So, one word that my kids know all too well is pizza. I guess with there being a Little Caesar’s on the way home from work, that was bound to happen. We are big fans of a Hot and Ready pizza after a long day of students and lesson plans.
One of my goals is for our family to eat mostly wheat bread. Why? Well, our bodies digest food best when it is in its most natural state. I can tell a different in my energy level, digestion, and weight when comparing white to wheat bread. However, I have tried numerous whole wheat pizza dough recipes, and they just weren’t working. So, instead, we were picking up pizzas on our way home. It just didn’t make sense to me to keep buying processed fast food pizza when I could make it at home. So, I decided to try a new recipe and used ½ white ½ wheat flour. And guess what, it worked. It’s not as healthy as I would prefer, but it is far healthier than Little Caesar’s.
The recipe that I found makes enough dough for 2 pizzas. So, I came up with the idea of making pizza kits and freezing them. Although it wasn’t “Hot and Ready” when we got home, it was easy to make and very enjoyable.
The first step – make the dough: I doubled the following pizza dough recipe. I had to make the recipe twice because my mixer isn’t big enough to hold all the ingredients. It wasn’t that big of an issue though. I substitute ½ of the white flour with wheat flour.
While the dough was rising, I made the pizza sauce and shredded the cheese.
Second step – make the pizza sauce: Store bought pizza sauce has a lot of salt and sugar added, plus it really doesn’t taste all that great.
Here’s the recipe I’ve created:
4 6 oz. cans tomato paste (I’m sure you can buy a bigger can of tomato paste and adjust the measurements. I was just using what I had on hand)
¾ cup olive oil (it’s cheapest to buy this in bulk at Sam’s or another)
¾ cup water
¼ cup Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 T sugar
Mix all ingredients together. I like my sauce to be thick. If you want it thinner, just add more water or oil. You can also adjust the seasoning and sugar to get the taste you want.
Third step – shred the cheese. I’ve mentioned before how handy my food processor is. It was much easier and faster to shred cheese for 4 pizzas in the processor than doing it by hand.
By this time, the dough should be done rising. Follow the instructions for freezing the dough that are on the website. I divide the sauce into small Ziploc bags; I think it ends up being about 2 cups per bag. I divide the cheese into small Ziploc bags also. It should be close to 2 cups or ¾ a pound. It depends on how thin the cheese is shredded. When freezing shredded cheese, it helps to add about ½ – 1 tablespoon of flour to the bag and then shake till it is spread throughout. This helps prevent the cheese from becoming a big frozen block of cheese. It will not affect the taste or consistency.
Put all the bags into the freezer and let them freeze. Once they are frozen, put a bag of sauce, cheese, and dough into a big Ziploc bag. On the day you plan to have pizza, take out all ingredients and let them thaw in the fridge (if you remember to in the morning) or on the counter for a few hours if it’s later in the day. If everything isn’t thawed when you are ready to cook, you can soak them in hot water, just be sure not to let any water get into the bags.
The pizza dough will be difficult to roll out at first. Honestly, it can take me about 5 – 10 minutes. You have to get a lot of the air rolled out before it will soften up and spread out. Just be patient! Like it said, it’s not hot and ready, but it is cheaper and healthier. Once you have you shaped and rolled out the dough, cook it for about 6 minutes at 450 before adding any toppings. This helps to make sure the crust will be cooked throughout without burning the toppings. Finally, add your toppings, cook for about 6 – 10 more minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
Let sit for about 5 minutes, and then enjoy!
Overall, it took me about 2 hours to fix the kits (which I did on a Saturday during nap time) and 30 minutes to make and cook the pizza. It probably only cost about $3 for the tomato paste and the other ingredients I keep on hand. I guess it cost around $1 per pizza. Like I said, not hot and ready, but it is cheaper and healthier. This doesn’t mean that we will never stop and pick up a pizza. I would like for that to be my goal. However, I prefer to make realistic goals, and I don’t think that would be very realistic for my family right now.
I enjoyed making the kits and found it relatively easy to put together. One goal that I’m setting for this blog is to help other people find ways to make cooking easier, cheaper, and healthier. If you have any ideas of kits you would like to have but have no clue how to do it, let me know. I’ll be more than happy to help brainstorm ideas and offer suggestions.