Pizza Dough and Sauce

Is is sometimes difficult to maintain traditions when moving around from place to place. Our family, however, has found one tradition that is easy and fun to maintain no matter where in the world we are living – pizza, popcorn and movie Friday nights. It is the only night the kids get to eat in front of the TV and they love it. I love that it is a great, relaxing way to end the week. We all put on our PJ’s then settle down for a movie complete with pizza and popcorn. Living overseas, however, often means that finding pizza delivery that is good and reasonably priced can be a challenge. So while living in England (where we paid the equivalent of $30 for one pizza!) I set out on a mission to find a pizza dough and pizza sauce recipe that everyone in the family liked. These two recipes made the cut and I now use them regularly. I usually make them both in bulk. For the pizza dough I put all of the dry ingredients in a large plastic bag and store it in the freezer. When we are ready to make pizza I add the wet ingredients to my bread machine pan, dump in the dry ingredients, press start, and 1 1/2 hours later I have a beautiful dough. When I make the pizza sauce I make a triple batch and store it in 1 cup portions in the freezer. This will make enough sauce for about 8 pizzas. I like lots of sauce on my pizza but no one else in the family does so we often make the pizza with just a little sauce on it and then I just dip my pizza in the extra sauce.

Pizza Hut Style Pizza Dough
(Adapted from Frugal Momma’s Test Kitchen: Pizza Dough- Take Six)

Dry Ingredients (for one batch):
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt (original calls for 1 1/4 tsp but I think that makes it too salty)
2 tablespoons cornmeal
2 cups whole wheat flour (original calls for 3 1/4 cups all purpose flour)
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder

Wet Ingredients (for one batch):
1 1/3 cups room temperature water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons yeast (not a wet ingredient but should be added when adding the wet ingredients)

Mix all of the dry ingredients in a large plastic bag and store in the freezer until ready to use. When ready to make pizza dough, set the dry ingredients out and allow to come to room temperature. Add water and oil to bread pan of bread machine. Dump in the dry ingredients. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the yeast. Run dough setting on bread machine. When machine finishes remove the dough. You have two options here. You can proceed with making the pizza or store the dough in the refrigerator overnight. Letting it rise in the refrigerator overnight will give it a much more restaurant style taste. It is definitely worth the extra time. When ready to roll out, allow the dough to come to room temperature. Half of this recipe is enough to make one thin crust pizza for our family. I use the other half to either make bread sticks, another pizza or I just freeze the dough for next week. Roll the dough out as thin/thick as you like. For bread sticks, press into a baking pan and top with melted butter, garlic salt and cheese. Poke the crust with a fork and bake at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10 minutes. Add the sauce and toppings. Put the pizza (and bread sticks if making) back into the oven and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Papa John’s Style Pizza Sauce
(Adapted from The Motherload – Homemade Pizza)

15 ounces tomatoes (you can use tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes that have been blended or even spaghetti sauce)
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/8 teaspoon basil
1/8 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (original calls for 1/8 teaspoon but we love garlic)

Combine ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for fifteen to twenty minutes. This makes one cup.

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