Pizza, whether it is homemade or store-bought, has become as popular among the Amish over the past couple of decades as it has in the rest of America. It’s easy to see why. Most of the ingredients in a homemade pizza consist of staples already in the average Amish kitchen. Pizza is a case where pop culture has introduced a food to the Amish and they have embraced it and made it their own. Rachel has been making a delicious homemade pizza lately..Honestly, I like this pizza about as much as any other I have tasted, store-bought or otherwise and coming from a pizza connoisseur like myself that is saying a lot. The Amish connection to this recipe which Rachel got from wheatfoods.org is that we got the flour from an Amish grain miller in Aylmer, Ontario. The Amish owner of the mill is a fascinating man name Franz who emigrated to Canada from Austria in search of a simpler life and he found it by joining the Amish. This is a quick, easy, delicious pizza recipe, a photo of one of Rachel’s homemade pizzas is above.
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 package active dry yeast/instant yeast
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup hot tap water (120 – 125°F)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil (canola or olive oil work well too)
1 tablespoon honey or granulated sugar
Description: Rising and baking times may be extended.
Some people prefer to “pre-bake” the crust for about 3 minutes before adding the toppings. Crust will be “crispier” than if not pre-baked. Directions: Preheat oven to 425°F To prepare pizza dough, stir whole wheat flour; lightly spoon into a measuring cup and level flour. In large mixing bowl, combine whole wheat flour, yeast and salt. Blend in water, oil and honey or sugar. Stir by hand vigorously until all ingredients are well mixed; about 3 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise to desired size. Place dough in greased 15 x 10 x 1-inch jelly-roll pan or 12 to 14-inch pizza pan. Press dough to cover bottom of pan and up sides to form a rim. Add pizza sauce of your choice and your favorite pizza toppings; bake in oven 15 to 20 minutes or until crust is golden brown and toppings are done.
Pizza was only eaten occasionally by Elizabeth Coblentz, the original Amish Cook. Pizza was only slowly making its way onto the Amish menu at this time. She lived in a very rural part of Indiana far from any town and she had no access to a telephone. This was the mid-90s and cell phones were just coming into widespread use. I remember the first time I visited her with what I called my “pocket phone.” She was amazed at how that little phone unattached to any wires could dial anywhere. I remember one evening when I was visiting I suggested that I call for pizza delivery. She was amazed as I whipped out my cell phone and placed a pizza delivery order. The person on the other end was equally amazed because they never got phone orders from that particular geographic area. But they showed up a half hour or so later with some hot pies.
Elizabeth had her own homemade pizza recipe which was printed in the Original Amish Cook Cookbook. The recipe is below:
HOMEMADE PIZZA PIE
1 package of dry yeast
1 cup of warm water
1 1 /2 teaspoons salt
3 cups of flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1 /4 cup of salad oil
2 cups tomato sauce
1 pound of your favorite cheese
Dissolve yeast in warm water. Add sugar, salt, and oil and mix thoroughly. Add 1 /2 of the flour and beat until there are no lumps. Gradually add remaining flour. Knead dough for 5 minutes. Take half of the dough, roll out into a circle 12 inches in diameter. Place on a greased cookie sheet. Leave edges a little thicker than the middle. Repeat this with the other half of the dough. Put on a second cookie sheet and let rise 20 to 30 minutes. Brush the tops with salad oil. Cut one pound of cheese into fine pieces and sprinkle over the top. Put 2 cups of homemade tomato sauce lightly over the cheese. Bake at 450 for 15 minutes or until the edges are brown and the cheese is melted. Makes two pies