Pizza. The most popular food for most teenagers, not to mention many adults. But who can afford it? Let’s face it, pizza is expensive. To feed a group of eight, even with coupons, you can easily spend fifty dollars. And that’s without the drinks and any side dishes.

Cut out the expense and still have a delicious, healthy meal that you know will be just the way you like it. All you have to do is, make it yourself. Hold on, I know what you are thinking. Isn’t that just as expensive? And complicated? And the mess!

But wait. It really isn’t that bad. I used to think that making pizza was more of a hassle than it was worth, until I tried this recipe. It was, from all people, from my mother-in-law. This makes home-made pizza as simple as it can be and much less expensive than the popular take-out. This recipe will make one 12″ 14″ pizza. I usually use a 10″ x 14″ cookie sheet. If you like a thicker crust use a smaller pan.

Pizza Dough (one pizza)

1 cup warm water.
1 tbsp or 1 packet yeast.
1 pinch sugar.
2 cups flour.

In a large bowl put water. (The water has to be WARM. If it is too hot, it will kill the yeast. Too cold and the yeast will not activate.)
Stir in yeast, and add sugar. Wait for a few minutes and you will see a little foam start to form on the surface of the water.
Add flour and stir until there is no moisture.
Knead on a floured board 20 times. (At times I don’t remove it from the bowl, I just fold the dough over onto itself (kneading) adding small amounts of flour to keep the dough from being too sticky).
Place in a greased bowl and let rise until size is doubled. (About one hour) I just use vegetable oil to coat the sides of the bowl so that the dough doesn’t stick as it rises.

While the dough is rising, cook any toppings (see list below) that need cooking, and preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Once the dough has risen, take it out of the bowl, place it on the pan (or cookie sheet) and press it into shape. Try to avoid stretching as it will tear holes in the dough. Once the dough is spread in the pan, you are ready for toppings. I use pizza sauce if it is available, if not, I use spaghetti sauce (usually mushroom). Then I place any toppings I am in the mood for, and bake at 375 degrees for fifteen minutes or until the edges are browned.

Popular toppings are:

Italian sausage,
hamburger,
pepperoni,
mushroom,
green pepper,
onion,
olives,
Canadian bacon (ham), and
pineapple.

My family usually makes enough dough for half a pizza each and everyone puts on the toppings of their choice. This way everyone gets ‘their’ pizza. Great for game nights, and very popular with the kids’ friends. We have never had a complaint about the pizza and this is a guaranteed hit.