If you LOVE pizza, you’re among millions of pizza-loving friends. In fact, 3 billion pizza pies are purchased every year in the US alone. That’s a LOT of pizza!
My favorite pizza has always been Round Table. They have the best dough and one awesome sauce. OMG it’s soooo good. The problem? It’s just so expensive as compared to any other pizza in my area. Maybe yours too.
Eating out is a pain in the wallet and sometimes in the gut. Servers don’t wash their hands, the dish towels they use to wipe the tables are full of billions of creepy bacteria you don’t even want to KNOW what’s on those rags.
Plus, people bring their kids and hey, kids deserve to run and play around. Totally agree with that. But now that I’m older, when I go out I want peace and quiet. I don’t think it’s fair to expect kids to be quiet even if it isn’t at a pizza restaurant.
So, what’s the alternative? You could buy super cheap pizza from some of the “other” pizza restaurants, but I find their dough to be either too greasy or dry as a cracker. Plus, the sauce and the cheese tastes like it’s been in the freezer since world war 2.
What is the solution?
Not frozen, we tried that. We were still spending about $50.00 a month. I’m not willing to spend $600.00 a year on pizza – are you? Think about how much money you spend eating out a month. Then think about how much that equals per year and my guess is you’re ready to consider something new.
Do you have 10 minutes? Yes, just 10 minutes is all you need. That is 10 minutes to whip up a batch of pizza dough. You can make up some pizza dough on one day when you have a spare 10 minutes, then cook up some pizza sauce in another 5 minutes another day.
When I say 10 minutes I’m talking about your actual time you spend in the kitchen. NOT the time it will take to let your dough sit and rest on the counter. This pizza recipe takes just 13 minutes to bake once you put it together. And the result is AWESOME!
Instead of spending $600 a year on pizza we now spend about $60. That’s a massive savings – right?
You can scroll down the to recipe now if you like, but if you want to a break down of the cost of your pizza here it is.
ONE: The flour. We buy unbleached flour from the bulk bins at Winco. Notice the cost? Just .35 cents a pound. If you have the opportunity to buy your flour and other items via bulk bins you’ll save a lot of money.
Flour is about .77 cents a pound in bags at the store. So you’ll save as much as 50% or more per pound.
I buy two kids of flour. Unbleached white and 00 flour. It’s also called doppio flour or pizza crust flour. It is more expensive than all purpose flour. It’s .84 cents a pound in bulk here. I’m still testing this flour by mixing it in with the white.
So far I am not positive it is needed to make super tasty pizza so don’t worry if you don’t have access to it. 1 pound of flour will provide you with enough dough for 2 to 3 pizzas. It depends on how thick or think you prefer your pizza.
To make pizza dough all you need is salt, flour, 1 packet of active yeast and a tablespoon of sugar for the yeast to munch on.
TWO: Pizza sauce. OMG… if you get this one right you will NEVER go back to delivery again! It took me a while to figure it out but once I did I was so happy. Here’s the scoop on the sauce.
Tomato Paste – I love this stuff. It’s easy and simple. Just open a 12 ounce can and plot that baby in a pot. You’ll want to add in about a can (the one you just got the paste from) of water as well. You can make your sauce super thick or thin. It’s up to you. Randy (hubby) and I like it pretty thick.
Next, comes the herbs. Here’s the scoop about herbs. YOU need to add in what you like, however, it’s good to use the recipe of what you are given first. That way you can taste it while it’s bubbling, and then decide if you want to add in more.
Oregano, basil, and garlic are your three herbs for your sauce. When you read recipes most of them will not include basil, but believe me, basil is a MUST ADD in herb! So, be sure to add that baby in there.
Garlic can be added in either fresh or powdered. I have used both and I like both. But I buy fresh bulk powdered garlic so my herbs and spices are not sitting around on the shelves a long time. Powered garlic can taste pretty icky if it’s sitting on the shelf too long.
