Pizza is a comfort food of sorts, and people of all ages enjoy it for its versatility and familiarity. There are likely very few Americans who have never had a slice topped with cheese and pepperoni. Your family probably has a favorite pizzeria where you like to gather (or at least order delivery). This dish is also great for many different types of occasions and celebrations.
Sometimes, it is nice to take a break from the routine and do something different. The most economical way to do this is to make the crust from scratch and then have a few different toppings to choose from. Crust is easy to make, although it takes a little bit of planning. If you purchase some sauce, toppings and cheese you will have everything you need open your own "family pizzeria" in your kitchen.
Begin about 2 hours before you want to start assembling the pizzas. If you have a stand mixer or bread machine, making the dough will be quite simple. Allow time for it to rise, and then divide the dough once it is ready to shape. Divide the dough equally and shape it into round discs. If the crust is thick, you might find it helpful to prick it with a fork before adding the sauce (to allow it to cook thoroughly).
Once your crusts are ready to go, it is time to add the toppings. This is most fun when you set up an assembly line and let everyone add toppings, as they desire. If you have several to make, you may want to put them into the oven in batches. You can have some people working on theirs while others are in the oven.
Leftover dough can be used to make cheese bread or dessert pizza. To make cheese bread, place the dough in a deep-dish pan and then score it. Top the dough with a mixture of cheeses and seasonings, and then bake it until the cheese is lightly browned and the dough is golden. To make dessert pizzas, place the dough in a deep-dish pan and top with cinnamon and sugar. Slice it just like you do for regular pizzas, and then serve with a sugar-based dipping sauce.
Making your own pizzas can be a fun and informal way to beat the winter blahs. Gather your ingredients and your supplies and get ready to spend a great evening together.