A blog entry by Erin. . .
Hello all! Well, it pays to be the wife of a blogger; that means you get to guest blog from time to time (so I’ve learned). It also pays to be the wife of a culinary student. You have fun food adventures like the one we just had. This past Friday, we had pizza for dinner. Usually, we order pizza MAYBE once a month. Well, this time, we didn’t order pizza, we made it from scratch, starting a new, fun, family tradition of Pizza Night.
I have to say, I love Pizza Night. For those of you who may not know me as well as some, I am a complete kid at heart, so I get super jazzed for such simple amusements as things like Pizza Night. I also like more interactive meals like tapas, fondue, and make your own pizza. So, Pizza Night has all the makings for a great time to me. I was so excited about creating my own pizza I was almost dancing around the kitchen while waiting to assemble my pizza (yes, I can be easily amused). Pizza Night is something I have decided we will keep going and will make sure to do with our future family.
Actually, I think it is something every family should institute. Take a little time, slow down, enjoy each other’s company. You can make it as simple or complex as you want. Children can top their own pizzas and get into cooking. No TV is involved, no fancy toys, just your family and some yummy ingredients. But just stopping for an hour and having some interactive family time is huge.
So, whilst I was laboring away at work on Friday, Alan made the pizza dough. I got home and there was a spread of toppings available, including the mushrooms, carmelized onions and goat cheese I requested. He also cooked up some pizza sauce and Italian sausage and grated some mozzarella cheese.
We went to work rolling out the dough and adding the toppings as desired. I choose to use a thin layer of pizza sauce, carmelized onions, sauteed mushrooms, goat cheese, and a wee bit of mozzarella. Alan used pizza sauce, carmelized onion, Italian sausage, a wee bit of goat cheese and mozzarella. We popped them into the oven and about twelve minutes later, dinner was ready. The pizzas turned out great! They were quite tasty I must say.
I can’t wait until this coming Fridya night, as we are having Pizza Night again. I have a mini-triathlon on Saturday morning, so I think the homemade pizza is a great night-before dinner. That’s another thing that’s great about homemade pizza on Pizza Night, you control what goes on it and in it. You can make is as healthy or as unhealthy as you like. Healthy pizza? Who knew it was possible? What a great idea!
A quick note to a certain nephew, there’s no egg in pizza dough!
So go forth and institute your own family Pizza Night. Let us know how it turns out.
Have a great week! –Erin
Basic Pizza Dough
1 and 1/3 cup warm water (80 – 90 degrees)
1/4 cup olive oil
3 and 1/2 cups bread flour
1 Tbsp sugar
1 and 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 ounce fresh yeast (or 1 packet of Fleishman’s yeast)
DIRECTIONS:Combine yeast, sugar and water.Add flour to the yeast mixture in thirds. Once it comes together add salt and then olive oil as needed (usually not the full quarter cup) until desired texture is reached. For thin crust pizza, use immediately, otherwise, let is sit until it has doubled in size for thicker crust (prepare earlier in the day). Roll out to desired thickness and top as you please. Bake in HOT oven (500 – 550 degress) for 8 – 12 minutes, checking every three to four minutes.