Since marrying into my husband's family of 8 children, I have discovered homemade pizza which his mother has down to an art! At least once a month we gather together for someone's birthday or an excuse to have pizza, but usually a birthday. There are always birthdays!
I have asked many times for the crust recipe. Because really a good pizza starts with the crust, but Josh's mom never measures, she just feels it...so...if you are like me and have to follow a recipe what do you do? You mix and measure till you figure it out. Which I have done and now I am happy to say I can just feel it too! But for you who need a recipe I have contrived to confine it to measuring cups and tablespoons though you just might need to feel it for yourself to get the true result.
I use flour that I have bought from a co-op and milled myself. Now a couple of years ago if you told me you milled your own flour I would have thought you were crazy( sorry all you flour millers) but it is true. I couldn't see what was wrong with the flour in the store.Since becoming a miller I have seen and tasted the difference and though I use bread flour from the store to add to mine, I can not go back. I just love the look of my bread( I will share about bread another time) and crust with the whole grains peeking out making you feel like you are a homesteader from years gone by not to mention the grainy goodness taste and the health benefits.
I have since learned on my flour journey that once flour is milled it loses its nutrients after 70 hrs if not stored in the freezer. Now you can get a bit crazy and even soak your bread and crust overnight to really get all the digestive effects ( which I have done) but I leave that to you, either way if you buy the flour or mill it at home it will still be better then buying pizza someone else has made. I confess to still buying many a foreign pizza but I figure I am making enough at home to balance out any bad ones that comes in.
A mill can be very expensive so a few of my friends and I went in on one and just rotate it and it works out great for all of us.
I don't know about your kids, but mine can usually sense if food is good for them and immediately reject it before it even enters their mouths. I have always believed in making them eat whatever is put before them but it's hard to see your children not eat, and I refuse to make 3 different meal choices to please everyone!! So I am so excited when they like something that is good for them without putting up and fuss. I sit and just watch them as the nutritious food is going into their little bodies and savor the moment before it is gone.
Here is the magic recipe: It makes about 2 big pizzas, or 1 big pizza and 3 kid sized ones
-Put 2 cups warm water in a bowl with 1tsp of sugar or honey( whichever you prefer) to get the yeast activated.
- Add 1 Tbs yeast or one package to bowl
- Mix and let dissolve and bubble up for about 10 min
- Add your flour( milled or non) about 3 to 3 1/2. I use 1 cup whole wheat and 2 cups of all purpose.
- Cover and let sit for a half an hour to an hour or doubled in size.
- Try to get it as thin as you can because it will rise back up in the oven.
- I let the oven preheat to 400.
- A trick that I have found to evenly cooked pizza is first putting it on the bottom rack for about 7 min and then transferring to the top until golden and bubbly and you will find it really makes a big difference.
I am sure there is a debate going on somewhere whether to put your toppings on after or before the cheese. I have come to like putting it on after the cheese because it gets all nice and roasted in the oven. But I think it just depends on your preference.
Another thing I learned from my mother-in-law is that scissors make awesome pizza cutters! Try it!
When I don't know what to make for dinner or have a lot of food on hand this is what I make. Once you start making it, it really is so easy. Sometimes I make it once a week. It's become a staple in our home. Try it for yourself and you will see for yourself why it's so good and how all frozen pizzas will be dead to you from now on!