1) It's the end of Steve's work week. Although the last two weeks have been better as far as his long hours are concerned, it's still such a lovely feeling to know that the work week is OVER!
2) Friday nights mean...(drumroll) PIZZA NIGHT!!!!
And it's quite difficult to be sad on Pizza Night. I mean, who doesn't love pizza? The crust! The sauce! The endless possibilities!! Oh, pizza. I do love thee. Pizza is one of those rare foods that I could eat a few times a week, provided it's a slightly different pizza experience each time. This may or may not stem from the fact that I spent my youth living in a north suburb of Chicago with easy access to outstanding Chicago-style pizza, and let's face it: You simply cannot beat Lou Malnati's deep dish style pizza (with butter crust!!), topped with their insanely zesty pepperoni. It is worth the wait, every single time. Each time I sink my teeth into a Lou Malnati's pizza, I am overcome with the rich cheese...the oh-so-flavorful sauce...the spicy pepperoni...and the crust, people. THE CRUST. I find myself silent with adoration for a few minutes...and longing...oh, and the fact that I CANNOT talk because my face is completely stuffed full of pizza. Let's be real here. But really, if you haven't been to a Lou Malnati's pizzeria, you really need to add that to your culinary bucket list. I mean that from the bottom of my heart. Get a babysitter, grab your I-Pass, and go HERE:
Please. Do yourself a huge favor and order the deep dish style with BUTTER CRUST. It's life-changing, my dear friends. It really is. And worth the wait- every single blessed second.
Because I cannot afford to eat at Lou Malnati's every week...
I present to you...
My take on pizza night.
Every Friday afternoon, I pull down the breadmaker from its shelf, gather the ingredients, and get the pizza dough started for our pizza night. The boys love to help, and I've been making pizza dough for so long now that I have the recipe completely and utterly memorized. May I suggest that if you do not have a family pizza night to please consider starting a new family tradition. It's such a comforting event to look forward to, and the kids absolutely love it. There is nothing quite like knowing, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that dinner will be a hit with each and every member of the family. And so, without further ado, here is the recipe:
Homemade Pizza Dough- very slightly adapted from the Toastmaster Breadmaker recipe booklet that came with the breadmaker, and I'm sorry I have no other way of describing it.
3/4 c. warm water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon dry milk
2 1/4 c. flour (I use all-purpose, unbleached flour)
1 tsp. active dry yeast (not quick-rise)
Place all ingredients (in the order listed) in the breakmaker bowl thingie. Press the "Dough" setting, and go conquer the world! Just make sure you do it in one hour and twenty minutes. Well, that's how long the dough setting is on my breadmaker. When the blessed machine sends forth an obnoxious flurry of BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP, you know it's time to make some pizza, baby!
1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2) Grab your favorite pizza pan (I have a large, vented metal pizza pan that I really like), and spray it liberally with crisco spray or whatever floats your boat.
3) After spraying the pan, liberally sprinkle cornmeal over the prepped pan.
4) Do not skip steps 2 and 3. Please trust me on this.
5) On a well-floured surface, roll out the dough, and remember- it doesn't have to be perfect!! Throw that dough on the pizza pan, and gently stretch it/ press it to fit the pan.
6) Now for some fun! Spread approximately 1 c. of your favorite pizza sauce over the dough (I love Dei Fratelli pizza sauce), sprinkle a very generous amount of mozzarella cheese, then shake a bit of dried oregano over the cheese, then add as few or as many different toppings as you'd like! We love pepperoni, green peppers, onions, mushroom (well, I LIKE THEM), etc. You are only limited by your imagination. SO...be imaginative!
7) Place in oven and bake for 12-14 minutes.
8) Let cool for a couple of minutes before slicing. ENJOY.
And there you have a ridiculously simple homemade pizza recipe. So go forth! Start a delicious new tradition! Let's hear it for PIZZA NIGHT!
Do you have a weekly dinner "special"?
Have a lovely weekend! :-)