Homemade pizza is easy to make, especially if you have a bread machine and can make your own pizza dough. Making your own pizza crust also allows you to know exactly what ingredients are used and to substitute whole wheat flour. Commercially prepared crusts can include a variety of dough conditioners and preservatives that you may want to avoid. Another large advantage is that your pizza will be more affordable than take-out pizza. Your crust will only cost pennies when you make it with your bread machine dough.
Pizza can be a fun way to use up leftover roasted chicken or turkey or vegetables that have been lingering too long in your crisper. You can get creative with your toppings and easily make your own pizza sauce from fresh or canned tomatoes or make a pesto sauce base with basil or other herbs. If you have a garden that is producing vegetables and herbs, experiment with how to use them on a pizza crust. If you just can't call it pizza once it gets too far from traditional, think of this as flatbread instead and have fun with different combinations.
Assemble these ingredients for your dough to make a 12-inch crust or a 14-inch thin crust:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoon dry active yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 teaspoons olive or vegetable oil
- 2/3 cup warm water
Place the dough ingredients into your bread machine. Follow the order of addition that is recommended by your bread machine manufacturer. Select the dough cycle on your machine and press start. Once the dough cycle ends, you will be ready to roll out the dough to make the crust.
Making Your Pizza
Now you can roll out your dough using a floured rolling surface and a rolling pin. If you are skilled at tossing the dough you can give it a whirl that way as well. Have your pizza pan prepared by sprinkling it with about 1 tablespoon of cornmeal. Place the dough on your pizza pan.
Now you have many choices for how to top your pizza. Start by smoothing the sauce over the dough. Add grated cheese, vegetables, and meat as wish. Another advantage of homemade pizza is that you can ensure you are using the type and quality of cheese you desire.
Preheat your oven to 490 F. Place the pizza into the oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Check your pizza at five minutes and use a fork to pierce any air bubbles that have developed. Your pizza is ready when the crust has browned and the toppings are hot and bubbling. Don't bake it for too long or you risk it getting burned.
Leftover pizza is a great breakfast alternative, or you can take it along for lunch and reheat it in the microwave.