Friday Night = PIZZA Night

For about 2 years now, we have been having family pizza night and it’s our FAVORITE night of the week….secretly DJ and I love it the most and we plan around it.  With the weekdays being so busy, this has become a fun tradition that we love.  It gives us the opportunity to slow down, live in the moment and enjoy something that we have created as a family. The best part is is that it is all homemade and very simple.

A few years ago for Fathers Day, I bought DJ the Breville pizza maker from Williams Sonoma and it quickly became our favorite appliance.  Seriously, if Breville contacted me, I would totally be their spokesman for this particular product 🙂  It is $150.00, but it often goes on sale for $99.00 around different holidays. Honestly, it is worth every penny. With everything new, it always takes a few tries to get things how you like them, but now we have this process down to a science and I could literally do everything with my eyes closed.  I am so excited to share our favorite recipes with everyone.  Even if you don’t have the pizza maker, you can bake it in the oven.

Through experience, I have learned to prepare everything ahead of time so I just have to make the dough. Just cook, slice and put in the refrigerator.

RECIPES

Pizza Dough

  1.  1 1/2 cups warm water (105-115 degrees) very warm, but not HOT
  2. 1 tablespoon active dry yeast (I use the Fleischmann’s Active Dry Yeast)
  3. 1 tablespoon sugar
  4. 1 teaspoon salt
  5. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  6. 3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (plus more as needed)

Directions:

In your KitchenAid mixer bowl, stir in the water, sugar and yeast.  Let sit for about 10 min or until the yeast is foamy and dissolved.  With your hook attachment, start stirring and add the olive oil, salt and 1 1/2 cups flour.  Gradually mix in 2 more cups of flour until the dough pulls away from the sides. (I have to use a rubber spatula to push the flour off the side of my mixer).  If your dough seems a little wet, slowly add more flour until the dough barely sticks.  Once the dough is at the right consistency, knead in the mixer for another 3-5 min on medium low.

In a medium bowl, spray with cooking spray.  Add the dough to this bowl and cover quickly and tightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise 1-2 hours. (mine typically seems to only take an hour)

After dough has doubled, remove from bowl.  Sprinkle your counter with some flour and knead your dough a couple of times.  From here, I divide the dough into 4 balls and cover with a towel for 15 min. (we each get our own ball to create our own pizza)

If you are using the Breville machine, it takes 30 min to warm up and then from there I put it on the medium crust setting.  If you are using your oven, preheat to 475 degrees.

On a piece of parchment paper, roll out your dough into a nice semi-thin circle. From here brush the edge of your crust with olive oil and garlic salt.  (I mix the garlic salt with a nice amount of olive oil  in a small bowl first) use a fork to prick holes in your crust.  Then add your sauce and toppings.

Parchment paper is a must in order to transfer your pizza to the stone.  If using the Breville machine, place your pizza on the parchment paper on the stone and close the lid.  After about 1 min, you can slide the pizza off the parchment paper and let it continue to cook, by just watching your crust.  Anywhere from 6-10 min.

In the oven, place your pizza on the parchment paper on a pizza stone or round circle pan and cook for 12 min and then broil for 2 min to get the cheese nice and melted.

SAUCE (seriously the best)

Mix all ingredients in a bowl:

  1.  2 cloves of garlic….I use the squeeze garlic and  typically squeeze out 2 to 3 squirts of garlic.
  2. 1 tablespoon of ground Oregano
  3. 1 (6oz.) tomato paste…..do not get the no salt added, salt is a must.
  4.  1 (15oz.) can of tomato sauce….again make sure it is the one with salt.
  5. 1 teaspoon paprika
  6. 1 tablespoon sugar
  7. 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning.

Toppings:  The possibilities are endless!!!!

Hattie’s pizza= just cheese bread because she refuses to try the sauce.  But is great for us to eat her extra pieces and dip in the sauce.

Gracie’s pizza=cheese pizza.

My pizza=everything…..Italian sausage, veggies, jalapenos, bacon, ricotta cheese(I use a spoon to just dollop it around my pizza), cheese and pepperoni. (I go ALL out on pizza night with no regrets!!!)

DJ’s pizza=Italian sausage, bacon, pepperonis, jalapenos, ricotta cheese and pizza cheese.

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