is a big, big fan of pizza. We eat pizza every week, typically on Fridays. That started when I was doing grocery shopping on Fridays and getting home late in the evening and I did not feel like looking at any more food, much less preparing I'd grab some frozen pizzas for a quick meal.

Since I'm trying to accomplish two challenging tasks...preparing and serving healthy (or at least healthier) foods and spending the very least amount of money to do it, I started making my own pizzas all the time. I've been using a very fast, easy and delicious pizza crust recipe for years and it is very adaptable. I don't think I make it exactly the same from week to week, whatever sounds good while I'm making it is what I throw together.

It's just called "Pizza Crust" in my Amish School Fundraiser cookbook, but I have renamed it...

Instant Homemade Pizza Crust

  • 1 Tbs yeast
  • 2 Tbs sugar
  • 2 1/2 c flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 c warm water
  • 2 Tbs oil
Mix together and let stand 5 minutes. Press into pan. Makes 1 pizza.

One thing I don't care for in some of my Amish/Mennonite/Country cookbooks is that the people who submit the recipes apparently don't think about the fact that not everyone knows how to make things from scratch. Sometimes, people need detailed instructions. But honestly, if you followed this recipe exactly as I typed it, you'd be fine. I usually mix the dry ingredients together first, then add the water and oil, but I have made it by dumping everything together and mixing it up. It's very forgiving. Sometimes, I prebake the crust a little, if it's very thick. This is delicious as a deep dish pizza in a nicely seasoned cast iron skillet...the crust gets nicely crispy on the outside and soft and yummy on the inside.

One thing I want to do, to make it more 'instant', is make several batches of the dry ingredients and freeze them in freezer bags. Then all I have to do is grab a bag and add the oil and water. Easy just became ridiculously easy!

Now, how do I make this healthy/healthier? Let's start with healthier...
  • Even if I use all white flour, I'm figuring that since I'm not putting a bunch of ingredients in it with names I can't pronounce, it's healthier. Not the healthiest, but still better.
  • I've quit using vegetable oil and only use cold first-pressed olive oil, organic when I can find it reasonably priced.
  • I make my own sauce
  • I use sea salt
  • I use minimally processed sugars when available such as sucanat (I've found it works best to dissolve chunky sugar, such as raw, demerara, etch. in the warm water first)
  • During the summer I use organic veggies from our garden
And healthy would look like...
Well, I do the best I can with what I have. Just not buying food full of chemicals and overly processed ingredients is a step in the right direction. I try to sneak as much healthy into my dishes as I can get away with. A mom's gotta do what a mom's gotta do...

Stuffed Crust Pizza tonight...mmm good!

The Instant Homemade Pizza Crust, pressed into a large cast iron skillet and stuffed with sticks of mozzarella cheese, approximately 1/2" square.

Size comparison

All mozzarella sticks are covered by the dough, which is pressed tightly to seal.

This is how I make every pizza...1/2 usually has sausage and mushrooms, sometimes it's 'supreme', 1/4 cheese, 1/4 whatever I want on it, typically one or two toppings. Tonight I went with the supreme minus the fungus.

Finished time I won't put as much dough around the edges to cover the cheese, almost too much!

Yummmy! The cheese in the crust was a nice touch!

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