I used to drive a little bright red stick-shift car with a sunroof and an awesome sound system. I took lots of scenic, windy roads to my job. On Friday afternoons in the spring and fall, I’d put down all the windows and the sunroof and rock out to Bruce Springsteen on the way home – oh how things have changed.
Bruce is still there and I still enjoy wind-blown rides in nice weather, but the weekend isn’t something I look forward to with as much glee. It’s still great, it’s just not that different than the other days because toddlers and babies do not sleep in on weekends, nor do they become less needy on weekends (in fact I think my daughter actually becomes more high maintenance when both parents are around).
Like most families, we’ve opted into Friday night pizza night. I have quite the soft spot for beer and pizza (second only to margaritas with guacamole and chips), but if I’m going the “all you can eat” pizza route you better believe I want it tailored to my tastes – which means it’s homemade. Though I still prefer this dough for a crowd (it makes four, 12 inch pizzas), the below recipe is what’s written on a post-it inside my spice cabinet. It makes one, 14-16 inch pie and it couldn’t be easier to make. I usually eat three slices, Rich eats four, and Tess has one. Leo eats pureed green beans and Tessa’s crust.
As for toppings, we go plain to appease the little girl – plus cheese pizza is the bomb. I rub olive oil around the edge of the dough and sprinkle it with kosher salt. I spread this sauce nice and thick and top it with a sprinkle of garlic powder, oregano, and kosher salt/pepper. Then I top with mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Perfection.
Friday Night Pizza Dough
Makes 1, 14-16 inch pizza
2 1/4 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp. rapid rise yeast
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 c. warm water
1. Place flour, yeast and salt in food processor. Pulse several times to combine. With motor running, drizzle in warm water. Process about 30 seconds or until dough pulls together. Remove from canister and knead gently to bring together in a cohesive, elastic ball.
2. Spray a bowl with nonstick spray or olive oil and place dough ball inside – turn to coat in spray. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise 1-2 hours.
3. Place a square of parchment paper on counter top and plop dough on top. Press out gently with hands (or roll with pin if you prefer). Top and bake.
I use a pizza stone – heated in 475 degree oven for at least 45 minutes. I heat oven to 500 before placing pizza inside. I bake pizza whilst on parchment paper, placing it in and taking it out with a cutting board. Bake until cheese is bubbly and crust is golden at the edges – usually about 12 minutes.