Eau Claire Eats

Broke college student’s homemade pizza for the win


Photo by Kalyn Cronk

Homemade personal pizza with all the fixings

I constantly battle with making the time to prepare healthy food, especially during school. 

Usually frozen food or Kraft’s Spiral Mac and Cheese is my go-to during the semester. Yes, I know I eat like a 21-year-old child, but when I have class back-to-back from 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., it’s hard to eat healthy and fight the urge to not eat out.

However, for Christmas I was gifted a stand mixer — I realized I was getting old when this and a mattress pad excited me the most — and I decided to put it to the test with some homemade pizza.

Here is the recipe I used:

5 teaspoon dry yeast

Pinch of sugar

1 ¼ cup warm water

3 ½ cup flour

1 teaspoon salt

¾ cup olive oil

Put the wet ingredients in the mixer first, and add in the flour last. Set the mixer to the lowest setting and let it mix for eight minutes. (If you have a hand mixer, same thing.)

Let the dough rise for about two hours with a cloth or towel covering the bowl. Once the dough has risen, split the dough in half and shape the pizza crust on a pizza pan — half of the dough makes about a 12-inch pizza.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, and place the shaped crust in the oven until golden brown or slightly crispy. Use any kind of pizza sauce, and add the toppings. Put the pizza back in the oven until done.

I made this pizza over the weekend with my boyfriend, and of course we forgot the sugar, but it was still delicious. The sugar helps the yeast to activate and the dough to rise, so it is only slightly important that it’s added to the dough mix.

For the pizza sauce I used my mom’s homemade spaghetti sauce that doubles as pizza sauce, and I have no idea how she makes it or what is in the sauce, but it sure was tasty. Store-bought sauce would be perfectly delicious too.

Since the dough recipe makes two decent sized pizzas, my boyfriend and I each got one. I’m a Plain Jane and just put mozzarella cheese on mine, but he used red and orange peppers, onions, black olives, mozzarella cheese and pepperoni on his pizza.

This recipe would be good for meal planning as well — I can make a bunch of personal pizzas ahead of time, freeze them and they’re good to go with my busy schedule. Plus, it’s healthier than the average Jack’s frozen pizza.

If I’m really on a time crunch or I don’t have all of those ingredients and still want some kind of pizza, I make it a different way with bread.

My mom used to make some super-mini personal pizzas with bread when I was younger, and they absolutely slap.

All she did was take whatever bread we had on hand, put them on a cookie sheet, throw on some pizza sauce and whatever toppings (usually just cheese for me) and stick them in the oven until the cheese was melted. From a picky eater’s standpoint, I approve.

Cronk can be reached at [email protected].