Friday, May 1, 2009

Homemade Pizza Night

It has
a Friday
here to
pizzas for
a quick
By Friday evening I am usually feeling a little creatively wiped out. Throughout the week cooking up new recipes is fun and exciting, but by the end of the week I need a little relief. Disappointed by all the take out pizzas we had been receiving, and at such an enormous expense, we decided it was high time to revive the family tradition I had as a child for Friday night homemade pizza. I had been baking up all sorts of breads over the last few years, from wonderful crusty French breads, to German styled soft pretzels, so the pizza dough came easy. Into a cup of hot water went one packet of yeast, one cup of flour, and a half teaspoon of salt. A mix of parsley, oregano, and basil gets added in on the first mix up too- about a teaspoonful combined. This mixture runs through on the bread setting of the Kitchen Aid for about three minutes. Then I add another two cups of flour along with two tablespoons of good quality olive oil and let it spin for eight minutes. The dough is rolled out on a lightly floured baking stone and coated generously with whatever pasta sauce I have made that week. Pepperoni or sausage gets liberally applied, along with lots of mushrooms. Oh, how I wish we had found another Morel this week! The whole pie gets topped off with tons of mozzarella cheese, placed in a hot 425 degree oven for twenty five minutes, and set to cool for another five to ten minutes on the stone where it finishes baking. This is so simple to make and tastes so much better than anything we have had out at a restaurant. It is also so nice to have one meal out of seven a given, and because I have been doing this for months now, I can make this dinner almost without thinking. Improvising becomes interesting and we often substitute chicken or bacon for the meat, and use all types of cheese when we are out of mozzarella. The same dough recipe can be used to make a calzone by placing the toppings on only one half of the rolled out dough and folding the pie in two. Pinching the ends keeps it together and you know it is done when the juices begin to flow out the sides and there comes that wonderful hollow rapping sound when tapped. My three year old recently made pizzas with her friends and she came home and said that they had "no flavor". At three, we have a pizza connoisseur. I think that is wonderful!

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