Homemade Pizza Dough

Happy Farm Food Friday everyone! I hope you're looking forward to a fun or relaxing weekend. My Fridays are usually filled with running errands. Not my favorite day. It must be done and somehow, no matter how hard I try to change that day to a less busy day in town, I always end up doing it on Friday. So, I need a quick, easier dinner plan after all that craziness. Here's where this homemade pizza dough comes in handy.

Pizza is a farmhouse family favorite! It's quick, easy and a great way to use your fresh garden goodies. It tastes so much better than store bought or frozen pizza and is much cheaper than ordering out. My kids, especially my girls, like to help make this and it is good practice for them in the kitchen. This is also a great meal to make as a family. Kids love to make their own personal size pizza with their favorite toppings. Get everyone involved! It will be great family time!

Here is the recipe I use for the dough and a few tips too.

EASY PIZZA DOUGH

1 package active, dry yeast

1 cup warm water

1 tsp. sugar

1 tsp. salt

2 Tbsp. vegetable or olive oil (I prefer olive oil.)

2 1/2 cups all-purpose or whole wheat flour (I will sometimes mix this half and half to have a light wheat dough.)

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Let sit for just a few minutes. (For the water temperature, I turn my faucet on and use water that is just ALMOST too hot to keep your finger under. You don't want it to be too hot but also not too cold or the yeast will not activate.) Add sugar and salt and let sit for a few more minutes. Add the oil and flour. I just use a sturdy wooden spoon to mix this together. If you're dough seems a bit too sticky, just add flour 1/4 cup at a time until it forms a ball. The dough will be quite soft and smooshy. Yes, that is a technical kitchen term. ;) Let your dough rest about 10 minutes and preheat your oven to 375°. This is when I chop up the veggies we're using for toppings... or switch laundry, wash dishes, sweep my floor, etc.

Now, we are a family of six so I always double the dough recipe. It will make 3 pretty good sized pizzas. Keep in mind it does depend on what thickness of crust you want. This recipe will make a good sized thick crust but we prefer ours a bit thinner. Spray your pizza pans or cookie sheets with non-stick cooking spray or rub with a small amount of olive oil. I even use a jelly roll pan sometimes. (In the pictures you see, I used all of the dough for the jelly roll pan. We had a couple of kiddos away from home so I did not double the recipe this time.) Divide your dough up according to how many pizzas you're making. No need to knead. Hehehee! I place the dough right on my pan and just start pushing it out by hand from the center out. Don't worry about your dough being perfectly shaped to your pan. Often times mine won't reach quite to the edge. No big deal. Once your dough is stretched out, the fun starts! I do use a store bought pizza sauce. (Something I plan to change in the future, once we have enough tomatoes from our garden for me to make and preserve our own.) I like red sauce a lot so I put it on fairly thick. Then some shredded mozzarella cheese. If I've got it on hand, I'll also lay some slices of provolone on there. Monterey Jack is yummy too. Here's my personal opinion... shred your own cheese. It doesn't take much longer and tastes SO MUCH BETTER than that bagged, pre-shredded, coated stuff. Plus, it's cheaper. Convenience costs. Back to pizza making... you've got cheese on so now top it with whatever you like! We're big fans of hamburger, sausage (please know you need to brown your hamburger and sausage before putting it on your pizza), pepperoni, onions, peppers, black olives... the options are endless. I always top mine with some more shredded cheese. Can there be too much cheese? We don't think so.

Put your pizza in the oven for 15 - 20 minutes. Let it rest about 5 minutes before cutting so your toppings don't slide right off. Hope you enjoy!

Sometimes I do make these up earlier in the day and put them in the fridge until dinner. This makes dinner time even easier when it rolls around! If you want to freeze them it should work fine. Just wrap them up tight with plastic wrap and foil. Be sure to let them thaw before baking.

If you give this a try, let me know what you think. Happy Friday and happy eating!