Shove over, Rachel Ray. I too can make a dinner in 30 minutes or less. Fresh hot homemade pizza, perhaps? Who doesn’t like pizza? Even vegans like pizza, especially if they prepare it themselves and know exactly what’s in it.
My secret for homemade pizza in under 30 minutes – buy the dough already prepared for you. I used to make pizza dough from scratch but it takes so long! That’s fine if you have all day (ok half a day) to mix it and wait for it to rise until doubled and then punch it down and roll it out, etc. I feel tired just writing about it. I’ve discovered it’s so much easier to stop by your local pizzeria on your way home from work and just buy a fresh handmade dough ball and some sauce. My current favorite place is called Bellagios and there are several locations around Portland and the surrounding area.
You can also buy pizza dough in the refrigerated section of most major supermarkets. I know they sell them at New Seasons Market (local market), Trader Joe’s ( national market) and I believe Fred Meyers ( Pacific Northwest market chain). These doughs, however, are probably not made that day (check the date on the bag) and usually not quite as tasty ( I have purchased some duds) as the pizzeria balls.
Out of curiosity I telephoned around to pizza establishments near my home to inquire if they too sold just the dough and/or sauce. Five out of eight places told me they would sell me just the dough and/or sauce. I am going to buy dough from all that said yes and report back about the results.
So, for those of you who are curious, here are the places that told me NO we do not sell our dough: Pietro’s Pizza in Milwaukie, Pizzacato – locations throughout Portland, and Pizza Hut, national chain.
I highly recommend you use a pizza stone for best results, but if you don’t have one, Papa Murphy’s (national chain) will sell you a rolled out unbaked crust on their paper pizza pan that goes right into the oven and doesn’t burn. They charge $3.00 for a large crust and .50 for sauce.
Round Table (national chain) gave me a whole slew of information:
x-large dough ball – $2.25
Large dough ball – $2.00
Medium dough ball – 1.75
Small dough ball – 1.25
Sauce – .25 per cup (I think these are pretty small cups so you need to decide how much sauce you would need)
Flying Pie Pizza (local chain)
Dough ball – $2.00 enough for a thin large pizza If you like a thicker crust buy 2 balls.
It’s a Beautiful Pizza (local Portland favorite)
Dough ball – $2.00 makes a large pizza
Sauce? - and I quote “If you bring in your own container, I’ll hook you up” Does that mean they give it to you gratis? I’m not sure but I have eaten their pizza before and it is good so I am willing to pay for sauce.
Godfather’s Pizza (national chain) – I talked to the nicest guy named Matt. He identified himself as the General Manager. He didn’t quote any prices and he didn’t turn me down. Matt suggested that I call ahead in the morning that I would want the dough and let them know when I would be in to pick it up. Apparently there is a short window when you have to use the dough. It also comes in the pan, like Papa Murphys, only it’s an aluminum pan. He told me that he once sold some crust to a woman who made pizza on the barbeque grill. I asked if she reported back to him and he said yes, it turned out great. I might have to try their dough out using that method.
Like most cities, Portland has tons of pizzerias and I didn’t call all of them. Eventually I may, but I’m sticking close to home for now. I’m excited about trying all of the doughs.
I like the sauce from Bellagio’s because it is thick. You can use your own homemade sauce or something out of a jar, but, really, paying .25 – .50 for sauce from the parlor is cheaper than a jar of sauce from the store.
You can put whatever you like on your pizza. As far as cheese goes, I prefer fresh mozzarella to the awkward, hard to grate ball. The fresh is so much nicer and melts beautifully. I like to top it off with a sprinkling of shredded parmesan as it browns nicely and gives a nice finish. If you are making vegan pizza, the Follow Your Heart brand of soy cheese melts great.
Rule of thumb: HOT OVEN – 425º – 500º
I have a convection oven so the 425º works best for me. If you have a gas or electric oven I like to go for the 500º mark. You just have to experiment and get to know your oven.
Place your rack on the bottom of your oven, as low as it will go. I think this works best if using a pizza stone. If you are using the Papa Murphy’s crust on their paper pizza pan, stay in the middle of the oven.
Set a timer for 13 minutes and then check the pizza. It usually takes about 15 -20 minutes, depending on your oven and how thick the crust and toppings are. Using a large metal spatula, slide it under the crust and take a peek underneatheth. The crust should be a very light golden brown. If it is still white, it ain’t done!
So, I think I have given you enough information to get you started on making your own pizza at home. It is economical and super yummy and it really beats the frozen pizzas, hands down!
Manga Manga and Bon Appétit