Monday, July 22, 2013

Pizza Friday

In our family, for as long as I can remember, Friday night has always been Pizza Night.

Mom's Deep Dish Pie
Growing up in a few states, there were many variations of Pizza Night and favorite pizzas along the way. 

In Michigan there was Clover Bar Pizza, complete with its pinball arcade for the kids while the parents enjoyed libations back at the table. 

In Kentucky, Snappy Tomato Pizza ruled, along with its goofy jingle (imagine fingers snapping here) "Snap, snap, Snappy Tomato Pizza, oooh." 

In Ohio, J & G Pizza Palace has a Greek style thin crust pie and décor that remains untouched over the restaurant's thousands of years in existence.

Chicago style - thick and cheesy

Years ago while on a high school trip to the Windy City, I bought my Mom a Chicago pizza cookbook.  She kept if for a few years before deciding to give pizza making a whirl.  She worked and worked and perfected it to become her specialty. 

I should know.  I'm eating the last two leftover pieces from Friday Pizza Night as we speak. Yum!

The final two leftover slices.  Lucky me!

 This recipe makes three 8" pies.

Use three 8" pizza pans

For the dough, dissolve yeast in warm water.  Add sugar and stir well. 
In a large bowl, combine flour, salt and cornmeal.  Add the yeast mixture and a 1/4 c vegetable oil.  Mix until the dough forms a ball.

On a floured surface, need and pound the dough for about 4 minutes.  Coat a bowl with a little olive oil, add the dough and cover with plastic wrap.  Place bowl in a warm spot and let it raise until it doubles in size.

Oil the bottoms and sides of three 8" pizza pans with olive oil.  Spread dough in pans with your palms and fingers.
Check out my Mom's natural nails.  Clearly, I was adopted.
Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Pierce dough with fork, then par bake it for 4 minutes on the lowest oven rack.

Dough after par baking

Combine tomatoes, basil, oregano, garlic and salt.

Lay cheese over the crust. (If using pepperoni, add it before the cheese).  Spoon tomatoes over cheese.  Sprinkle with Parmesan.  Drizzle lightly with olive oil.
Ready for the oven.
Bake pizzas on lowest rack for 5 minutes.  Move pizzas to middle rack and bake for an additional 20 - 25 minutes until the crusts are lightly browned.

Let pizzas rest for a few minutes.  Slice and enjoy!

What you need for the dough:
1 package dry yeast
1/3 c. warm water
1/2 tsp. sugar
3 1/2 c. unbleached flour
1 tsp. salt
1/4 c. yellow cornmeal
1/4 c. vegetable oil
For the toppings:
1 28 oz. can diced San Marzano tomatoes, drained
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. minced garlic
Salt to taste
1 1/2 lbs. sliced or shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Thinly sliced pepperoni, if desired 
Olive oil

Mouthwatering deliciousness!


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