Next Sunday, people across the country will gather for what has become America’s favorite unofficial holiday, Super Bowl Sunday. Of those watching the game, 62 percent will be ordering pizza. In fact, Super Bowl Sunday is the busiest pizza delivery day of the year, and there’s only one day where more food is consumed than on Super Bowl Sunday, and that’s Thanksgiving. But unlike Thanksgiving, people aren’t roasting turkeys and making pies from scratch – they are ordering delivery. If you plan to be one of those millions, be prepared to get your order in early and expect long delivery times. Or, just make your own pizza.
Making pizza is so easy that you may find yourself making it all the time. And it is so delicious that your apartment may become almost as popular as the local pizza joint with your friends and family!
First, start with a basic dough recipe. All you need is flour, yeast, a little warm (not hot) water, a dash of salt, some oil, and some sugar. You’ll put everything in the mixing bowl except the warm (not hot!) water. Turn the mixer on, and slowly add the water until the dough forms a sticky ball.
The next step is kneading the dough. If you have a mixer with a dough hook, this is very easy – just turn it on and wait. If you don’t have a mixer with a dough hook, you can knead the dough yourself. Sprinkle the counter with a little flour and add some flour to your hands to prevent sticking. Then just pull, fold, punch, turn, repeat. You’ll do that until the dough is soft and just slightly sticky.
Now, cover your dough with a dish towel and leave it alone. After a couple of hours, it should be twice the original size. Punch it down and divide it in two. Put your dough in the fridge until you are ready to make pizzas. You can make your dough days in advance, so go ahead and give it a try.
When you are ready to make your pizza, take one of the dough balls out of the fridge and let it sit for a while. Spray your pizza pan with cooking spray. When the dough is room temperature you can start stretching out the dough. Be sure to turn the dough as you stretch it, forming a large circle. Place the dough on the pan (you can pull it toward the edges if your circle is too small).
Once your dough is ready to go, it’s time to get creative! Do you go with the standard pizza sauce or make a “white pie” using ricotta? Would your friends prefer the classic pepperoni pizza or are they willing to try something a little more adventurous, such as asparagus and goat cheese? Perhaps you want to make a healthy pizza topped with vegetables. Use your imagination! You have more dough in the fridge, so you can make a variety of pizzas to keep everyone happy.
You’ll bake your pizza at 450 for about 15 minutes (watch for the crust to be slightly browned and the cheese bubbly). Allow it to cool for a few minutes before cutting it into slices and serving. There – you have delicious pizza, you saved money, and you didn’t have to wait for the delivery person.