But YOU know how much you enjoy garlic so add in less than the recipe calls for if you are a bit squeamish about too much of it. Or add in more if you’re like us and love it lots.
THE SECRET AWESOME INGREDIENT
Now’s the time to learn about what makes your sauce really KICK! We use a hot chorizo sausage. For 1 can of tomato paste, we use 1 chorizo sausage. These babies are pretty greasy so you can add in less olive oil than most recipes call for.
You want to chop the sausage up really fine. Or you can actually put the tomato paste, water, and chorizo into a blender and blend it up before adding it into a pot. Once you add it into a pot to simmer you can add in all your other herbs.
To make 2 to 3 pizza dough balls you’ll need:
2 Mixing bowls. Big enough for 4 cups of flour and a lot of mixing with room for your hands to get in there. 1 large wooden spoon and a whisk is nice for the beginning before you start mixing and kneading with your hands. 1 liquid measuring cup that holds at least 2 cups or more of liquid. 1 dry measuring cup. 1 set of measuring spoons. 1 Rolling pin (or wine bottle if you don’t have one). Towel to cover your bowl where your dough ball will raise (prove).
3.5 to 4 cups of flour.
1 and 1/2 cups of water.
2 teaspoons of salt (don’t forget the salt)
1 tablespoon of sugar (you can use 2 teaspoons if you like)
1 packet of dry active yeast.
A few tablespoons of cornmeal. This goes under the dough before you bake it.
The dough ingredients are very simple. And when you are first starting out keeping it simple is important as it helps keep your spirits up because it turns out so awesome. Dough is very forgiving so really there is no need to panic or fear making pizza dough.
The sauce is just to DIE for! Read all of this recipe first. I do not have these in order so be sure you read it all twice because you have a choice in how you put it together.
The awesome Sauce recipe
1 can of 12 oz tomato paste. Add in about a cup and a half or so of water. Enough until YOU are happy with the consistency. We like it thick.
1 tablespoon of dry oregano
1 teaspoon of dry basil
1 teaspoon (NOT tablespoon) of dry crushed peppers.
The basil and peppers really make a difference in the awesomeness so be sure to add them in.
1 skinned and finely hot chorizo sausage or a hot sausage of your choice.
2 or 3 garlic cloves or 1 or 2 teaspoons of garlic powder.
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil or reg. if that’s all you have.
1/4th teaspoon of baking soda. It removes that odd tomato paste taste. Some chefs call it acidic, we call it a “tinny”. Whatever it is, the baking soda does a good job or removing it.
Some recipes call for more oil, we like ours with less because the chorizo sausage is very greasy. What makes this recipe really special is the basil, crushed peppers, and the sausage. I’ve made pizza 4 times now and each time it got better when I added in another ingredient.
It was good without the basil, better with it, fantastic when I added in the crushed peppers and OMG AWESOME when I added in the finely chopped chorizo.
Before you actually start making your dough you can get your sauce started. Once it’s on the stove simmering, you can make your dough. I actually make my sauce on a separate day due to my physical limitations. You can do the same if you have time limitations.
All you need is about 10 minutes or so to cook and simmer your sauce. This recipe makes about 3 cups of sauce. That’s enough for 3 or 4 pizza’s depending on how much sauce you like on your pizza. While your dough is rising you can put it on a low simmer or you can let it cool and put it in the frig or freezer. Just don’t leave it out cooling for longer than an hour.
I’m no chef but I have read something about not leaving food out for longer than an hour on the counter. So that’s a foodie tip I’ll pass on to you too.
I separate my sauce and into 3 servings and freeze what I am not going to use within a day. I use sandwich freezer bags.
Making the Dough
The first step is to activate your yeast.
If you have a thermometer you want your water at about 110 degrees. I have yet to get one so I turn my faucet on hot and wait until it’s really hot to the touch. Then I add the water in the measuring cup, wait 2 seconds, then I add in the sugar and the yeast packet. Stir using a whisk or a spoon until the sugar is mixed in well then let the yeast sit while you get your flour and salt.
