Mmm, mmm, memory: homemade pizza

by CountryFriedMama on February 1, 2010

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This city’s one and only Dunkin’ Donuts opens at 5 a.m. today, and I am giddy.

Yes, the coffee is good, and yes, the donuts are good, but my excitement about this event stems from the fact that Dunkin Donuts is on just about every corner at home, and now there will be a little bit of that here.

Our “local” DD is about a 20-minute drive for me, and I certainly won’t go every day the way I did up North, but it is enough to know that it is here if I need a taste of home in a styrofoam cup.

Now we just need an infusion of home-style pizza, and I will be able to satisfy my thirst AND hunger.

When we moved here, I scanned the phone book for clues as to the best local pizza joint.  I was intrigued by places that mentioned “New York” and “Yankee” in their names, but the results were disappointing.  Pizza is just different here; when you hold the edge of the crust, the rest of the slice remains flat instead of drooping down and sliding out of your hand.  I can’t get used to it.  Maybe I just ate far too much pizza in one particular region of the country to appreciate any other versions.

When we were kids, my little brother and I used to come home from school and play Let’s Make A Deal.  I would offer to pay for a pizza if he would hoof it into town to pick it up.  We’d split the pie, a light afternoon snack.  We did this at least once a week at one time, and I think the old folks who ran the nearest pizza joint started to feel bad for him, this cute kid with a mop of blond hair who was always walking downtown to run errands for his lazy sister.  They gave him a freebie once, and he came home and delivered the pizza AND gave me back my money.  What a good boy.

While I certainly cannot make a pizza the way they do at Pizzeria Regina in Boston or any one of the great Fill-In-The-Blank House of Pizza restaurants in nearly every town in Massachusetts, this is a pretty easy weeknight meal, and it spares me from dropping $20 on a pie that will just make me sad.

The hardest part about this recipe is staying home long enough for the dough to rise.  The rest isn’t cooking really, just pulling leftovers out of the fridge that might make good toppings.  Tonight, we’re having one pie with spinach, tomatoes and feta and one with pineapple.  I use sauce from a jar (yeah, this ain’t “Julie and Julia” over here) and pre-shredded mozzarella.

The recipe for this dough comes from Moosewood Restaurant’s “New Classics” cookbook.  You’ll need:

  • 1 package dry yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/3 C warm water
  • 3 C white flour
  • 1/2 C whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 ground black pepper
  • 3 tsp olive oil

Stir the sugar and yeast into the water and set it aside until it “proofs” by bubbling on top.  Stir the water mixture into a bowl with the flours, salt, pepper and 2 tsp of the olive oil.  If you have a standing mixer, use that; you’ll save yourself the trouble of kneading by hand.  Mix it with the paddle attachment for a few minutes until it forms a ball.  (If you don’t have a standing mixer, knead by hand for about 10 minutes.)

Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover it with a towel, and leave it somewhere warm for about an hour so it can rise.  Once it’s about double its original size, punch it down and cut it in half.  Each half makes one pizza.  Roll out each section of dough to make a 12- or 15-inch crust.  I just roll mine to fit our pizza stones.

Top the dough with sauce, cheese and whatever toppings you can convince your children to eat.  Cook at 425 degrees for about 20 or 30 minutes.

Mmm, mmm, memory is a simple idea I’ve been kicking around for awhile.  It’s a memory, a recipe, and now a weekly post.  If you blog and want to join me, link to your own post in the comments section.  I’d love to come by and read your Mmm, mmm, memory.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

SuziCate February 1, 2010 at 9:26 am

I love, I’m hungry. I’d even give up the donuts for pizza. Think it’s too early for pizza?

Erin February 1, 2010 at 3:21 pm

A trick of mine is to always make double the dough and freeze half of it, so I have some for next time :)

Trenches of Mommyhood February 1, 2010 at 3:22 pm

Try the DD vanilla chai – you won’t be disappointed!

Trenches of Mommyhood February 1, 2010 at 3:23 pm

Oh, but you know what I hate up here? All the pizza joints are GREEK-owned. I like the real North End Italian style – hard to find out in the MA ‘burbs! (mmm…Pizzeria Regina…)

Country-Fried Mama February 1, 2010 at 7:38 pm

Update: I made pizzas for my family.

I ate 15 munchkins and called it a day.

Stacia February 1, 2010 at 11:35 pm

Love pineapple on my pizza! People look at me funny when I say that, so it’s nice to have some validation. =>

faemom February 2, 2010 at 3:52 pm

Sounds so yummy. Now if only I could deal with my issues with yeast.

auntie may February 2, 2010 at 4:26 pm

but do they have chicken parm down there?

CountryFriedMama February 2, 2010 at 7:53 pm

Faemom: that sounds like a personal problem. ;-)

CountryFriedMama February 2, 2010 at 7:54 pm

Auntie May: sadly, no, there isn’t that either. Basically, we just not a really great, family-owned, hole-in-the-wall house of pizza with great subs and yes, chick parm.

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