School Pizza Recipe

This Old School Cafeteria Pizza recipe captures the essence of all that was good in the school cafeterias of our youth. (Cafeteria ladies not included.)

This fall marked a real Mama Milestone for me. After 28 years of recording the first day of school with a photo each year, and then sending my girls off to preschool, and kindergarten, and grade school, and middle school, and finally high school – times five! – I faced my baby’s first day of Senior year – and my last “1st Day of School.”

All but the youngest have gone off to college now too, but as anyone who has ever done so will tell you, sending a child off to college is an entirely different experience from packing them off to first grade. Anyway, this rite of passage got me reminiscing, and as I got online to update Em’s lunch account, I got to thinking about the cafeteria and the school lunches of my childhood.

I grew up in Northeast Portland and attended the same elementary school from kindergarten through the eighth grade; and in that time, I figure I ate nearly 1500 meals in our basement cafeteria. More than two-thirds were “hot lunches.”

To Make this Recipe You’Il Need the following ingredients:

School Pizza Recipe

if you love and miss the old school rectangle pizza, here’s the recipe:

Half sheet pan and line with parchment paper.

Crust:
2 ⅔ flour
¾ cup powdered milk
2 T sugar
1 packet of quick rise yeast
1 tsp salt
1 ⅔ cup warm water (105-110 degrees)
2 T vegetable oil
Filling:
½ pound ground chuck½ tsp salt½ tsp pepper1 8oz block mozzarella cheese – grated yourself (To be authentic school pizza, you will have to use imitation mozzarella shreds.)Sauce (I make sauce the day before):6oz can tomato paste
1 cup water
⅓ olive oil
2 cloves garlic minced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
½ tbsp dried oregano
½ tbsp dried basil

Directions

½ tsp dried rosemary crushedCrust:Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Spray pan with Pam and lay Parchment paper down (Pam makes it stick)
In a large bowl – flour, powdered milk, sugar, yeast, salt – whisk to blend
Add oil to hot water (110-115 degrees) – pour into your mixture
Stir with a wooden spoon until batter forms – don’t worry about lumps – you just want no dry spots
Spread dough into pan using fingertips until it’s even. If dough doesn’t want to cooperate, let rest 5 minutes and try again
Bake just the crust for 8-10 minutes – remove from oven and set aside.
Brown meats until it resembles crumbles – set aside and drain meat
Get out the pizza sauce – to partially baked crust, assemble:
Sauce – spread all over crust
Sprinkle meats
Sprinkle cheese
Bake at 475 degrees for 8-10 minutes until cheese melts and begins to brown
Remove from oven – let stand 5 minutes
Cut in slices and serve!