Some people may wonder why bother making your own pizza when all you need to do is buy a ready made pizza or pizza dough.
Making your own pizza dough is a snap. And it is sure to be a fun cooking project for you, your friends and family.
Making pizza dough is not difficult at all. And if you own a home bread machine all you need to do is follow the directions and recipe guidelines of your bread maker for pizza dough and voila you can have your first pizza dough ready for any ingredients your imagination dictates.
But if you are making your very own pizza dough from scratch, no sweat. All you need are the following basic ingredients for a basic pizza dough: Beer 1 cup, 1 tablespoon of shortening, 1 tablespoon of sugar, 1 teaspoon of salt, 2-3/4 cups of flour, and 1-1/4 teaspoon of yeast. Cornmeal is optional, but if you have cornmeal on hand great, all you will need is 2 tablespoons.
How to put it all together is even easier: You will need a large mixing bowl, measuring cups and spoons, a fork, rolling pin optional, cellophane or plastic wrap, tea towel, baking pan(s) and an oven.
Measure and pour beer in to a large mixing bowl. Next add 1 tablespoon of shortening and sugar, 1 teaspoon of salt, 2-3/4 cups of flour, and 1-1/4 teaspoon of yeast. Mix all of these six ingredients using a fork. The key is not to over work the dough… just mix enough so that all the liquid and dry ingredients (sugar, salt, flour, and yeast) are blended in.
Let the dough rest in mixing pan covered with cellophane or plastic wrap and cover again with a clean tea towel for about 40 minutes. The dough will have risen.
Remove pizza dough from mixing bowl and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll out pizza dough into two 12-inch or one 14-inch size. Or pat the dough into the desired baking pans. Top with your favorite toppings.
Bake at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-12 minutes or until the top edge of the crust is lightly browned and toppings are browned or bubbling. The bake time will vary with the ingredients used. Keep watch over baking pizza. Check the bottom of the pizza by lifting the edge of the pizza to check the bottom to be sure it is not burning.
Note: If dough is sticky to handle add enough flour (little is best) so that dough is not sticky. If you desire, before you add the pizza dough to the pan sprinkle evenly with 1 tablespoon of cornmeal in bottom of pan and then place rolled dough on top of the cornmeal.
Pizza toppings are endless. You can use the traditional tomato pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, pepperoni. But you can also add to these ingredients… red or green peppers, onions, fresh garlic, artichoke, olives black or green, other ingredients include different meats such as chicken, meatballs, hamburger, salami, bacon, ham, and so on.
Consider a meatless pizza. The list is endless for cheeses and other vegetables. Try eggplant, zucchini, minced carrot, celery, celery root, different types of onions. Consider other ingredients, add different seasonings such as basil leafs, parsley, and tarragon. Consider pesto sauce as your base sauce or just use a light drizzle of olive oil.
Home-made pizzas allow your imagination to soar. Be creative.