Entertaining Friends: Personal Pizzas

Entertaining is becoming a lost art for many families. People are getting too busy for people. Or they are just “peopled out” by the time they get home and hit the automatic garage door opener. It is easier to watch television, surf the net (!), or play a video game than invite guests and prepare the house and a meal for them.

It can also be challenging to find one dish that pleases a wide range of ages and preferences. Add vegetarianism and food allergies to the mix, and it can be hard to figure out what to serve guests! The goal is for everyone to feel comfortable and satisfied at the end of the evening. Make-Your-Own personal pizzas are always successful.

I start out by making the crusts. I have a very nice recipe for prebaked yeast crusts that don’t require any rising time and a minimum of handling. This crust freezes well and tastes great. I shared it with a friend who does once-a- month cooking, and it is popular with her large family. My daughter won reserve champion with this recipe at 4-H fair. It will be a winner with your guests, too.

Easy Pizza Crust

  • 1 cup water, warm
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour

1. Combine water, yeast, and sugar and set aside.

2. Preheat oven to 350°F.

3. Combine rest of ingredients and add yeast mixture.

4. Stir well and turn out onto lightly floured board. Knead lightly until firm.

5. Cover dough with a towel and allow to rest for 5 to 10 minutes.

6. Divide dough into 12 pieces for personal size crusts or leave whole for a normal size pizza crust.

7. Roll out individual crusts and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet or pan dusted with cornmeal. Pierce dough with a fork.

8. Bake for 10-12 minutes, then remove crusts from oven, brush with oil,  and add toppings.

9. Raise oven temperature to 450°F. Bake pizzas 10-15 minutes or until done.

Toppings:

  • Vegetables: Green peppers, mushrooms, onions, rehydrated sundried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, zucchini, lettuce, tomatoes, and spinach
  • Meat: Italian or Chorizo Sausage, Pepperonis, Canadian bacon (pineapple!), anchovies, chicken, meatballs, taco meat, hamburger
  • Sauces: Pesto, chunky tomato sauce, seasoned tomato sauce, sour cream, Alfredo sauce
  • Condiments: Greek, black, and green olives, garlic, pickled yellow peppers, capers, olive oil
  • Cheeses: Fontina, parmesan, mozzarella, cheddar, grana, queso fresco
  • Seasonings: Italian seasoning mix, oregano, basil, garlic salt, sea salt, black pepper, red pepper

The crusts and toppings can be prepared ahead, giving you time get your house in order! Serve with a green salad and drinks of your choice and you

Yummo!

have an occasion for the whole family to enjoy. Begonia

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