Pizza before baking
"You can get pizza delivered?"
Once I was on a long plane flight with the kids, and we were going to get home late for dinner, and the kids were hungry. They wanted to know what I was going to make for dinner, and I said oh, maybe we'd order a pizza delivered since it was so late and there wasn't any food in the house. The kids looked at me, confused, and I realized that they had no idea it was possible to get pizza delivered to your house. And really, in the same half an hour you can make your own pizza for half the money, so why would you?
How to make pizza:
Preheat the oven to 425 F. Thaw out a cup of tomato sauce from your freezer, or open a can of tomato sauce (one of the small ones will do). Grate a pound of mozzarella cheese (I try to get somebody else to do this while I make the crust). In a medium mixing bowl, mix 3 cups of flour, 1 1/4 cups of water, and two teaspoons each of instant yeast and salt. Mix with a wooden spoon until the dough forms a ball and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Dump the dough out on to a floured counter and knead for five minutes. Use plenty of flour to keep it from sticking. Divide the dough into two halves. Roll out each half until it's about 1/4 inch thick (flipping over as necessary when the rolling gets hard). Add more flour as needed. Lift and place each crust on a baking sheet.
Spread tomato sauce on your pizza crust, leaving about an inch plain around the edge. Scatter the mozzarella on the pizza. Put on toppings: sliced onions, frozen bell pepper or sweet corn from your freezer, sliced mushrooms, anchovies, pickled artichokes, olives, pepperoni, or whatever you have. Bake for ten minutes or until the cheese is melted and the crust begins to turn brown at the edges. This will make a "thin and crispy" pizza; for a chewier crust you'd need to let it rise much longer.
For variations on the pizza, try substituting a layer of olive oil for the tomato sauce to make a white pizza, or substitute pesto for the tomato sauce. For vegan pizza, you can use vegan cheese, or just use olive oil and toppings without either tomato sauce or cheese, or use pureed white beans instead of cheese.
Can I keep leftover pizza for later?
Yes, pizza's good cold or reheated for a couple of days as leftovers. Leftover pizza makes an excellent lunch to take to school or work.
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