My mom began making pizzas on paper bags when we were growing up although she isn't sure where she got the idea. She thinks maybe she read it somewhere. And despite what anyone thinks, the bags don't burn. In fact, they create a very tasty crispy crust.
Mom used the Chef Boyardee pizza mixes and there was no cooking spray yet so she would rub the cut paper bag with margarine. When I began making pizza using the recipe below (out of the Naper School cookbook- Mrs. Hall's recipe), I tried using a metal pan but I found the crust wasn't as crispy, thus I went back to the paper bags.
I honed my pizza-making skills at Oodles Pizza in Naperville on Ogden the summer after my freshman year of high school for $3.35 an hour and I've been making pizza since. The only problem now is that paper bags are made much smaller and my friend Jim's mom suggested using some of the sides of the bags to make the pizzas larger. I also spray my hands with cooking spray and use my hands to form the pizzas rather than roll them out. I have tried to used wheat flour with this recipe but because it's more dry than white, it's best to mix the two flours together.
Paper Bag Pizza
- 2 c. flour
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 tsp. sugar
- 1 pkg. dry yeast (approximately 1 1/2 Tbsp.)
- 1 1/2 c. lukewarm water
- 2 1/2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
- 2 c. flour
Mix flour (2 c.), salt, sugar, and yeast together. Add water and oil. Beat mixture until just blended with electric mixer. Stir in 2 c. more of flour. Form into ball, let rest for five minutes. Cut in half and roll out in flour for 2 pizza crusts.
Placed on greased paper bags and add your favorite sauce and toppings. Bake approximately 15 to 20 minutes in a 425-degree oven. I let the pizzas sit for a few minutes after coming out of the oven on a cooling rack before I use a spatula/turner to separate the pizza from the paper bag and cut it. Doing this helps the pizza crisp up.