Friday, May 01, 2009

Make it or buy it: crummy pizza

Isabel's pack of friends is coming over tonight for a sleepover and while I'm okay with the pounds and pounds of Starbursts, multiple screenings of Made of Honor and high-pitched shrieks, the ritual pizza part was bumming me out. With the money we spend on even the lousiest delivered pizzas we could buy. . . lobsters, a beef tenderloin, a truffle. I'm estimating it would be $80 including tip to order Domino's, and slightly more if we upgraded to Dario's. And for what, I ask? 
Do I want to cook for a bunch of 12-year-old girls jacked up on Gummi Worms? F*** no. But I'm curious to compare the cost of making versus ordering truly pedestrian pizza.

I made a double recipe of the crust from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day -- a no-knead dough -- and, as you can see above, splurged on the toppings. 

Ok, Hormel is gross. But I doubt Domino's is using Fra'Mani. It's not that I don't think kids deserve high-quality food -- I do! -- but if the girlies want greasy pepperoni pizza at their quarterly slumber party, Mom's not gonna stand in their way. 

I'll price it out after assessing hassle factor, tastiness, and and popularity. 


  1. I am a big fan of the pizza recipe in The Bread Bible, by Rose Levy Beranbaum - it's easy to double (or triple, or quadruple!). It also requires no kneading, just a couple hours of rising time and decent quality olive oil.

    Let us know how the girls liked it!


  2. Early reviews are in for the Tipsy pizza. OK,not great, but leaves a much better aftertaste in various figurative senses than the delivered pizza.

  3. Oh no! Well hopefully they didn't make you order the Dominos!

  4. We've been making, and eating, pizza like crazy the last few weeks using the pizza dough recipe from the April 19, 2009, edition of the New York Times. The crust turns out perfectly. Helps if you have experience making the Jim Lahey, Sullivan Street Bakery, no-knead bread recipe that was in the Times in 2006 and took the baking world by storm! In other words, it helps to have experience working with gloppy dough.

    Ms. Reese, I enjoyed your Slate article.

  5. Just wanted to leave a vote for "Make it or buy it" becoming a semi-regular feature. LOVED your article on Slate and would love to see it continue!

  6. And, if all else fails, use the Boboli crusts: still better than Dominos and cheaper, too.

    But the make at home pizzas, no matter how they're done, are cheaper and better than delivery, IMHO.

    I make pizza sauce and freeze it (I'm thinking of changing my name to the Frozen Yogi), and use that for the pizza parties. It's also pretty straight forward to make a little extra sausage, etc and freeze that too.

    Love your blog! And the Slate article was spot-on and wonderful.


  7. I have a question about your article in Slate. Under yogurt, you say to heat and cool a half gallon of milk, then stir in 4 tablespoons of yogurt, and eventually end up with yougurt. Where do the 4 tablespoons you stir in come from?

  8. Monica -- I'm sorry if that wasn't clear. You have to start out with a container of storebought yogurt. After that, you can use your homemade yogurt to "start" your next batch.