Growing up we always had make-your-own pizza nights! My mom would get the little pre-made pizza crusts and we'd use up leftover sauce. The toppings changed based on our cravings and what leftovers we had on hand to use up.
Ever since Biz posted her easy pizza dough recipe, when Johnny and I now have make-your-own pizza nights, we use that instead of the pre-made crusts. If you haven't tried it yet, you should! It's really easy and once you buy the yeast it's stuff always on hand and readily available. You can also easily turn it into calzones!
Tonight I just whipped the dough up in a bowl because I didn't want to wash my Cuisinart! I also made a slight adjustment to the recipe with the addition of garlic powder, which I think made it really delicious and special!
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 1/4 tsp yeast (or1 pkg)
1 cup warm water
1 Tbsp olive oil
Measure the flour, salt, and garlic powder into a medium sized mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Mix the yeast with the warm water and allow to sit for 5 minutes to activate. The water will become a creamy tan color and the top will foam a bit. Stir the olive oil into the yeast mixture and then pour slowly into the dry ingredients. Stir to mix everything and add up to 1/4 cup more flour if necessary to get the desired dough consistency. Knead for a few minutes and then leave in the bowl while you get the rest of the ingredients ready.
Tonight I was exceptionally lazy, did not have any jarred sauce on hand, and hadn't thought to thaw sauce from the freezer. I did the next best thing and popped this can open and using my stick blender pureed it right in the can! (These are another of my dad's Dollar Tree finds!) Viola!
For the toppings I cut up some onion, green pepper, garlic, and black olives. I thawed some frozen chopped spinach and also used up some leftover steamed broccoli. It helps to have all of this prepped and in little bowls ahead of time. We used a mixture of mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese for a little more flavor.
Roll out half of the dough to about 12" or a lopsided oval, like mine. Pre-bake this for about 5 minutes in a 425° oven. Remove and then layer the sauce, cheese, and toppings. Bake another 20 minutes or until the cheese is starting to brown. For a chewier crust bake on a pan, for a crispier crust bake directly on the oven rack.
My pizza had onions, green peppers, garlic, black olives, leftover broccoli, and a sprinkle of dried basil and oregano.
Johnny's had spinach, garlic, green peppers, and onions. He went with the Chicago route of putting the toppings on the sauce and the cheese on top.
Again, this is really easy to make! Just because it's dough and it uses yeast doesn't mean it's hard or scary. The first time we made it was last January and I've easily made this 10 times since! Once was this past summer with my three younger cousins - they loved rolling out the dough and personalizing their toppings. I've even been lucky enough to have Biz make it for me herself!