Homemade Veggie PizzaAround my house we love pizza, both take out and homemade.  We are lucky enough to have a couple of good takeout pizza joints that deliver in our neighborhood for when I’m just to tired or really have run out of time in the day.  I’m not talking about any of the normal “fast food” pizza joints either, we tend to stay away from those because of all the processed meats, cheeses and the lack of fresh veggies those places have.  I’m talking about more what most people consider gourmet pizza places.  What can I say?  We like good food and that goes to our takeout as well and the first secret to a great pizza begins with the dough and the sauce used, followed by the combination and quality of the toppings.

I’ve never compared the prices between what it costs me to have a pizza delivered to that of what I make so I’m decided to do that today just to see the difference.  I already know that regardless of buying from a good pizza place my pizza is still healthier for us because mine still has less additives and I’m more careful with picking out my ingredients.

To make the comparison fair, I priced theHubby Adding Toppings to Pizza delivery pizza with the same toppings as I include on the pizza I make at home.  I use my bread maker to help me make a wonderful dough and I cook up a homemade pizza sauce.  Then we add thick home sliced slices Boar’s Head pepperoni (not sure of brand from pizza place), a good whole milk mozzarella (skim from pizza place), goat cheese or feta, fresh basil leaves (from my balcony), toasted garlic slivers (slice up some garlic, toss in olive oil and toast), fresh sliced baby bella mushrooms (I could only get regular white mushrooms from the pizza place) and freshly sliced roma tomatoes.  Occasionally I throw on a handful of spinach as well but for this experiment I left the spinach off.

The 18″ delivery pizza came to $32.67 with taxes and tip for the driver.  The time to order and wait for delivery at dinnertime was about an hour.  My homemade pizza ingredients came out to $19.37 with tax, leaving me enough to get a great bottle of wine for $10.89 and I still came in with a bit of change left over from what the delivery cost me.  This also makes two 14″ pizzas, one with meat and one vegetarian, so I actually get a lot more pizza for less the price helping out my food budget.

Now you may argue that we still had to make the pizza and wait for it to cook before eating it and that I cannot argue with you but it takes about an hour and 45 minutes (so only 45 minutes longer than the delivery) from the start of leaving the pizza dough to rise to creating a fully cooked pizza fresh from the oven and not to mention all the wonderful memories of talking and spending time either together with my wonderful husband or with friends while we make and bake our pizzas.  You could speed this process up by buying fresh pizza dough and already made sauce as a short cut.  I just love the flavors of my pizza crust and sauce recipe so its worth the wait for me for a better for me yummy  gooey hot pizza.  Plus we enjoyed the wine while we made it.

I remembered to take pictures a little late in the process but did manage to include a few for you to see (I’m still learning to remember I need to take pictures for you guys).  No drooling on your keyboard while you look at them 🙂  I also included the recipe for my yummy crispy pizza crust.

Pizza Dough

1 pkg. or 2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast (use bread machine yeast if using bread machine)

1 cup of warm water (about 108º to 115º)

2 3/4 to 3 cups of bread flour*

1 Tbsp. of olive oil

1 Tbsp. sugar

3/4 tsp. salt

If using bread machine, add the ingredients in the order for your machine (I only use 2 3/4 cups of flour when using the machine).  Then set the machine to knead and rise the dough, usually about an hour process.  Drop to third paragraph for rest of instructions.

If doing by hand, in a large bowl mix the yeast and the warm water until the yeast dissolves and looks foamy (called proofing).  Add 1 1/2 cups of the flour, olive oil, sugar and salt and bet until smooth.  Add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.  Then turn out onto a floured surface and knead the dough until smooth and elastic, about 6 to 8 minutes.  Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top ( I use a little olive oil here).  Cover the bowl and allow the dough to rise in a warm, draft free location until doubled, about 45 minutes to an hour.

Preheat over to 425º.  Punch dough down. Divide the dough into two and roll each half to your desired thickness.  Place on lightly greased pizza pans or use a pizza stone.  Add the ingredients of your choice and bake until the crust is browning and cheese is melting and browning.

Yield: 2 pizzas

*You can use all-purpose but it changes the consistency of the crust as well as it loses the slightly nutty flavor