Homemade Pizza – A Friday Night Tradition

Yummy!

With the world the way it is today, I sense an urgency to keep a tight grip on our families.  To do everything we can to create fun, interesting, challenging times spent together.   And in those times, sow into our children the morality, the ideas, the survival techniques, the practical matters of living that are in our hearts.  Because time is short.  Whether it is time on earth or simply the few years we have been given to have an impact on our children.

On the patio for dinner. Easy clean up!

So with that serious caveat, I want to tell you about our new Family Friday Night Tradition.  I found this idea on another Mama’s blog one night a few months ago and if I could remember whose it was, I would credit her here, but I don’t.  She knows who she is.  Thank you Mama!

It is Homemade Pizza, rental videos for the children, and a little red wine for Mama and Daddy.

Everyone loves it when we make it really special with the tablecloth, nice glasses, my mother’s wedding china and the really nice serving dishes that were all just sitting in a cabinet not being used.  The idea of using that stuff just once a year was starting to seem ridiculous.

So now.  The recipe for our homemade Pizza.  Crust and all.  Nothing compares to homemade crust and I must say, this one is REALLY GOOD!  It  is not hard.  I promise.  And it’s fun.

Here are the ingredients for the pizza crust:

  • 5-6 Cups Flour
  • 4 T. Oil (Any kind.  I use coconut oil – very healthy!)
  • 5 T. Sugar (I use sucanat – unrefined sugar.  Either is fine)
  • 2 tsp. Salt
  • 4 tsp. Yeast
  • 2 Cups Very Warm Water

First thing to do is set your oven to 425 and put your pizza stones in the oven to get hot.  This is important.

Pizza stonesHmmm.  The bottom of that oven looks a bit dirty.  Oh well.  Who has time!

Then in a large bowl, mix water and yeast with a whisk until dissolved.  Mix in sugar and salt.

At this point I had walked away for about 15 minutes and the yeast did it’s work bubbling up.  That tells me the yeast is good yeast, but you don’t have to wait for this to happen.  Either way is fine.  Other times I did not wait for this to happen.

My recipe (by Kristi Gross, out of the Momys cookbook, says to use a wooden spoon for all of this), but I like to use my mixer with the dough hook.

Add once cup of flour at a time.

After the 4th cup, add the oil.  It makes it easier to stir in the last 2 cups of flour (especially if using the spoon method.)

Now let the mixer go, scraping down sides with a spatula if necessary and little by little add your last 2 cups of flour until your dough is turning into a ball and cleaning the sides of the bowl by itself.  It’s the perfect indication that your dough is mixed correctly.  This recipe originally calls for 5 cups of flour.  With my fresh ground flour it takes 6.  The bottom line is that you slowly add those last 2 cups and when it gets to the point of cleaning the bowl, you’ve added enough.

Ok, this is starting to look good.

Just a little more flour.  The inside is still kind of sticky looking.

Ok, that looks good to me.  When you pull that dough hook out it should come out with not a lot of dough on it.

If you are using a kitchen aid mixer, you must not set it above speed 2 when mixing dough with the dough hook.  I have a little sticker reminding me of that on my mixer.  It can damage the mixer.

Next I just leave the dough in the bowl, cover the top with a dishtowel and set it in a warm place for 15 minutes to let it rise.

While the dough is rising, get the rest of your ingredients out:

1/2 bottle or so of spaghetti sauce.  This is the easy way.

We figured 12 oz shredded mozzarella cheese per pizza.

Any toppings you want.  We are using mushrooms and onions because that was in the fridge.

As you can see the dough won’t rise much and that is fine.

Throw out a handful of flour on your counter so your dough doesn’t stick to it, and divide your dough for the pizzas.

After doing this a few times we have perfected the amount of dough per pizza for our tastes.  The recipe states it will make 2-3 pizzas.  We started by dividing it in half and making 2 pizzas with this recipe.  And that was just fine.  A good place to start to then determine what you like.

For us though, we have found the my husband and I like it thinner.  And the children like it thicker.  So we make one pizza for Mom and Dad with 1/3 of the dough for our crust.  And we make the children’s pizza with 1/2 of the dough.  So that means we have a little dough left over.  You could roll it into a ball and bake it and have a yummy roll.  This picture shows 3 evenly divided balls of dough.

