I can’t remember when the tradition in our family of having pizza every Friday night began. I was gifted with The Joy of Cooking at my bridal shower (that I didn’t attend but that’s another post) and I sort of laughed because cooking wasn’t something I thought I would ever do.
After we had been married a couple of years, we re-enlisted to go to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Once we arrived we soon realized that going out for dinner several times a week wasn’t an option. There was one restaurant we could go to, Blue Caribe, but it was run by the Navy and the menu very much resembled the food we could get for free in the chow hall. The one difference is that it was brought to us by waiters as opposed to being collected on the tray as we passed through the line.
I learned how to cook.
I found the pizza dough recipe that we have used ever since in the Joy of Cooking and over the years, all of us has made the dough at one time or another. When the boys were in school and we were all busy, the first person home on Friday would be responsible for making the dough. This recipe is EASY and delicious and we are all pros at pizza dough making. We’ve changed this recipe a little over time and here it is:
Two 12-inch crusts (or one fat one, our choice)
Combine in a large bowl or the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 package (2 1⁄4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
1 1⁄3 cups warm (105° to 115°F) water – we do this in the microwave for 1 min 20 secs.
2 tablespoons olive oil
Knead for 8 minutes by hand or with the dough hook on low to medium speed until the dough is smooth and elastic. Transfer the dough to a bowl lightly coated with olive oil and turn it once to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean cloth and let rise in a warm place (75° to 85°F) until doubled in bulk, 1 to 1 1⁄2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease 1 large pizza stone and dust with cornmeal (Do this! The cornmeal totally adds to the end result).
Press the dough onto the prepared pizza stone.
Prepare the desired toppings. We usually take an 8 oz can of tomato sauce and spread it on the dough. Sprinkle with garlic powder, oregano and basil, top with cheese and your choice of toppings. David and I love Canadian Bacon and black olives. NOM!
Bake for 20-25 minutes. Enjoy!