My Great Pizza Challenge

There are some who consider pizza the perfect food. It has complex carbohydrates, vegetables, dairy, and protein. OK, maybe “perfect” is stretching it a bit, but I remember when pizza was something you shouldn’t eat too much of because it might spoil your dinner. Now it is dinner.

Millions of families rely on pizza because it is quick and convenient. But is it? To find out, I conducted a less-than-scientific test earlier this week.

I ordered a large 14-inch thin-crust tomato and cheese pizza from Domino’s for delivery. As soon as I hung up the phone, I went to work on my homemade pizza with a no-rise crust.

My homemade gourmet-style pizza was out of the oven, sliced, and partially consumed before the doorbell rang. It’s difficult to give an unbiased opinion on the homemade versus the commercial product because, well, I am anything but impartial. Just let me say that there’s nothing like the taste of fresh tomatoes, fresh basil, and freshly grated Parmesan cheese on this freshly baked no-rise homemade dough.

As for the time factor, I beat Domino’s by a full 20 minutes. And the cost? Mine: less than $4. Domino’s: $26, including tip. Homemade for the win!

Homemade Pizza

Makes one 14-inch pizza

  • 4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 teaspoons cornmeal
  • 1 package dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water
  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • Salt
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 3/4 pound Roma tomatoes, sliced thinly
  • 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Rub 1 teaspoon olive oil over a 14-inch pizza pan, and sprinkle with cornmeal.

Stir yeast and sugar into warm water, and let stand until foamy (2 to 3 minutes).

Combine flour, salt, and 1 teaspoon olive oil in food processor bowl fitted with metal blade (this dough can be made with an electric mixer or in a bread machine, although a food processor is ideal). Turn on machine. Pour yeast mixture through feed tube. Process until dough cleans inside of work bowl. If dough sticks, add more flour, a tablespoon at a time. If dough is crumbly, add water a teaspoon at a time. When you reach desired consistency, process dough until uniformly supple and elastic, about 40 seconds.

Roll dough immediately on heavily floured board into a 14-inch circle. If dough resists, let rest 5 minutes to relax gluten, and then try again.

Transfer dough to pizza pan. Work the edge to form rim. Brush with remaining oil. Sprinkle on minced garlic, and cover with an even layer of tomato slices. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Bake for 15 to 18 minutes until crust is crisp and golden-brown. Sprinkle with fresh basil.

Note: You could use a bottled sauce, your favorite toppings, and mozzarella cheese to customize to your taste and available ingredients.

Mary Hunt is the founder of, a frugal living blog and the author of the book “Debt-Proof Living.” Mary invites you to visit her at her website, where this column is archived complete with links and resources for all recommended products and services. Mary invites questions and comments at, “Ask Mary.” Tips can be submitted at This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Copyright 2021

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Mary Hunt
Author: Mary Hunt

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