There was another version of this cookbook that I got a couple of years later. It was an updated version with metric measurements and new recipes.
I hated it.
What I loved about the old version is that the recipes are far more practical, and it was filled with all sort of other advice. In the front, there are pages of abbreviations, substitutions and equivalents, and even diagrams for table settings. At the end of the book, there's information on preserving food in general, different canning methods for fruits and vegetables, including recipes, and even sections on laundry - with a wash 'n care chart - and a guide for selectiong pots and pan. The recipes are very basic - no convenience foods for short cuts. The sections include beverages, fruit, soups, salads and salad dressings, eggs, cheese dishes, and so on. There's even a chapter on "Luncheon and Supper dishes" and in the Party Suggestions chapter, there's a section on "How to estimate for a Tea" based on the number of guests, with quantities given for 50 people. All this in only 103 pages!
The downside is that it's old. Which is good if you're looking for "from scratch" recipes, but people generally can't find rennet anymore, and don't need instructions on how to care for their wringer washer.
Today, we decided we wanted pizza. Usually, we order in, but just don't have the budget for it. While doing my grocery shopping, however, I splurged a bit for toppings. When it came to the dough, I found a curious problem. Most of my pizza recipes called for frozen pizza dough!
Recipes for Young Adults to the rescue!
The recipe in the book is for Italian Pizza, with the ingredients divided into mixture's A (the dough), B (the sauce and C (the toppings).
All I was after was the dough. Here is the recipe for it (though I didn't bother pre-sifting the flour):
1/2 c lukewarm water
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 envelope active dry yeast
1/2 tsp salt
2 T oil
3/4 c sifted all purpose flour
1/2 c sifted all-purpose flour
1. Measure into a bowl the lukewarm water and stir in sugar.
2. Sprinkle with yeast and let stand 10 minutes. Then stir well.
3. Stir in 1/2 tsp. salk, 2 T oil and 3/4 c flour. Beat until smooth.
4. Stri in an additional 1/2 c flour.
5. Turn out dough on board floured with 2 T flour. Work in flour and knead until smooth and elastic. Form dough into a ball.
6. Knead lightly on floured board and roll out into a circle about 18 inces in diameter. Place on greesed cookie sheet and turn edges up slightly.
Then it goes on into the instructions for the sauce and toppings.
We doubled the recipe to make a dough for my 9x13 cookie sheet/jelly roll pan. The pan was lightly oiled and sprinkled with corn meal so the dough wouldn't stick. For that size pan, the double recipe made for a thin crust pizza.
For the sauce, I used a commercial pizza sauce in a squeeze bottle. This is one of those times where getting the ingredients for the sauce would have been more wasteful, as we like our pizzas very light on sauce. This way, we could just use a bit and I wouldn't have an open can of tomato paste and nothing to use it on (we're not big on tomatoes in any form in this household).
For the toppings, I picked up some Gypsy Salami, which has a peppery coating on the outside. That went on all of the pizza, as did a blend of mozza and medium cheddar cheeses at the very end. Half the pizza had sliced black olives and mushrooms added, and 1/4 of the pizza had artichoke hearts (it was on sale) and blue cheese (which I've never actually bought before).
Once it was in the oven, we figured it just wasn't going to be enough, so we whipped up a triple recipe to make a second, thick crust pizza. This one went on my flat cookie sheet, so it was kinda, sorta rounded. There was only enough salami for half the second pizza. That half also got olives and mushrooms. The other half was just cheese. We didn't use the blue cheese this time, as only Eldest and I like it.
This is what's left of the first pizza - and my husband wasn't feeling well, so he hasn't had any yet.
The quarter section with the artichoke hearts and blue cheese was incredible! Eldest absolutely loved it. She says it's the best pizza she's ever tasted! The cheese and salami only section was for Youngest, though the pizza got cut into thirds lengthwise, so only two pieces were truly cheese and salami only.
I noticed the flash made both pizzas looked far shinier than they really were. They're not at all greasy, which can be a problem when cheeses are cooked for too long.
Eldest has asked that we never order pizza in again. :-D
It really didn't take long at all to make the pizzas. The dough took maybe 20 minutes, and that counts the 10 minutes waiting for the yeast to do its magic in the warm water. That was enough time to shred the cheeses and slice the mushrooms and artichoke hearts (the canned olives were already sliced). Baking time was only 20 minutes. So in about the time it takes to figure out what we want, phone in an order and wait for delivery, we could make one pizza ourselves.
It's toppings that we don't usually have. Sure, we usually have cheese in the fridge, but not usually mozzarella. I pretty much always have dough ingredients, but never the sauce. Most of the ingredients for a home made sauce are standard pantry items for us, but not the tomato paste, which I just don't have much use for normally.
The small hunk of mozza I bought cost $10, and we used it up entirely on the two pizzas. The Gypsy Salami cost a little over $6 for about 130 grams, and it covered 1 1/2 pizzas. We got the smallest package of blue cheese we could find, which cost almost $4, though there's still some of that left since we only used it on 1/4 pizza. Adding up the cost of the other ingredients, and trying to calculate for the portions used, I'd say it cost about $25-30 dollars to make those two pizzas. It's still cheaper then ordering in, but with the place we usually order from, not by much. Definitely a savings compared to the more gourmet pizza places we've tried over the years (which is where I got the idea to try the artichoke hearts). On the other hand, the grocery store deli has a variety of large size fresh pizzas, needing only to be baked, for anywhere from about $5 - $7 each. The most expensive one is a deluxe that has 3 kinds of meat, plus olives, mushrooms, green peppers and onions. Frozen pizzas are more expensive than the deli pizzas, but still cheaper than these home made ones.
This definitely becomes a matter of taste over price. These are better pizzas, but they're not necessarily better for the budget.