So far I have not killed the yeast so don’t worry if you don’t have a thermometer. Just don’t get it scalding hot. As long as you can stand it with your fingers and wait just 2 seconds before adding the yeast it should be just right.
READ COMPLETELY BEFORE YOU ADD IN THE WATER!
Mixing Bowl #1: Add 3 cups of white flour into a bowl, then add in your salt. Mix it up well with a whisk or your fingers. You want that salt to be mixed into the flour evenly. I use my whisk to stir the flour and salt together. If you used it to stir your water be sure to dry it off first.
You will be reserving the rest of your flour to add in as needed. Some of it will end up on your counter top if you are going to knead your dough there or if you prefer you can mix it up in a bowl. I’ve done both and I prefer the counter.
Mixing Bowl #2: Add the water into the bowl once you see the yeast has gotten foamy. Then add in about half of your flour. Stir with your wooden spoon until it’s all mixed up. Then slowly add in more flour. At any point in time when the flour is becoming too hard to mix with a spoon, you can start to knead it with your hands.
At this point you can either continue kneading in the bowl or use a counter top. Before you plop that dough onto the counter be sure to spread some flour over it.
You want to keep adding in a bit of flour over the top of your dough and on the counter until the dough becomes non-sticky and it has a spongy surface. You can press your fingers into it and it will spring back a little.
Basic rules here… rest your dough about 60 minutes or until it grows about double in size. Once it’s doubled in size you can knead it again, cut it into 3 dough balls.
This recipe will make about 2 or as many as 4 dough balls. Once your dough is no longer sticky and it’s got that springiness going for it, you want to plot it back into your mixing bowl. Then cover it and let it rest, rise, or if you’re in the UK, prove in a warm spot.
Our house is 64 degrees right now in the winter so I will preheat our oven for 60 seconds, then turn it off and place the dough in the oven for 60 minutes. That should be long enough to double in size. If not, just leave it alone until it does.
Once your dough has doubled in size it’s time to take it out and knead out the air bubbles. Then cut it into sections. You want them to be about the size of a really big grapefruit. Bigger than a soft ball, but smaller than a cantaloupe.
Now it’s time to roll out your dough into a pizza pie. You can use a rolling pin to do this. No need to try and get all fancy. I’m still learning how to do this and even with my minimum kitchen skills the results are super.
SPREADING DOUGH PIZZA HACK
Before you start working with your dough again be sure to preheat your oven. It will take 30 minutes to an hour to reach 500 degrees. And you want to have an oven timer. If you don’t have one, let your oven preheat for at least an hour. It takes ours about 45 minutes to get there.
rolling out your dough
If you have yet to read my 10 pizza hacks, you might want to give that article a glance. In it you’ll learn some really cool tricks or “hacks”. One of them is in spreading out the dough. If you are having trouble getting it to spread out more than 10 inches or so, simply let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
Then come back and try again. My first pizzas were about 10 inches. Once I learned this trick I was able to roll it out to 13 inches. 🙂 The corn meal is added as a little barrier between your dough and the pan. Some people use it to help in spreading out the dough but I do believe that is a more advanced technique so I’m happy to use my rolling pin for now.
NOW is the time to place your rolled out pizza dough onto your pizza pan. One you have done that you can add your sauce. Leave about an inch between your sauce and the edge of your dough.
Toppings: This is all YOU. However, might I suggest you try adding in a few different cheeses. Mozzarella, provolone, and Parmesan. Add on whatever veggies and meats you like. It’s YOUR pizza!
Once your oven has reached 500 degrees (or as hot as it can go). Bake for 13 minutes. You can check on it at about 10 minutes in case your oven is even hotter than 500 degrees. You may need more time if you can only get your oven to 400 or so.
Keep an eye on it and you’ll figure out what the best cooking time is for your pizza to be fully cooked in your oven.
And that’s it! Take that pizza out of your oven and ENJOY!!!