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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

It's not delivery... cast iron pizza

I recently saw an article about how much money you can save, by brewing your own coffee at home instead of buying it at Starbucks. When I was growing up, nobody discussed how much money they could save by brewing their own coffee-- that's just what everybody did!

But what about baking your own pizzas at home, instead of delivery? I've saved so much, that my bread machine and cast iron pizza pan have already paid for themselves.

That's right, you can make your own pizza dough with a bread machine. 

3 cups bread flour, 1 cup lukewarm water, 2 tbsp sugar*, 1 1/2 tsp salt**, 1 1/2 tbsp butter, 2 tsp yeast.

*If you want thinner crust, use less sugar.

**If you want to cut sodium, you can use only 1 tsp salt.  Any less than that will affect the flavor.

When the dough is done, add sauce, cheese and whatever toppings you want. My favorite is ham and mushrooms.

OR, melt light cream cheese, cook chopped onions in the cream cheese, add undrained artichoke hearts, spread on the pizza, top with cheese and black olives (and whatever else you want).

I've also used pesto on pizza. You can make your own with fresh basil, parm cheese, almonds, garlic and olive oil. Mix in a blender.

If you don't have a cast iron pizza pan, a skillet will also work. But the pizza pan is useful for so much more than pizza... just about anything can be cooked on it. It could double as a large griddle, but 14 inches is a bit too large for my electric stovetop. But I could use it as an outdoor hibachi!

I tried the Pampered Chef pizza stone last year, since I had heard how wonderful they are. And they do make good pizzas, except that mine cracked in the oven within a month of purchasing. That won't happen with cast iron!

See my article on baking pizza on the stovetop.

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