From Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver:
Routines save time, and tempers. Like a mother managing a toddler’s mood swings, our family has built some reliable backstops for the times in our week when work-weary, low-blood-sugar blowouts are most likely. Friday nights are always pizza-movie nights. Friends or dates are welcome...We always keep the basic ingredients for pizza on hand- flour and yeast for the dough, mozzarella, and tomatoes (fresh, dried, or canned sauce, depending on the season). All other toppings vary with the garden and personal tastes. Picky children get to control the toppings on their own austere quadrant, while the adventurous may stake out another, piling on anything from smoked eggplant to caramelized onions, fresh herbs, and spinach.
Because it’s a routine, our pizzas come together without any fuss as we gather in the kitchen to decompress...and talk about everybody’s week. I never have to think about what’s for dinner on Fridays.
I like this idea, and have been toying with it for our family lately. It’s cheap (especially if you make your own dough), easy, and fun! Here is a recipe for basic pizza dough that I used the other night. (Turned out great)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
- Combine flour, salt, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl. Mix in oil and warm water. Knead in bowl for about 5-10 minutes (until elastic consistency is reached) Sprinkle with flour when needed to keep from sticking to bowl or hands.
- Allow to rise for 30 minutes to an hour. Knead again and roll out on oiled pizza pan.
Here are some additional tips:
- You can actually skip the kneading, rising step if you need a quick pizza
- For extra flavor, add 1 teaspoon dried basil, oregano, or garlic powder to the dough
- To keep the dough from bubbling, prick with fork
- Bake for 5-10 minutes without the toppings to allow the crust to rise a little
- At the very end, place pizza under the broiler for a couple minutes if you like the charred cheese effect