Pizza Night

IMG_2902 If you happen to be in the neighborhood around 6 o’clock on a Saturday night, consider yourself invited for pizza. We put out a nice spread: thin and thick crust, with toppings and plain, salad, wine, beer. It’s easy, fun and yummy. Below are some recipes that contribute to making a great pizza night. The real secret, however, is the baking technique I learned from my godmother. Preheat your oven to 425. If you have a convection oven, use it. If you have a pizza stone, put it in the oven now so it will be nice and hot by the time the oven is preheated. Meanwhile, roll out your dough until it measures about 12 – 14 inches across and place it on the hot stone. (If you don’t have a stone, put the dough on a cookie sheet.) Bake the untopped crust for about 12-15 minutes, until it is just starting to brown on top. Take it out, brush it with olive oil and top with sauce, cheese and whatever else you’d like. Return the pizza to the oven and place it directly on the oven rack – without the cookie sheet or baking stone. Bake for about 7-8 minutes until the bottom is nice and crisp and the cheese is melted and starting to brown at the edges. Mangia!

Vincent’s Secret Pizza Sauce:

  • 1 can whole tomatoes
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon oregano

Remove tomatoes from can, leaving behind any excess juice. Place all ingredients in food processor and pulse until smooth. (I have also done this in a bowl with a hand blender when I don’t feel like lugging out the food processor.)

Grandpa Buddy’s Pizza Dough (G. Buddy told me this is really Mario Batali’s recipe, but Mario didn’t write the index card that I dust off every Saturday night. Plus, I add olive oil and use half whole wheat flour, so really, I don’t know whose recipe it is.)

  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 to 4 cups all purpose flour (I substitute half whole wheat.)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Combine water, yeast and honey. Combine remaining ingredients and knead until a nice dough forms. It should be smooth and elastic and feel like a baby’s butt. Cover and let rise in an oiled bowl for about an hour. Divide in half. Dough rolls out to about 12 inches in diameter.

Deep-Dish Pizza (The boys love this recipe. It originally comes from The United States Cookbook by Joan D’Amico and Karen Eich Drummond. The dough doesn’t require any rising time, but it is much better if you let it rest for about an hour.)

  • 2 teaspoons yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar or honey
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 1/2 – 3 cups flour

Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water until frothy. Add salt, oil and flour until a nice dough forms. I have baked this in everything from a 9 x 13 pyrex to a 9 inch round pie pan. It just depends how thick you like it. Adjust cooking times accordingly. Usually I bake the untopped crust for about 20 minutes, add the sauce and cheese and then bake for an additional 10 minutes out of the pan, directly on the oven rack.

17 thoughts on “Pizza Night

  1. I like the idea of putting honey in the dough. My recipe has caster sugar. Will post my recipe soon. We had pizza night last night, it was my middle child’s turn to cook. So she made the dough and prepared all the toppings :) Photos are still in the camera, I see you use basil or english spinach on yours, we do as well, with feta or goats cheese. : )

    • I love that the options for pizza are endless. We use whatever we have in the refrigerator at the time and I always try to keep shredded mozzarella in the freezer. My father in law swears by the honey!

      Glad you’re here. I will visit your blog later on today.

      • Thanks, I have read some of your posts. Keep up the terrific work home schooling your boys. As a teacher, I found colour coding my evaluations made it easier, it may help with your two. I saw your weekly planner, having a dedicated space (i.e. cutting your daily square into 2 sections, for annotations may help. :) D 34

  2. I don’t mean to be a nag about hoping that you start focusing on getting your cookbook to the publisher, but do you know how much I want to see “should be soft like a baby’s butt” in a published cookbook?

    you are my cowboy boot contessa xoxo

  3. put us in for this Sat. Night ! Neat looking pizza, just the way I like it, we’ll done !

    love the way you give credit to everyone!

    Love, Nana Sent from my iPad

  4. We used Grandpa Buddy’s pizza dough recipe last night, and my 5-year old declared it The Best Pizza She Had Ever Eaten! (The adults were pretty fond of it, too.) Thanks for sharing!

  5. Pingback: What’s Cookin’?: Spring 2013 Edition | Sure as the World

  6. Pingback: The Cowboy Boot Contessa Makes . . . | Sure as the World

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