Homemade Pizza and Toppings

There’s nothing better than a big slice of pizza from a top-notch pizzeria, but not all areas of the country are privileged to have high-quality establishments close at hand. When some people crave pizza, they’re either forced to buy fast food quality pizza or they have to settle for the frozen kind.

There is an alternative to lower-quality restaurant pizza and frozen kinds. Have you considered making homemade pizza? You don’t have to own a brick oven to make pizzeria quality pizza. You can make homemade pizza that’s every bit as good as pizzeria pizza, and best of all, you can add as many toppings as you want for far less than the cost of restaurant varieties.

My family loves homemade pizza, and although I use a mix to prepare my crust, I have learned to perfect my homemade pizza recipe. Try my tips and suggestions for homemade pizza and you too will be able to make homemade pizza instead of buying the frozen kind or expensive types from restaurants. Give you family the homemade pizza they want, and pile on the toppings. You can make homemade pizza they’ll prefer over expensive restaurant varieties.

Crust Matters

Although I save time by using crust mix, my crust is crisp and delicious. I use Jiffy pizza crust mix, and the price can’t be beat. Although the box includes baking instructions, after many years of baking homemade pizza using Jiffy crust mix, I’ve learned a few ways to improve the overall quality and texture of the crust.

Firstly, the Jiffy crust instructions say to use Ã?½ cup of hot water. It’s better to use warm water. If the water is too hot the yeast won’t survive, and the dough won’t rise. Also, the Jiffy crust instructions say to set the dough in a warm place for several minutes. I cover the bowl of dough with a dinner plate, and I’ve let it set up to twenty minutes on the kitchen counter. I prepare the toppings while the dough is rising. Using my method the dough rises very nicely, and it has a very good texture. When following the directions on the Jiffy crust box, the dough was always very sticky.

Baking Tips

Preheat the oven while the dough is rising. I’ve found that a circular baking stone makes excellent homemade pizza crust, but a well-greased baking sheet will do.

Don’t make the mistake of preparing the dough and immediately topping it with sauce. I’ve discovered that baking the dough for about five minutes before topping the crust will keep the sauce from soaking in. Your crust will be far crispier and much better if you allow it to bake for a few minutes before adding the toppings.

Get Sauced

The sauce you choose for your homemade pizza is just as important as the crust. If the sauce isn’t top-quality, the homemade pizza won’t be good. Don’t choose the most popular and widely advertised brand of sauce. The most common sauce isn’t necessarily the best. Try some of the locally made brands of sauce. They’re usually cheaper than name brands, and they’re often better.

I use Dei Fratelli pizza sauce manufactured by the Hirzel Company. It’s by far the best pizza sauce I’ve ever had with the exception of pizzeria sauce used in restaurants. Dei Fratelli is comparable to restaurant sauce, and if you can find it in your area, I highly recommend it.

Cheesy Tips

Even though mozzarella cheese is rather expensive, don’t skimp on the cheese when making homemade pizza. I’ve discovered the cheese seems to go much further if I shred it myself. Shredded cheese is sold by the ounce, so it doesn’t make sense that eight ounces of pre-shredded cheese would go any further than block cheese shredded at home, but it does. Maybe the ingredients used to keep the shredded cheese from sticking together adds some weight.

Sausage Without the Pork

If you prefer not to eat pork for religious reasons or for health reasons, it is possible to attain the flavor of pizza sausage without using ground pork. Simply brown ground beef or turkey with minced onions, and add about two teaspoons of anise seed for every pound of meat. The anise seed is what gives the meat the distinct flavor of pizza sausage. Add salt and pepper to taste, and drain the meat on paper towels. Top the half-baked sauce-covered dough with the meat, and add other toppings of your choice. No one will be able to tell you didn’t use pork on your delicious mouth-watering homemade pizza.

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