Friday Night Pizza

It’s been a long couple of days.  I’ve eaten convention center fare for the past five meals. Needless to say, after a long journey back to the North I was ready for some good solid homemade anything.

Friday nights the girls plan the menu.  Tonight was pizza night.   Of course, one might say. Considering in our house that only one child likes pizza, that they agreed upon this menu was an incredible act of bipartisanship.   (Our favorite local pizza place knows Sweet A by her regular order:  breadsticks with a side of black olives.)  The menu posed to be mildly challenging—three pizzas in all.  One traditional cheese, one a little strange, and a once around the veggie box for the hubster and me.

Little G and I were in charge tonight.  We had a blast together—a lovely reunion after three days away.  We could have made dirt soup and I would have loved it.

First the dough.  I’ve been using the same recipe for nearly ten years; adapted from a friend of mine.  It’s pretty simple.  If I have time to let it rise I do, otherwise I just roll it out immediately after mixing and it turns out ok.  I’m in constant search for the ultimate pizza dough recipe….and someday I will try several and announce the winner.

Little G did all the measuring.  And some picture taking.

Being an INTJ (Something I learned while eating rubber chicken at an otherwise fine convention center this week—more to come on my newest obsession—the personality letters), I tried my best not to focus on my J and instead let her freely measure a teaspoon (really it was 3/4 teaspoon but who’s paying attention?).   It came time to mix and she asked “should we use the question mark, Mommy?”

I will forever consider the hook attachment a question mark.

Tonight I had time to let the dough rise.

For the adult pizza I sliced an eggplant from the garden and a Thor red pepper, and roasted them (aha, are you sensing a theme yet?) along with three cloves of garlic.  While those were roasting, I caramelized a yellow onion (three teaspoons of sugars makes them just perfect).

Assembly was a breeze.

We topped ours with a three cheese blend of parmesan, mozzarella, and provalone—and some cracked black pepper for good taste.

Sweet A spread olive tapenade on her crust and topped with chicken.  No cheese.  (How can she have come from my womb?)

We had two rectangles and a triangle, man.  They baked in a 425 degree oven for approximately 15 minutes.
The wait lasted forever.

But finally the buzzer rang.

I’d say we achieved pizza nirvana.


You Choose Your Rise Pizza Dough

1 package active dry yeast

1 teaspoon sugar

2/3 cup warm water

1 2/3 cup all purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons olive oil

Stir yeast and sugar into warm water and let stand 10 minutes until foamy.  Mix salt and flour in a large bowl.  Add water mixture to flour and knead.  Drizzle with olive oil.

Rise… or not.

Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface.  Sprinkle cornmeal onto baking surface and fold crust onto pan.

Bake at 425-450 degrees (depending on your oven) to your desired crust doneness, approximately 14-18 minutes.

I prefer to use a baking sheet with parchment paper for a crispier crust.  I do have a pizza stone, but only use it when I need a third baking surface.

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