Friday, July 23, 2010

Pizza Night!

We have been having pizza/movie night on Fridays for the last 7 or 8 years.  The kids are highly offended if we miss one or alter the plan in any way, like, say, suggesting that we go to the dollar movie theater instead.  They're cool with the dollar theater, just not on Friday night, please.

For most of that time, I made homemade pizza.  I haven't been doing it quite as much lately (we've got $5 Little Caesar's close by, though that get old after a couple weeks in a row).  After a lot of trial and error, I've figured out how to make a pretty good pizza for our tastes.

For years I used this recipe for the crust, which I adapted from this one.  The amounts seem weird because I scaled it from 10 up to 15 servings to make two thinner crusts.  If I wanted (two) thicker crusts, I just doubled the original recipe.
  • 1 cup and 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon and 1-1/2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon and 1-1/2 teaspoons white sugar
  • 3-1/3 cups bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons bread machine yeast (or packet of fast rise)
  1. Place ingredients in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select Dough cycle; press Start.
  2. Remove dough from pan after rise cycle and use for your favorite pizza recipe.
I recently discovered this thin crust recipe from Robbie's Recipes, which is faster because it doesn't have to rise.
  • .25 oz. pkt. active dry yeast
  • 1/4 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup 110 degree water
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
Her directions have you do the mixing and kneading by hand, but I just put it in my bread machine and let it do the work, and take it out before the rise begins.

Whichever recipe I use, I almost always use at least part whole wheat flour.  I like the whole white wheat because it has a lighter texture and flavor than the more common variety, which is made from red wheat.

I also have learned that for the crust to be done and not doughy in the middle, I need to parbake the crust, even if the recipe doesn't call for it.  I roll out the dough on the pizza stones, prick it with a fork, and bake it for about 5 minutes at about 450*.  Then I add the sauce and toppings and bake it about 8-10 minutes longer, until the cheese is browning around the edges.  Sometimes I brush olive oil around the edge of the crust after the first bake and use a sea salt mill to sprinkle a light dusting of coarse salt around the makes those edges that sometimes get left on the plate extra yummy.

Now for the sauce.  I originally started with this one, but tweaked it to our tastes until it became this (enough for two pizzas):
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon honey, or even a little less
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • salt to taste

Do you have a family pizza night tradition?  Order out, or homemade?


Rachelle @ "Mommy? I'm Hungry!" said...

we don't have a pizza night here, but we do eat it maybe a couple times a month. I prefer to make my own crust and sauce (both blogged), but we also just moved and found a great place down the road for back up. =)

Melissa said...

We don't have a regular pizza night, but we make homemade pizza at least every other week. It's funny: it tastes nothing like what we get at the pizza shop, but we like both.

When I make spaghetti sauce, I freeze small portions to use for pizza. It's a simple tomato/basil/garlic recipe, but sometimes I add a little oregano when I make the pizza.

Pam @ bibbidi-bobbidi-beautiful said...

We do friday pizza night too! I was making it in the bread machine for a while with mixed results (I think I'll give your recipe a try), but lately I've been using the pizza dough from Trader Joe's. It's just a ball of dough in the refrigerated section. It actually comes in whole wheat, plain or garlic herb (we love the G&H variety!). It only costs about a dollar. Occasionally I just have to have the BBQ chicken pizza from Papa John's though! Tonight might be one of those nights...

Mary Joy said...

We have a weekly Family Movie Night. It used to always be pizza but every once in a while we change it up in the summer time with grilling hamburgers (one of my sons' favorite meals too)

I often make my own pizza or use wonderful coupons for savings on some of our favorite grocery store pizzas. My favorite "store bought" pizzas are the Walmart "deli" pizzas that are between $5-$8 and are like 16 inches wide. Yummy! Especially on a week when I am extra tired and want to relax and not cook...then I just make a fresh salad to go with it and pop some popcorn for during the movie.

I am always amazed as to how much these traditions mean to our children...I am reminded of this by my children anytime I forget and talk about doing something else on what is usually movie night..."what? Mom! That's movie night!!" Oops!!

Thanks for sharing your recipes!! I am so bookmarking this post!!

Jessabells said...

I love making homemade pizza. I love the variety we get to have without the $2.50 toppings charge like delivery. I used to love movie night with the family. Seems like everyone is always busy all the time and doesn't have time to sit and watch a movie. I think tonight I will try to encourage everyone to watch a movie together. Thanks!

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

We started doing pizza every Friday night when I was in 7th or 8th grade. It wasn't as regular when I got to high school and started cheering or when I went off to college, but we still order from the same place (they know us now!). It's delicious. :) My mom usually comes over.

Melissa said...

I love that your kids won't have this tradition means something to them and that is fabulous!!

Rebecca D said...

I am going to try your thin crust dough tomorrow... Thank you...