May 4, 2007

A Big Pizza Pie

Tonight we celebrated John's return from a business trip to San Francisco. Well, actually to San Leandro, but they did go in to San Francisco once. Or Berkeley anyway, good enough. As I was saying, tonight the boys picked a special drink from Mollie Katzen's Pretend Soup. It was delicious! And Mommy and Daddy each spiked their own with a jigger of rum, even better. Here is the recipe. I changed the name from the earnest "Homemade Lemon-Lime Soda Pop Recipe," multiplied Mollie Katzen's amounts by four, and included the rum option for grownups:

Fizzy Citrus Cooler

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 1/2 cups apple juice concentrate (thawed), a whole can
ice cubes
1 quart seltzer or soda water

Mix in a pitcher. Adults may each add a jigger of rum to their glass if it isn't against their religion. Cheers!

We also had pizza, which we have every Friday. I have used the following pizza dough recipe since the early nineties. This makes a big hearty pizza that covers a whole big pizza stone. Or split it in half to make two small pizzas.

Lauren's TGIF Pizza Dough

Scant two tablespoons yeast
1 1/4 cups water
3 cups flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons salt

Special equipment: Mixer with dough hook, pizza stone. Or knead with your hands and cook it on a cookie sheet. Whatever.

Warm 1 1/4 cups water in a microwave for 30 seconds, until lukewarm. Sprinkle yeast over top, mix gently until it all gets wet, and let proof for 4 or 5 minutes until foamy.

While you're waiting, put the flour, olive oil, and salt in the mixer. When the yeast and water are ready, add them after you've mixed them a little. Turn the mixer on the lowest speed. In a couple of minutes, add more flour slowly if the dough isn't pulling away from the sides of the bowl. You may need to add up to 1/4 cup; do not fear. When it's looking truly doughlike, take it out and knead it a little yourself until it feels elastic, resilient and smooth. (If your mixer starts to smoke or you smell something burning, stop the thing, for gosh sakes.) When you press your finger it, the dough should puff back up a little.

Put a little bit of olive oil in a large bowl and roll the dough around in it. Cover the dough with a wet dishtowel and let sit for two or three hours.

After two or three hours, punch down the dough and roll it out on a pizza stone or whatever you have. I brush it with a thin layer of olive oil, minced garlic, and sometimes pepper if I'm feeling feisty. Then put a bunch of stuff on it, but don't overload it with a lot of wet veggies and sauce because it will be soggy. Going the simple, tasteful route usually pays off. If I do this as one pizza, I bake it at 475 for 16 mins. on the center rack. Watch it carefully through your oven window the first time. Prepare to have to turn off your smoke alarm if you use pepperoni, or if your oven happens to be crusty and filthy.

Remember, pizza dough is very forgiving, don't fret too much about it. Everyone likes pizza, and they'll especially like yours.

No comments: