ShaneHalbach.com

Homemade Pizza

The first Friday of the month is reserved for recipes. You can see additional First Friday Food posts here.

The Reason:

When I started doing First Friday Food posts, I wasn’t sure exactly what I was going to do with them. I think I had a vague notion of maybe using it to try out new recipes? However, they’ve very quickly turned into a repository for all our best recipes, and I mainly use it to look up all the stuff I need to cook.

So, that being said, I can’t believe I haven’t put this recipe up before! I don’t think we go a single week without making pizza.

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The Journey:

I know a lot of pizza is consumed in America. What do people do? Is it all takeout? Please tell me it isn’t all frozen pizza.

Pizza from a restaurant is so different than homemade pizza that, to me, they’re like separate food items. There’s pizza, and then there’s homemade pizza. Entirely different animals. I could have homemade one night and store-bought the next and it wouldn’t seem weird.

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When I was a kid, we always made our own pizza. It was kind of “our thing” as a family. I remember having friends come over to stay the night and they would be so excited to make pizza. They had honestly never heard of making your own pizza.

I remember one year we made personal pizzas for my birthday party. I suppose these days that’s not that unusual, but back then it was a big deal. Kids went nuts. My mom let us put whatever we wanted on our pizzas. For all my friends who thought pizza could only come pre-made, it was like leaving prison for the first time in 20 years and being handed a million bucks. A little too much freedom. I remember some kids putting ketchup instead of sauce, I think maybe even someone put mustard on one, a couple of people went with gummy worms…it was getting out of control.

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It’s fun to carry on the tradition with my own kids. They love it. We had to buy an extra rolling pin to avoid fights.

There’s just something liberating about tossing anything and everything on the pizza. It’s great, because you can use up whatever you have in the fridge, different people can have different toppings and make it just how they want it (Evie has just crust and sauce, that’s it. Nothing more, nothing less (unless there’s bacon)), and it’s never the same thing twice!

Some of our regular toppings include:

  • Onion (white or red)
  • Peppers (of a variety of colors)
  • Tomatoes
  • Fresh mozzarella
  • Parmesan
  • Pesto (instead of tomato sauce)
  • Assorted spices (e.g. black pepper, oregano, crushed red pepper, garlic powder, dill)
  • Bacon or crumbed sausage
  • Sundried tomatoes
  • Sliced garlic
  • Artichokes
  • Radishes

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The Verdict:

I mean, what’s there to say? It’s homemade pizza.

It’s amazing. Everybody loves it. It’s relatively healthy. It’s pretty easy to throw together. It’s fun. It’s both a food an activity.

Enjoy!

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The Recipe:

  • 1 1/8 cup water
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 Tablespoons wheat gluten
  • 2 Tablespoons flax (ground)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons yeast
  1. Add everything to your bread machine and run the “pizza” cycle, if you have one. Ours takes 45 minutes and kneads periodically.
  2. Allow the dough to rise for about 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 550 degrees.
  4. Roll the dough flat and place it on a pizza pan or cookie sheet. We make two pizzas with this recipe.
  5. Add whatever toppings your heart desires.
  6. Cook for 8 minutes.
  7. Turn off the smoke detector which absolutely always goes off during this time.
  8. Rotate the pizzas and cook for no more than 5 minutes more.
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