Make Your Own Pizza

We LOVE pizza, especially homemade pizza. I have a good recipe for the dough that makes in my breadmaker. Well, it makes up to the "roll it out" stage. This dough recipe uses a cup of beer for the liquid which gives the dough an especially "yeasty" flavour that is really delicioius! It can be flat so you can save a cup of beer in the fridge for awhile, planning to make your own pizza dough.You can put as much cheese as you want on your own pizza. You can put whatever toppings you like and as much of them as you want, on your own pizza. It is more trouble than buying delivered pizza but it is a LOT cheaper. It is more trouble than buying a frozen pizza from the grocery store, but it is a LOT better.You don't have to use a breadmaker for this, its just easier. I let the dough mix and knead in the breadmaker. If you are using a breadmaker for this and are putting the ingredients in early in the morning to mix and knead later, or even the day before, it is important that the ingredients be put into your breadmaker in this order. This keeps the yeast away from the liquid, salt and sugar until it is ready to mix.

This is the pizza dough recipe we use:

1 cup beer or water (Use beer. It makes delicious crust!)
1 tablespoon shortening
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour in Canada
or 3 cups bread flour in the US (I have no idea?? - anyone??)
1 1/4 teaspoon yeast
Put all ingredients into machine in the above order. Put machine on "dough/pasta" setting. When cycle is complete, remove dough and roll out to fit bottom of pan.

This recipe makes one extra large pizza or two small pizzas. I always make one extra large one.

I have a pizza stone, but I bake this in a pizza pan with bacon grease in the bottom. You can put melted butter in it instead, for a crispy crust, but we like it in bacon grease. I know, bacon grease is not healthy. Pizza is not "healthy". If you are eating pizza, with cheese and sausage anyway, you might as well add the bacon grease too. Walk it off :-)

While the dough is kneading in the machine, you can be gathering and chopping all the toppings. We use grated mozarella cheese, green peppers, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, bacon and sausage (no pepperoni).

I dry the very thin tomato slices between paper towel so they don't add more water to the pizza and I like to cook the onions and peppers in the bacon grease slightly so they are not crunchy on the pizza.

I used Italian sausage for this pizza because that is what I had, slicing them thinly before putting on the pizza. These were left over from two days ago. I prefer spicy breakfast sausage, myself. Because this is mild Italian sausage, I sprinkled a little black pepper on it before baking and some thyme, as well. I like to add thyme to everything I cook because of its antibacterial properties.

I love Hawaiian pizza with bacon, mushroom, pineapple, ham and COCONUT on it. Delicious!!

After the dough gets rolled out and put into the pan, I add the sauce. Spread it out over the dough, leaving an edge around the outside that is uncovered. After the sauce is spread on, add about 3/4 of the grated cheese.

Be careful not to overload the center of the pizza with cheese and toppings or it will take too long to bake, not getting done before the bottom is too brown. Most of the cheese and toppings go aroung the outside of the center, leaving the outside edge clear, as with the sauce.

After the cheese, I add the other toppings evenly spread over the pizza, topping it all off with the rest of the grated cheese and a little finely grated parmesan.

The pizza needs to be baked at exactly 400 degrees F. Your stove should be calibrated so you can be sure of the temperature. At least put in a stove thermometer and see if it is off. That way you can adjust the setting to get exactly the temperature you need.

Bake the pizza for exactly 20 minutes. One minute longer and the bottom will be a bit too dark. If you don't bake it long enough, the center will not be completely cooked and will be soggy.

After the pizza has baked for 12 minutes, put a ring around the outside crust area. We use this one that hubby made many years ago from another flat pizza pan. An aluminum foil collar will also work.

Remove pizza from the oven when the 20 minutes is up. If the center is soggy and not well done, you can turn the oven to broil and put the pizza in to broil for another few minutes. Leave the oven door open to prevent further baking of the bottom of the crust while broiling the top.

Remove the ring around the ege and let it cool a bit before you cut and eat it.

This crust is fabulous, especially made with the beer and not overdone. Watch the time and temp closely. It is easy to overcook the bottom.

I suppose one could freeze the other half of the bottle of beer in another container for use at a later date or make another batch of pizza dough and freeze it (if one doesn't drink beer, that is).