When I found myself in a one-pizza town in rural California and at home with a young child, I got a Kitchenaid mixer and taught myself how to make pizza. It was like a science experiment. I remember it was so cold in our drafty kitchen, it took the dough forever to rise. I learned to let the dough rise in the oven.
I got pretty good at making pizza. We landed in rural Georgia, which was also a one-pizza town, and then the wilds of Idaho, so I made a lot of it.
Here at the coast, we have some good pizza options, and it’s been a while since I’ve made one.
My love of pizza is no secret. I’m a little partial to the thicker, more pastry-like crusts, but I’m equally happy with a big, thin slice of New York-style pizza. My own pizza seems to fall somewhere in the middle.
Making pizza, even from scratch, is a simple, basic process. I went with a basic recipe on Food Network for the dough. You can make a fast, easy pizza dough with Bisquick, too. I used to buy a frozen cornmeal crust that was excellent, or you can skip this step with a ready-to-bake crust from the grocery store.
With the holiday weekend upon us, I thought I’d share how much fun we used to have as a family making pizza. It’s an inexpensive meal option that most seem to enjoy.
What I learned years ago is that that baking is rather precise, and I didn’t do a whole lot of it. Somewhere along the line the mixer didn’t make it to the next house. So when I set out to make pizza this week, I had to do it by hand.
While it would have been easier and faster if I had the mixer — which would take up far too much space in my small kitchen for just the occasional homemade pizza — I found myself enjoying the grounding process of kneading the dough. I remembered how much my young son liked to help me cook and bake so many years ago.
The pizza stone didn’t make it here either, likely broken in one of our many cross-country moves. Baking sheets work just fine. You don’t need anything fancy to make pizza.
My guys are carnivores, and they like pepperoni. I like vegetables on my pizza. My point is, when you’re making pizza, anything goes. Red sauce, white sauce, even pesto works on pizza.
So if you’re looking for something to do this weekend, get the kids, roll up your sleeves and make your own pizza.
Taste of the coast:
Meal of the Week...Fish and Chips
Lunch this week was at South Beach Market south of the Yaquina Bay Bridge on 101. Fish and chips — a coastal classic.
It was raining, but that’s OK. On a nice day, the line can be long at lunchtime. Fresh and smoked and canned fish here, too, and Dungeness crab. 3640 S Coast Highway, South Beach, 541-867-6800, www.southbeachfishmarket.com