Starting a tradition of homemade pizza on Fridays

In college, my roommate was always excited about eating pizza on a Friday night. It was fun – a little bit of something special on top of that beginning-of-the-weekend feeling.

Rob and I are trying to start a Friday-night-pizza tradition of our own. So far, we've had homemade pizza two weeks in a row, and aren't sick of it yet.

I googled a recipe for whole-wheat pizza crust, and so far, have made it in advance on the dough setting in my bread machine on Thursday nights. Last night, I added some Italian spices to the dough, as well. After letting it rise twice, I precooked it for 10 minutes.

Then, Friday after work, Rob and I add tomato sauce and toppings. The sauce I make is a can of tomato paste, a can of diced tomatoes, minced onion and garlic and some Italian spices cooked for about 10 minutes on the stovetop. We top it with things like Italian cheese shreds, pepperoni, mushrooms, green olives and green peppers.

I've started looking for recipes of pizza variations online – I've seen ones that use hummus or avacados as sauce, and tortillas or pitas as crusts. I'm hoping we'll try enough that the pizza-on-Friday routine won't get boring.

Of course, making lots of pizza has me wanting a pizza stone and peel. I have a birthday coming up, so maybe I'll ask Rob for them.

It has me wondering though, do you have a weekend food tradition? Or a meal that corresponds with a day of the week?

Photo is from this website.

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Mary Schenk wrote on January 21, 2011 at 9:01 am

This sounds great, but hummus on pizza? Is nothing sacred?

Christine des Garennes wrote on January 21, 2011 at 1:01 pm

We love making pizza at home. Lately though we've switched to calzones, which if you're cooking for a bunch of diff people (esp kids), is fun to do so they can pick out all their own ingredients: spinach, ricotta, sausage, pepperoni, mozz, etc.

Meg Dickinson wrote on January 21, 2011 at 2:01 pm
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Yum. Do you use a pizza-crust recipe for them?

heatherv wrote on January 21, 2011 at 2:01 pm

Was just thinking this was perfect night to try this.. but I didn't make dough last night...any ideas in town where I could purchase dough?

Meg Dickinson wrote on January 21, 2011 at 2:01 pm
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You can buy it pre-packaged in a can, sort of like crescent rolls, I believe. I'm guessing you can find it at just about any grocery store. I know Meijer also sells frozen dough, which comes in a bag and not a can. I've used it before - it's pretty good.

I've also made a quick dough recipe for pizza crust. You might try this:
http://allrecipes.com//Recipe/quick-and-easy-pizza-crust/Detail.aspx

or maybe something like this, that doesn't call for yeast?

http://www.cdkitchen.com/recipes/recs/397/Quick-Pizza-Dough108750.shtml

heatherv wrote on January 21, 2011 at 3:01 pm

Thanks Meg! I also just learned that Vinny's East Coast on Kirby will sell dough.

Meg Dickinson wrote on January 21, 2011 at 3:01 pm
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I didn't realize that - awesome! Good to know.

prairiegourmet wrote on January 21, 2011 at 3:01 pm

I've been making pita pizzas for years and they were a family favorite for quick meals when the kids were still at home. Everyone got their own individualized pizza. They are also convenient if you're cooking for one and have a pizza craving.

Most recipes tell you to split the pita, but I like a more substantial crust, so I just use a whole pita for each pizza. (I use whole wheat ones.) I simply brush them on top with a little olive oil and toast in the oven until slightly brown, then add toppings (usually leftovers from the fridge) and toast again for a few minutes until the toppings are hot and bubbly.

Toppings are endless - with or without tomato sauce, with or without cheese ( slices of fresh tomatoes and a sprinkling of cheese are perfect in the summer when tomatoes are at their peak).

Of course, if you're really hungry, you can't beat a big homemade pizza. I love my pizza stone.

Meg Dickinson wrote on January 21, 2011 at 11:01 pm
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Oh, yum. I have a feeling that will substitute for the real thing some Friday night when we are short on time.

Christine des Garennes wrote on January 22, 2011 at 3:01 pm

Yes, I do use a pizza crust recipe. Works just fine. Recipe is from the booklet we got with our KitchenAid stand mixer yrs ago and called Crusty Pizza Dough. Involves yeast and letting dough rise for an hour but I like the dough because it's easy for us (the kids esp) to work with.
Here it is.
1 pkg active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (105-115 F)
1/2 t salt
2 t olive oil
2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups flour
Dissolve yeast in water in warmed mixer. Add salt, olive oil and 2 1/2 cups flour. Mix with dough hook on speed 2 until dough clings to hook and cleans side of bowl. Knead on speed 2 about 2 more minutes.
Put dough in greased bowl, cover, put in warm place, about 1 hour or til doubled in bulk. Punch dough down.
And there you go!

Meg Dickinson wrote on January 23, 2011 at 7:01 pm
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Awesome. Thanks. Can't wait to try this.

sahuoy wrote on January 23, 2011 at 10:01 pm

Classic old friend is the Chef Boyardee pizza kit. The entire family would assist, each person with their own quarter of pizza with whatever they wanted and for those insatiable appetites at least one or two extra pizzas with everything that everyone liked to snack on long after the night was over. Good stuff. Time to introduce the grand kids into the tradition...

Meg Dickinson wrote on January 24, 2011 at 8:01 am
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You're not the first person to mention this kit to me - our staff writer, Mary Schenk, also has fond memories of it. Must be pretty special!

algon wrote on January 25, 2011 at 3:01 pm

Does Papa Murphys count as homemade?

Meg Dickinson wrote on January 25, 2011 at 3:01 pm
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Yes, clearly.