Friday night is pizza night for our family. It got started back when my kids were very little. We'd order pizza to give me a break from cooking and to feel like the weekend was starting; I stayed home with kids who didn't go to school yet. But it was a waste of money to order pizza every week, so we started trying every frozen pizza. We didn't really like any, so my husband suggested I try making homemade. I didn't think I liked homemade pizza, but I gave it a try. And we liked it!
I got the dough recipe from my mom; it's pretty much the same as Betty Crocker's.
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 C warm water
3 C all-purpose or bread flour
1 t sugar (optional)
1 t salt
2 T vegetable/olive oil
First combine the yeast with the warm water in a large bowl:
Let it stand 5 minutes. Then add the flour, sugar, salt, and oil:
Mix it as well as you can with a wooden spoon, then knead it until the dough is well-mixed and smooth. I do this right inside the bowl. You can also use a stand mixer for the whole process. You don't have to knead it as long as you would regular bread dough:
Then you can use the dough immediately or cover it and let it stand up to a couple of hours. It gets a nicer texture when you let it rise, but there isn't a big difference:
If you're using metal pans, grease them. You can also use a pizza stone, preheated in the oven.
Divide the dough in two and shape the crusts on your pans (or cornmeal-dusted pizza peel, if using a stone), pinching the edge to raise it. Spread sauce over your crusts; I like Contadina:
Add your toppings. I use about 1 cup of shredded mozzarella per pizza. Usually I add Hormel pepperoni, and sometimes I use precooked sausage. Sometimes I add onion, black olives, mushrooms, and/or green pepper. Once in a while I do Canadian bacon and pineapple. But most weeks, it's just easiest to do pepperoni.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees while you're shaping and topping the pizzas. Bake for 6 minutes, then switch the position of the pizzas (assuming you have one pizza on the bottom rack and one on the rack above) and bake for 6 minutes more.
This is a good-tasting, inexpensive pizza that isn't difficult to make. For me, probably the best part is knowing that, every Friday night, my menu is already decided and everyone's going to be happy with it!