Bread Machine Pizza - A Win-Win Situation

I will always remember the day I bought my bread machine. I was at a garage sale and found it marked at $30. After examining it, I insisted on plugging it in to make it work. Once the light sensors came on, I had no idea what to do next. So I paid for it.
I took it home and made five loaves of bread. Four of them fell. I read everything I could find on the Internet about bread machines and made sure to diligently manage the measurements. I finally decreased the falling of my loaves to about two in five - but somehow, those two always fell when I had no other bread in the house and was counting on the loaf to feed us our lunch. Finally, like I suspect so many women do, I left it on the counter as a beautiful appliance. Store-bought bread was just less hassle.
Several months passed, and I came across an article about making your own pizza, my husband's all-time favorite meal. Quick research revealed that I could actually make the pizza in my bread machine! I happily dumped the products in and we began saving about $60 a month (that is $720/year) by making our own pizza dough.
Pizza dough is very quick and easy to make, and, for me at least, much less likely to fall. If your bread maker has a timer, you can even set it to mix while you are at work. Or, you can make the dough on the weekend and freeze the crust, ready to be cooked as your very own frozen pizza - for significantly less money.
There are a million dough recipes out there, and I encourage you to experiment. We use the most basic recipe. Remember in your bread machine you want to add the wet ingredients first, followed by the dry, with the yeast going in last.
Start with 1 3/8 cup of water and pour it in the bottom of the machine bowl. Add two tablespoons of oil. Next, add two teaspoons of salt. Most recipes call for a teaspoon of sugar, but we decided we did not like the taste so we omitted it. We also add a teaspoon of powdered flax seed to the mix to at least make me feel like we were doing something healthy for dinner. Next, add 3 cups of flour. Then, make a little hole for the yeast and add two teaspoons.
I always check on my dough after about five minutes. Sometimes the whole mixture sloshes; I add a little more flour to firm it up. Sometimes there is flour caked to the side of the machine; I add more water and oil, little by little. Unlike bread, we very rarely have problems with our dough, and the addition of the frozen crust to our repertoire has made my nights even easier. We use regular spaghetti sauce rather than expensive 'pizza' sauce and add our own ingredients.
Lest you wonder about the cost savings, we purchase our yeast (by far the most expensive part) from a warehouse club. We pay less than $4 for what would cost us over $30 when bought in individual packets. We also purchase our cheese and pepperoni (our topping of choice) from the warehouse store. These are the most costly items that are least likely to go on sale.
Our recipe feeds two adults and two toddlers; once our third child started eating and our other two began growing we increased the ingredients a little and used 4 lbs of flour. When the dough finished mixing, we allow our older children to make their own 'pan' pizza, which they enjoy. Talk about getting the family involved.
Homemade pizza is a win-win situation. Your children get the taste they love, your husband gets to write smaller checks (and you don't have to worry about delivery charges or tips), and, most importantly, you get to use your bread machine for more than decoration.

Nola Redd is an author on http://www.Writing.Com/ which is a site for Creative Writers. You can read more of her fiction and nonfiction at http://Writing.Com/authors/scottiegaz.

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