Our favorite pizza

Confession: We always have pizza on Saturday nights, unless we are away from home. It’s a tradition I grew up with in my family, and now my children count on it.

The soft and delicious crust is a recipe passed down to me by my mom.

Pizza Dough

1 scant Tbsp. yeast
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 cup warm water

— Stir together and let rest 5 minutes.

1 Tbsp. oil
½ tsp. salt
Garlic salt to taste
Oregano to taste
2 ½ cups hi-gluten flour

— Add, and knead with dough hook attachment in mixer until dough is soft and elastic, no longer clinging to sides of bowl. Let rise till double, 30-45 minutes. Pat into pizza pan.

Sometimes I shake extra herbs into the dough – sage, thyme, parsley, basil. Or I use half a cup of whole wheat flour and two cups of hi-gluten.

Recently we’ve been stuffing the crust. We cut string cheese in half the long way and wrap the dough around it – or use equivalent size strips from a chunk of bulk cheese.

Then we butter the top of the crust (only the stuffed part) and sprinkle it with garlic salt, to make basically a stuffed breadstick. Now the crust is the best part of the pizza!

We add pizza sauce and our favorite toppings – usually a pound of bulk sausage, browned; mushrooms (on all but two slices); shredded mozzarella; and lots of pepperoni. We bake it at 375° for 30 minutes, and enjoy together.


Do you have food traditions for certain days each week? I’d love to hear them, and give them a try in our family.

Also, just FYI – I let Kelly comment on my last post to give an update on how she’s doing. By now she’s as active as ever, having to be reminded of the doctor’s orders to go easy on her tummy until her follow-up appointment. Thanks for your kind words to her and to me.

Mini hotdog buns

So last week was no-grocery week and I decided to bake hotdog buns instead of buying them. I got out a jiffy recipe from a trusted cookbook and started measuring and rolling. In typical Shari-fashion I made them the day of the cookout so they’d be fresh, pinning everything on one effort without leaving myself time to make a second batch if the first ones failed, and worrying most that I’d crank out these massive beefy buns large enough to engulf turkey drumsticks—you know how yeast is!

stack of buns

I went a little overboard in my efforts to keep small, and when I pulled them out of the oven they were—quite small. Really small. I thought the hotdogs might be able to wedge their paws in.

Embarrassed to serve them, I nonetheless had little choice. I sliced them halfway through with an electric knife and stuck them in the picnic basket with the other fixins.

Up until the moment the first guest put a hotdog in one, I thought “This will never work.”* But it did. Most perfectly.

hotdog in bun

*I think this a lot while I am creating.

The ladies liked them because they were dainty and low-carb and the men liked them because they were an excuse to eat more hotdogs—more like a hotdog handle, really. We found it refreshing to skip the usual big-hunk-of-extra-bun-on-the-side. Plus they were yummy. I think my brother ate five.


And my daughter ate a s’more. Which is not what this blog post is about.


As I was saying. I asked for permission to share the recipe with you! I’ve made it before as dinner rolls, and I love it because it’s the quickest yeast recipe I’ve made, simple and clean and no-fuss. Rhoda Byler graciously gave permission to share; it’s from her cookbook Kountry Kupboard Kook’n, available for purchase here. Lots more yummy down-home recipes in it too.

hotdog in bun 2

Try it?

Jiffy Buns

4 to 4 ½ cups hi-gluten flour (or half wheat)
2 Tbsp. yeast
1 cup milk
¾ cup water
½ cup oil
3 Tbsp. honey
1 tsp. salt

Stir together 2 cups flour and yeast. Heat water, oil, milk, honey and salt until very warm. Pour into flour mixture; beat well. Add rest of flour to make a soft dough; let the mixer knead briefly. Let rest 10 minutes. Roll ½” thick on well-floured surface. For dinner rolls: cut out in circles. For little hotdog buns: use a pizza cutter to slice into 1 x 4-or-5″ rectangles. Let rise ½ hour on greased sheet. Bake at 400° for 12-15 minutes.

Recipe compliments of Enos and Rhoda Byler

Kountry Kupboard Kook’n

What do you make with yeast just for fun?