You know what’s expensive? Pizza. Around here, one pizza goes for at least $8.00 – and that’s a special price run Monday-Wednesday. When I used to order pizza, it would take about 20 minutes to figure out what I wanted, another 5 minutes on the phone to place the order, and yet another 45 minutes to actually get it!
So my solution is to make my own pizza!
Step 1 – crusts to make your own pizza
First, you can start with pre-made crusts. I use Mama Mary’s Pizza Crusts Thin & Crispy 7 Inch (personal size pizza) that come a package with 3 crusts. The grocery store sells them for $4.99, but the discount store has them for $2.50. These are great to have on hand when I’m in a hurry.
But normally, I’ll make my own pizza dough in the bread machine. I use the recipe for 2 lbs. of dough, and add oregano, basil and garlic powder right into the ingredients. Once the dough is made, I’ll roll it out into 5-6 personal size pizzas and partially bake them for about 20 minutes. Once the crusts are cool, I stack them all in a gallon-size freezer bag and pop the bag into the freezer. When I’m in the mood for pizza, a frozen crust takes only a few minutes to thaw out while I am getting the rest of the ingredients together.
Step 2 – Sauce
I use the toaster oven because it takes less power to use than the oven, and why waste money heating up a big oven for just one pizza? Use a stone or put the crust directly on the rack of the toaster oven.
Add some sauce to the crust and spread it around with the back of a spoon. I don’t use any special pizza sauce – just my own homemade sauce or from the jar of sauce bought on sale.
Step 3 – Cheese & spices
Next, add shredded mozzarella. I happen to like a LOT of cheese on my pizza! I get the huge 5 lb. bags of shredded mozzarella at Aldi for about $8.00 and keep it in the freezer. When I need some, I just break off a hunk, and crumble it over the crust and sauce.
If you want, you can add basil, oregano, crushed red pepper, garlic or garlic powder, or something like the mix pictured that comes in a little glass grinder.
Step 4 – Toppings!
Now comes the fun part! Once you have the base of sauce and cheese, it’s time to customize your pizza!
This time, I added sliced pepperoni. I buy the 5 ounce bags of 100 slices for $2.99, and it goes a long way. Occasionally, I’ll add diced onion and a sprinkle of diced green bell peppers, which I keep in the freezer.
TIP – when bell peppers are on sale or on the reduced produce rack, I diced them up and keep them in a gallon sized freezer bag. This makes it super easy and I always have them on hand.
Now don’t say “ewwww”, but once in a while, I’ll make an anchovy pizza. Or bacon and onion.
If I have fresh mushrooms that I need to use up, I saute them in butter, and add some diced onion. I keep small containers of this in the freezer to use on pizza.
The possibilities are endless!
Step 5 – Bake for 10(ish) minutes
Now take your creation, and place the rack in the center of the toaster oven. Cook at 400-450 degrees for 10 minutes.
Keep an eye on it about the 7 minute mark to make sure it doesn’t over-cook. Your toaster oven may run a little hotter or cooler than mine.
The best part? All this takes 20 minutes from start to finish (yes, I timed it) and far less than what the take-out place charges!