A Final Word on Pizza (and You)

This is you:

You live in Dallas Texas. You are the mother of two. Summer is almost over. You are about to send your oldest daughter to first grade. You want to eek the most out of every summer night you have left with her. You are my sister.

Your favorite pizza recipe comes from Boz, the green bear next door. His recipe for Double Peppy Pizza has never failed you. But he is a children’s TV show character, after all, and you think it’s time to try a real recipe. You’ve been making pizza for years; you can handle it. Your daughter’s almost in first grade; she can handle it.

But tonight is meet the teacher night. You’ve measured all the ingredients with a first grader and a toddler. You’ve kneaded the dough. It’s been rising for an hour and now you can’t roll it out. You’re going to have to call Pizza Hut. But you pull yourself together; you stretch the dough out.

The pizza turns out fine. You feel good about sneaking some vegetable toppings in on your toddler. You feel even better about finally meeting the teacher. But next time, you’ll stick with Boz.

To read Boz’s Double Peppy Pizza Recipe and my sister’s own comments, click more.

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Homemade Pizza

Pizza

I probably told Glenn a dozen times, “It smells like Pizza Hut in here!” Homemade pizza has been a staple for us since we started cooking together. A few years ago, our friend Nick Vidoni taught us how to make a really excellent honey wheat crust. Out of love for Nick and for tradition, I rarely let Glenn stray from that recipe. This weekend, we were out of wheat flour so Glenn got to make his pick. It was phenominal, smelled and tasted like Pizza Hut (in the best possible way).

Glenn used the basic pizza dough recipe found on page 752 of the New, Improved, All-Purpose 1997 edition of the Joy of Cooking (aka the modern, renegade edition). Those of you who know about Joy know that the most valuable part of the recipe is the commentary and that it would take me way to long to copy it all out here, so go look it up. Those of you who don’t know about Joy need to stop everything and go pick up a copy. (Research the editions first to make sure you get the right fit for you.)

Our old standby from Nick Vidoni goes something like this:

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 pkg dry active yeast or 1.5 tsp instant yeast
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 Tb honey
  • .25 tsp salt
  • 1.5 cups wheat flour
  • 1.5 cups all purpose flour
  • Mix in order listed above. Knead ten minutes. Place dough in a clean bowl coated with olive oil and cover. Let rise about one hour. Divide into two crusts, roll out, pre-bake at 375 for about ten minutes, top, bake at 375 for about fifteen minutes.

Top it with whatever you want, but remember — better ingredients, better pizza.