How to Make Pizza Dough and Frugal Pizza Toppings
Cooking from scratch is usually cheaper than buying things in stores. For this recipe, I am going to share multiple options and ideas. Pizza is such a versatile option for either a snack or a main meal plus it can be a lot of fun making it together as a family.
Pizza Base Options
Aside from your standard pizza dough, which I will share below, there are other things you can use as a base for pizza. Tortillas, toast, English muffins, crumpets, any stale bread or rolls, pitta bread, naan bread, wraps etc.
Basically, anything that is a dough base can be used to make a pizza.
If you are going keto or don’t like the idea of a dough base you can also try cauliflower pizza base or meat pizza base. I’d done both before but the meat base felt like way too much meat. And if I am going to eat pizza, I want a dough base. That’s my preference though.
Frugal Pizza Toppings
Our favourite toppings include leftover roast vegetables, capsicum, pineapple, salami, tomato etc. Usually, we look in the fridge to see what we have and make pizza out of that.
The sauce on a pizza does not need to be specifically pizza sauce. You can use tomato, BBQ or any sauce you like. If you want a little flavour, sprinkle herbs over regular tomato sauce or mix some into the sauce before adding it to your pizza base.
Fruit and Vegetable Pizza Toppings
While I say any vegetables will work, some work better than others. We’ve found onion, capsicum, mushroom, zucchini, roast pumpkin, pineapple, tomato (fresh, sundried or any other way), avocado and olives are best.
Think about your favourite pizzas or check out the menu at your local pizza place. Look through the ingredients list and see what stands out. Gourmet pizzas often have roasted vegetables or pickled options. It adds a little more flavour and is a good way to use those random leftovers too.
Meat Pizza Toppings
Leftover meats such as cooked sausage, roast chicken or any other roast meats work great on pizza. As does leftover Christmas ham and similar.
Or, buy whatever meat you want. Pizza doesn’t need a lot of whatever meat you are choosing so it can be frugal as such a minimal amount is used.
Cheese for Pizza
Again, you don’t need to buy the specific pizza cheese packet at the shops. You can use any grated cheese, however, different cheeses have different tastes and purposes. The pizza packet is a blend of cheese.
Mozarella is stretchy, gooey and mild in flavour whereas hard cheeses such as parmesan have a strong flavour but don’t melt in the same way mozzarella does. Most people prefer a mix of tasty and mozzarella for their pizza.
A swirl of mayonnaise, various herbs, spices, and flavoured oils, all of these add a different flavour and take your pizza from being basic to something more.
Experiment with different ingredients you have at home.
Pizza Dough Recipe
Preparation Time: 30 minutes + 3 hours rising
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours
4 Cups Flour (bread flour or plain flour)
2 teaspoons instant yeast
Pinch salt (1/4 teaspoon)
2 Tablespoons sugar (any but most people use white)
4 Tablespoons oil (any but most prefer extra virgin olive oil)
1 & 1/3 Cup (330ml) tap water/room temperature water
Extra flour and oil for kneading
Place the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
Mix the wet ingredients together in a separate cup or bowl.
Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients in. Mix and knead together to form a dough that comes away from the sides of the bowl.
Sprinkle flour on the bench and knead the dough for 5 minutes. Alternatively, use a mixer and this will only take 3 minutes or 40 seconds in a food processor.
Rub a bowl with oil. Place the dough ball in, roll it around to coat it then cover with cling wrap and leave to rise for 1 to 2 hours. I often place mine in the sunlight (inside) for this.
Yes, the dough needs to rise again. First, flour the surface of a bench. Next, deflate the dough as you get it out of the bowl and form it into a log on the bench. Cut the log into 3 equal pieces. Form them into balls again, coat in oil or sprinkle with flour to prevent sticking. Place the balls on a tray in a warm spot, covered with a damp tea towel or some backing paper, to rise a second time for 1 hour.
Stretch The Dough
Now the dough is ready to use. Preheat the oven to 275°C (530°F). Sprinkle the bench with flour again. Working with 1 ball at a time, gently use your fingertips to push and stretch the dough into a circle. Place it in the pizza pan or on the paddle if using a woodfire oven and continue to stretch to fill the pan.
Work quickly to add your sauce, toppings and cheese how you want it. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, rotating it after 4 minutes. Keep an eye on it to ensure you cook it how you like it. One of my kids prefers it crispier to the other.
This dough can be made up to 5 days ahead of time. If you are doing that, after it rises the first time, separate it into 3 pieces then place it in the fridge until you plan to use it. The flavour will increase.
For something a little extra, if you are making a specific flavour of pizza e.g. Mexican or Italian, you can add herbs or spices to the dough for extra flavour.
If you can’t find instant yeast, you will need to use normal yeast and dissolve it with the sugar in the water. Do not use hot water because it will kill the yeast. Room temperature to slightly warm is best.
Rising times will vary depending on the room temperature and humidity. A general rule of thumb, if it is over 30°C it will only take 1 hour. Colder than that will take 1 to 2 hours.