Friday, April 4, 2008

Pizza Night



I'm starting a new tradition at our house. Pizza night is every Friday. I love pizza! it's quick and easy to make, it can be a well-balanced meal , it's cheap, and tastes soooo goooood. I thought I'd share how I make pizza for Frugal Friday. My picture came from last week's pizza made with zucchini, mushrooms and caramelized onions so good. One of the best things about pizza toppings is that you can be creative and use what you have in the fridge or pantry. Pizza is also nice because it's easy to change it up by trying new toppings and ingredients. To keep the cost down I don't usually go out and buy "toppings" at the store, it's always what I already have on hand from other meals. (I do like to buy pepperoni if I have a coupon)

You don't need much for pizza, here's the basics:
a crust
marinara sauce (this can be homemade or from a jar)
grated mozzarella cheese
Romano or Parmesan cheese
toppings

I use a baking stone for my pizza, you can use a baking sheet or if the crust is frozen bake right on the oven rack.

FOR THE CRUST (it's a thinner crust) :
I have tried many crust recipes and they have all been ok, nothing fantastic. Since our move I have tried something completely different and original for my crust and it has worked really well. Before we moved I packed away some non-perishables from our pantry amongst those items were ziploc bags filled with the dry ingredients for no-knead bread (I've made this often, it's really great). When we moved in to our house I had all these bags filled with flour and such. On a whim I tried making pizza crust with those and it worked beautifully, I've since used this method about half a dozen times, and now I'm down to two ziploc bags, it's funny because I have not made no-knead bread at all since moving.

In the bags are 2 and 3/4 cups flour, 1/4 cup whole wheat flour, 1/4 teaspoon yeast, 1 and 1/4 teaspoon salt. I take about 1 and 3/4 cup of the flour mixture and add 3/4 cup water. I mix until a dough forms and than knead on a floured surface a few times until the dough is smooth and a little springy, it's a soft dough but not sticky. I cover the dough with a tea towel to rest a few minutes, while it's resting I gather all my pizza ingredients and prepare to make my pizza.

SOME TOPPING IDEAS (the list could go on and on, just use your imagination):
pepperoni (of course) you can make it if you are ambitious-someday I will try to do so.
Canadian bacon and pineapple
bacon and caramelized onions (My husband's favorite combo)
mushrooms
zucchini
peppers
yellow squash
eggplant
tomatoes-big slices or cherry halves
basil leaves
feta
spinach
sausage
mini meatballs

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER:
I like to dust my baking stone with corn meal, to help give my crust a crispy crunch. I put my dough right on my stone and use my rolling pin to roll it out thin and evenly, I used to use my hands to spread the dough, but I like using my rolling pin since it turns out thinner and more evenly. As a side note some people preheat their baking stone, I don't out of convenience and because I like to roll out my crust on it. Once my crust is rolled out I spread my sauce about 2/3 cup or so, it's really to taste, I just eye ball it. Next, I add my grated mozzarella cheese about a cup and half, again this is eyeballed you could use more or less to taste. Then comes what ever toppings I am using. Last, I like to sprinkle the top with some Parmesan cheese.
I bake my pizza in a hot oven (475) for about 12-15 minutes, sometimes a little longer, I judge the doneness by the color of the crust, I like it to be a golden color.

It takes me less than 20 minutes to get a pizza in the oven and we are often eating within a half hour start to finish, you can't get pizza that fast from delivery. While the pizza is baking I am cleaning up the kitchen, preparing a side salad if we are having one, or setting the table.

Pizza is by far my favorite meal to make and eat.

For more Great Frugal Friday Ideas go to Biblical Womanhood

4 comments:

bubbalo said...

That pizza is a thing of beauty. I'll have to try that no-knead recipe for pizza crust myself.

BarbaraLee said...

Do you make your own pizza sauce?

Jamie said...

That pizza looks so yummy!!!

Every good and perfect gift said...

barbaralee - I often make my own pizza sauce (at least 80 percent of the time). I have not the last few weeks, I've been able to find quality jar sauce at a great price. I will be making my own again soon,I think my homemade sauce is always better in taste and cost.