So get your rolling pin and roll that dough out.  If it feels a little sticky still, just fold a little of that flour into it, knead it a little with your hands and roll it out again.

Pull out your very hot stones.  Scatter some oatmeal or cornmeal on there.

The point is, you want a bare minimum of space under your dough so it doesn’t stick to the stone.  My husband worked at a bakery and a pizza joint growing up.  He is a great cook and baker and knows all these little tricks.

Lay out the dough on top of the oatmeal.

Now scrunch up the edges.  You might cut a little off if there is too much dough hanging over for your edge.  Next time I think I want to fold some mozzarella cheese into the edge.  Mmmm, that sounds good!

Pour a little sauce on.  Swirling it around with the bottom of a ladle is an easy way to do it.

Sprinkle the cheese on and there you go.

If you are adding extra’s, like vegies, that have some water content, put them on top of the cheese so it doesn’t goo up the dough.  If it is meat (i.e. less water content) you can put it on top of the sauce, under the cheese.

Bake at 425 for 14 minutes or until crust becomes golden.

Ohhh sooo gooood!  Involve your children in making these.  I love the idea of my babies growing up remembering our fun Friday night tradition.

Godspeed To You And Your Kitchens!

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For Your Printing Pleasure.  No pictures.

Ingredients for the pizza crust:

  • 5-6 Cups Flour
  • 4 T. Oil (Any kind.  I use coconut oil – very healthy!)
  • 5 T. Sugar (I use sucanat – unrefined sugar.  Either is fine)
  • 2 tsp. Salt
  • 4 tsp. Yeast
  • 2 Cups Very Warm Water

Set oven to 425 and put your pizza stones in the oven to get hot.

In a large bowl, mix water and yeast with a whisk until dissolved.  Mix in sugar and salt. I like to use my mixer with the dough hook.  Add once cup of flour at a time.  After the 4th cup, add the oil.  It makes it easier to stir in the last 2 cups of flour (especially if using the spoon method.)

Now let the mixer go, scraping down sides with a spatula if necessary and little by little add your last 2 cups of flour until your dough is turning into a ball and cleaning the sides of the bowl by itself.  This recipe originally called for 5 cups of flour.  With my fresh ground flour it takes 6.  The bottom line is that you slowly add those last 2 cups of flour and when it gets to the point of cleaning the bowl, you’ve added enough.

Next,  leave the dough in the bowl, cover the top with a dish towel and set it in a warm place for 15 minutes to let it rise.   While the dough is rising, get the rest of your ingredients out:

  • 1/2 bottle or so of spaghetti sauce.
  • 12 oz shredded mozzarella cheese per pizza.
  • Any toppings you want.

After 15 minutes throw out a handful of flour on your counter so your dough doesn’t stick to it.  Divide dough into 2 or 3 parts according to your taste.

For us though, we have found the my husband and I like it thinner.  And the children like it thicker.  So we make one pizza for Mom and Dad with 1/3 of the dough for our crust.  And we make the children’s pizza with 1/2 of the dough.  So that means we have a little dough left over.

Roll that dough out.  If it feels a little sticky still, just fold some of that flour into it, knead it a little with your hands and roll it out again.

Pull out your stones.  Scatter some oatmeal or cornmeal on there.

Lay out the dough on top of the oatmeal and then scrunch up the edges.  Pour a little sauce on.  Swirl it around with the bottom of a ladle.  Sprinkle the cheese on and there you go.  If you are adding extra’s like vegies that have some water content, put them on top of the cheese so it doesn’t goo up the dough.  If it is meat (i.e. less water content) you can put it on top of the sauce, under the cheese.

Bake at 425 for 14 minutes or until crust becomes golden.

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4 thoughts on “Homemade Pizza – A Friday Night Tradition

  1. Allison,

    This looks yummy! I’m printing out the details now. I’m not much…or any…kind of a cook, but I want to try this. I’ll get little Sydney, my granddaughter (6) to help, this Saturday night. Let you know how it comes out. Thanks for sharing and helping keep the memories going…Wendy

  2. Mom, the mozzarella cheese in the crust tasted great! Thank you for putting the recipe on the Internet! Now the whole world may enjoy your fantastic homemade pizza!