Friday, May 13, 2011

family dinner night: all hands on dough


     It is family dinner night... hmmm. What should we have? It has to be something everyone likes... How about homemade pizza? It's a great way to get everyone involved.
     When it comes to pizza toppings, everyone has an opinion! Sauce, no sauce. Meat, no meat. Mozzarella, provolone, parmesan or goat cheeses. Mushrooms, well, that's a given;)
     Prepare ahead of time by picking up toppings and making the pizza dough. If your life is crazy, like most people's, buy some fresh dough at your local food store. We are lucky enough to have a Publix. Their pizza dough is around two dollars and change. It makes a fairly large pie. Some pizza places will sell you the dough, as will Sam's Club.
To begin:
Wash your hands. Get out the dough, some olive oil, kosher salt and your pepper mill. Place dough in a well oiled bowl to rest for an hour or so. When it has risen, punch it down a bit, then after rubbing your hands with olive oil, begin to slowly and gently stretch the dough. Continue working it. Make sure you don't puncture the dough. It is hard to get it back together. Place on a pizza pan or peel sprinkled with cornmeal. Let it rest a few more minutes.
Set out toppings in small dishes on the table or kitchen counter. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. If you have a pizza stone, the preheating will take nearly a half hour. If you want, cut pizza dough in two to four pieces and make pizzettes... everyone can style their pizza their own way. 
Start topping the dough. Don't overload it. Be creative. Have fun! Bake in the oven about ten minutes.
There won't be many leftovers, but there will be many great memories!

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