Friday, January 8, 2010

Frugal Friday #7

What is on the menu for your Friday evening...

Why not turn your dinner into entertainment.

I know so many families that have a tradition of getting pizza on Friday nights.  Sounds good to me.

Pizza...a nice slightly crisp yet slightly chewy crust, a nice hearty sauce, topped with whatever you like, and then mounded with melted mozzarella cheese....

Instead of ordering out...make your own.

Take your dinner and make it a family activity - get your kitchen dirty, hear the laughter, the talk, watch the flour fly, and then sit down and eat together. 

A family of four - six ordering two large pizzas...would cost at least $20 bucks...

Buying a jar of sauce
Making your own crust out of flour, yeast, water, and some oil
A bag of cheese
And various toppings...will not surpass the price of 20 bucks...

And you can freeze the items you don't use up and use them the next Friday night.  Initially the cost could add up (flour, olive oil, cheese, sauce, yeast, toppings)  but many of ingredients you will then have on hand in your pantry.

Your whole family can have a fun night of making individual small pizzas or you can make two large pizzas just the way you like.   A two year old can even have fun making a pizza!

I have tried various pizza dough recipes and have not found one I like enough but last night I found it!  And it comes from...yes, you guessed!  The Pioneer Woman has once again proven spectacular.  Her pizza dough recipe is not on her website...that I could find.  It is in her cookbook.  I don't quite know what the etiquette is for sharing a it okay to share a recipe out of a cookbook...I think it is.  Especially when her cookbook is worth still buying because the step by step pictures are priceless!  They make me love the book most.

So here is a pizza dough recipe that is SO EASY!  There is no way to get this wrong because it doesn't require any fancy kneading.  And it can be frozen or kept in the fridge to be used at a later date!

You will need:
1 teaspoon or 1/2 packet of active dry yeast
4 cups all- purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

1.  Pour 1 1/2 cups of warm water in a bowl.  Sprinkle yeast over the bowl.

2.  Combine the flour and salt in a different bowl.

3.  Using a mixer on low, sprinkle olive oil into flour mixture until just incorporated.

4.  Stir up the yeast/water mixture and then slowly add to the four/oil mixture.  Mix until dough forms a ball.

5.  Take a little olive oil and coat the sides of a bowl and then turn the dough ball around in the bowl until the ball is coated lightly in oil.

6.  Cover with a warm moist kitchen towel and set in a warm spot for 1-2 hours.  Or cover in plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to 2 days.

To prepare, preheat the oven to 500 degrees.  Divide the dough in half.  She advises to lightly drizzle the pan with olive oil (but I skipped that because I was using pizza stones).  Use your fingers to stretch and shape the dough.  The thinner the better.  Top with your goodies and bake 8-10 minutes or until the edges of the crust are golden brown.

Last night I was anxious and wanted both pizzas cooking at the same time.  The pizza that cooked on top had crust that wasn't done for my liking.  The pizza that cooked on the bottom was done fabulously!  So I would encourage you to relax and bake them one at a time!

SERIOUSLY - her cookbook is so fun because of all the step by step pictures!

So you can make pizza for 2-3 nights for the price of one ordered out pizza.  Plus you can splurge on a bottle of wine for the price of two glasses at a restaurant!  And stop at a Redbox and pick up a flick for $1.00. 

I can not argue that having your husband pick up the pizza on his way home and not having to clean up the kitchen is a HUGE TREAT!  However, if you are living frugal this could be an idea to try.

Happy Friday night!



Anonymous said...

I am currently waiting for the phone call telling me to preheat the oven for Papa Murphy's. Cory and I both grew up making pizza at home with our families. We'll have to try this recipe! I think you've plugged the Pioneer Woman enough that she wouldn't mind you sharing one recipe... :)


Heather said...

Have to hand it to you, you make me want to buy the cookbook! I think making pizza dough sounds fun, but I also like the convenience of a frozen pizza. Not the same as fresh or take out, but pretty cheap. That's the way we are going tonight. Maybe on a weekend when I have reinforcement for the mess I will try this:)
Thanks for sharing! Heather

Barb said...

Love the sound of this crust and we'll try it one of these days!!


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