Sunday, April 13, 2008

DIY Pizza

Yesterday, we had a lovely, 65 degree day - our first real, live taste of spring. I swear that I watched my lawn getting greener by the hour. (Chew fingernails nervously) My son Jeffrey won't be home from college until May 10th, so, while I'll reluctantly ride the tractor right next to the house, the chances of me mowing my entire yard are less than the chances of me wearing a sweatsuit (which I've never in my life owned - if you can't wear it with minimum 2" heels, pearls and diamonds, it's not in my wardrobe). Of course, after playing outside all day, I thought the little boys deserved an exciting dinner. They had been clamoring for pizza, and while there are plenty of real Italian pizzerias around here, I just don't like the stuff well enough to fork over $30 or $40 to feed a measley 4 people.

So, off we trotted to the supermarket to buy sausage for pizza; of course, Ryan wanted a pepper (which I can't eat, and didn't want, but couldn't refuse the kid for a buck). I tried Beth Hensperger's recipe for whole wheat pizza crust, precooked the sausage in the George Foreman grill, then sliced (and sort of crumbled) them in the new Cuisinart, and laid out bowls of toppings. And, yes, I did indeed use canned sauce; I just didn't feel like making my own. It was delicious.


1-1/3 cups warm water
1/4 cup olive oil
2-1/2 cups unbleached flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1-1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. yeast
1 tbsp. sugar

Put all the ingredients in the bread machine, and mix on the "pasta" cycle. Let rise for 15 minutes, then flatten the dough to the desired size. This will make 2 trays approx. 11'x14". Note that the sugar was not in the original recipe, but since it was in all of her other pizza dough recipes, I added the same amount to this recipe. The tray should be coated with olive oil and sprinkled with cornmeal to ensure that it doesn't stick, although pan spray would probably work. Also, Beth Hensperger notes that this dough is hard to use, and you may develop holes in it as you flatten it. Well, even with my rolling pin, I got holes. Great thing about bread doughs - you can fix the hole and move on. I used added half again as much of each, to make two full sized trays and 2 "smaller ones" for the boys - Mark eagerly dubbed it his "free personal pan pizza" (I believe his buddy next door must have gotten the Pizza Hut reading award). No one ever noticed that this was not a standard pizza crust; my husband, who grew up just outside the very Italian city of New Haven, and considers himself an expert on Italian food (yeah, right - this from the man who's not certain he can cook instant oatmeal) said this was the best pizza he's ever had. Until about an hour later, after he had eaten an entire tray:

Hubby: "groan This is all your fault!"
Me: "Why?"
"You fed me!"
"I did not. I put out the pizza, and let you eat what you wanted."
"You should have fed me."
"You're a big
"But I'm stupid....groan"

I do adore the man. He makes me laugh, even when he overeats (which is rare, because I feed him).


Peter M said...

Marjie, sounds like a fun way for the family to eat...everyone gets pizza their way.

So, who did dish duty?

Marjie said...

I called in a famous military figure...General Electric!

Paula said...

You left the compound to get ingredients! :-)

We are on similar wavelengths again. Just yesterday I browned some Italian sausage because Cole wanted to make personal pizza's today. Unlike your homemade crust, though, he'll have to settle for packaged dough or french bread. I'm going to use your idea about setting out ingredients and letting them build their own. Hope ours turns out good, too!


Pam said...

I've been craving a homemade pizza!

cidell said...

I LOVE making pizza at home. I have to tell you, in many ways I like it better than store bought.

Anonymous said...

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