Recipe for my favorite homemade pizza

I’ve been making this pizza ever since my friend Robert gave me my bread machine back in 2000. That’s how much I love it. The book it came from is literally falling apart. And this recipe in particular has so many stains on the page that it’s almost illegible. I’m going to write the recipe out as the book has it, then put my own notes in bold.

First the crust. It’s supposed to be made in a bread machine, but I’m assuming that you can make it without the machine, just do it like you would make regular pizza dough. I’ve never tried this before though.

Crust Ingredients-
1 cup plus 2 tbs. water Room temperature
2 tbs. olive oil or vegetable oil
3 cups Better for Bread flour I have used all purpose before and it’s been fine, but you might need to add a little more water to get the right consistency 
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 1/2 tsp. bread machine yeast Regular yeast works fine

Add ingredients to bread machine in the order listed. Set to Dough cycle. Do not use Delay cycle.

If you don’t have a bread machine…
I found a similar recipe to mine that uses a stand mixer instead of a bread machine. You can see it here on Simply Recipes. Note that I’ve never tried it this way, but it seems similar to what my machine does in terms of kneading and resting time, etc.
Combine water and yeast. Let stand 5-10 minutes until yeast is dissolved. Stir if necessary. Using the paddle attachment, combine yeast mixture with remaining dough ingredients and mix on low for 1 minute. Remove the paddle mixer and put on the dough hook. Knead on low to medium speed for about 10 minutes, until it forms a smooth elastic dough ball. (You can also hand knead the dough if you don’t have a mixer).
Place dough in an oiled bowl, cover, and let rise for an hour, or until doubled in size. (See linked recipe for more details on this step). Punch down and let rest for 10 minutes.

While your dough is working, you can start on the Chunky Sauce.

Chunky Sauce ingredients-
3 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped or you can use 2 cans diced tomatoes, drained
1 medium onion, chopped or use 1/2 cup pre-chopped frozen or fresh onion
1 cup sliced mushrooms I usually use the whole container of mushrooms because I love them. If you don’t like mushrooms, you can just chop up another tomato to bulk up the sauce 
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp. fresh basil, or 1 tsp. dried
1 tbsp. fresh oregano, or 1 tsp. dried
1 tsp. salt I usually only use 1/2 tsp if I’m making a sausage pizza
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

Combine all ingredients. This can be made ahead of time and kept in the fridge to let the flavors mix together.

Pizza Ingredients-
Pizza dough
2 tsp. olive or vegetable oil
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (about 8 oz.)
1 pound sausage or ground beef, cooked and drained
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
Chunky tomato sauce

Now you have three choices, regular crust, thick crust, or really thick crust.

Thinner crust-
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Grease a jelly roll pan (15 1/2 x 10 1/2 x 1 inch with oil). Press dough into bottom and sides of pan. Brush 2 tsp. oil over dough. I’ve skipped the extra oil before and it’s been fine. Sprinkle with 1 cup mozzarella cheese. Top with sausage, chunky sauce, parmesan cheese, and the remaining mozzarella.
Bake on bottom oven rack for 25-30 minutes, or until crust is brown and cheese is melted and bubbly. Let sit 10 minutes before slicing.

Thicker crust-
Brush two round pans (9 x 1 in.) with oil. Divide dough in half. Press dough into bottom and sides of pans. Continue with instructions above, placing half of the ingredients on each pizza. Bake as diected.

Super thick crust.
My two round pans got destroyed after a bad trip through the dishwasher. Instead of buying new pans, I decided to use what I had, which was a glass 9 x 11 cake pan. This makes a really thick squishy crust, ad I think it’s my favorite. The directions are the same, except you might want to keep it in the oven about 5 more minutes.

A few notes…
According to the book’s recipe, using hydroponic tomatoes is not recommended for the sauce due to higher water content.
I have made this using wheat flour, but it’s been awhile. I think my ratio was 1 cup wheat flour and 2 cups regular flour. I’ll try that next time and edit the recipe accordingly.
You can, of course use different toppings. I’ve made this pizza with many combinations of toppings.