Homemade Pizza

Jeremiah is such a little sweetie!  Whenever I make homemade pizza, he will say to me, "Mom, why do you have to make your homemade pizza so good?!?!"  I don't know if it is THAT good, but it is easy, cost-effective, and YUMMY!  Here's how I do it:

Pizza Crust:
(in a bread machine)
1 3/8 c warm water
3 Tbsp olive oil
3/4 tsp salt
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp yeast

My bread machine's dough cycle takes 1 1/2 hours; therefore, for me, the hardest part of this recipe is remembering to start a pizza dough at the appropriate time.

The above recipe makes two BIG pizza crusts.  So when the bread machine finishes its cycle, I split the dough in half, sprinkle some flour on my counter and start rolling one half out into a circular shape (it is NOT a perfect circle AT ALL).  I have tried many times to experiment with hand tossing.  Let's just say EPIC FAIL!  So I pretty much just roll it out with my handy dandy Pampered Chef Roller.  When I have two pizza crusts rolled out and on my pizza pans, I brush the crusts with olive oil.  I gleaned this tip off the Internet somewhere.  It promised the brushing of olive oil would help keep the toppings from making the crust soggy, and lo & behold, IT DOES!

For sauce, I just shoot from the hip.  Typically I use about 1/2 a 14.5 oz can of tomato sauce per pizza.  I just buy the cheapest, generic tomato sauce I can find.  I season it with salt, garlic, oregano, and basil.  Then I spread 1/2 can on each crust.  I then spread about 2 cups of shredded mozzarella on each pizza.  (Sometimes in a pinch when I've run out of cheese I add Parmesan or even cheddar... that was YUMMY.)

As far as toppings, usually we just do "extra cheesy" because it's cheap and easy and a good standby.  But here are some of other favorites:

Veggie:  tomato, red onion, green pepper, mushrooms (make sure to saute them first it is yummier), black olives.

Regular toppings:  sausage, pepperoni

Chicken Parmesan (this is Noah's ABSOLUTE favorite):  on top of the mozzarella cheese I add chicken (buy a bag of popcorn chicken from the freezer section) and then a sprinkler of mozzarella and some Parmesan.

Bacon Cheeseburger (this was YUMMY but ended up being a very TALL pizza):  use a mix of mozzarella and cheddar for the cheese, sprinkle browned ground beef and crumbles of cooked bacon, add another sparse layer of cheese


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