Monday, October 19, 2009

National Pizza Month

Some ideas are so good they should just be adopted by all, don't you think? National Pizza Month would have to be one of those. But then my kids would tell you that EVERY month should be International Pizza Month! How did I find out it was National Pizza Month? Have a look here and then you probably want to have a look at this too to really get the skinny on Chan's Big Blessed Bash.
I try very hard not to spoil my boys with material things, but they do get lots of spoiling with love, handknit socks and the like and homemade food. My children have never ever celebrated a birthday with a store bought cake. They will eat store bought cake out of politeness, but they really don't like it... Pizza is in the same category. They will eat takeout pizza or made from a box pizza, but they really much prefer true homemade pizza. I always make homemade pizza for their birthday parties. Considering that Older Son will be 14 on his next birthday, feeding his friends requires a LOT of pizza!
The pizza crust recipe that follows is from Italian Gourmet Cooking by the late Chef Pasquale Carpino. I believe that the book is long out of print, but hopefully having properly given the source of and credit for the recipe, I haven't violated anyone's intellectual property. If you find the book used, you might want to pick it up. I love his recipes!

Pizza -
1 packet dry yeast (this is equal to 1 Tbsp. is you buy your yeast by the jar)
2 cups warm water
4 cups flour
2 eggs
2 Tbsp. sugar
4 Tbsp. oil (I prefer to use olive oil)
1 tsp. salt

Put the yeast in the warm water. Stir until dissolved. Let sit for a few minutes. (I let it sit for about 10 minutes.) Add the eggs, sugar, salt and oil. Whisk until the mixture foams. Add the first 3 cups of flour and stir until all of the liquid has been absorbed. Work in the remaining flour bit by bit with your hands. (Having made this recipe in many different locations, I will say that the amount of flour will vary depending on atmospheric conditions. I have on occasion had to add as much as 6 cups.) Knead the dough until it is smooth and soft, like bread dough. Divide the dough into 4 sections and shape each into a round "patty". Place on a flour surface, cover with a towel and allow to rise for approx. 40 to 60 minutes. Each section makes on approx. 12 - 15 inch pizza.
To make your pizza, place your rolled dough on an oiled pan. Fill your crust with your favourite ingredients. You can bake all four pizzas at once, or - here is the real beauty of this recipe - you can freeze the rest of the dough and use it later! Bake your pizza for 20 minutes at 450 degrees F.

As part of Older Son's "domestication" training, he is able to make this on his own. I plan on turning both of my sons in to reasonable husband material before they leave home...