Fridays are almost always pizza night at the Schinkel Home.
We do take out, mini pizzas made with english muffins,
Schinkels’ ready made pizza (kids call that Daddy’s Pizza),
Almost-Homemade Mommy Pepperoni Pizza (which uses Schinkels’ pre-made dough),
and my favourite, Mommy’s Totally Homemade Bacon Chicken Pizza.
This afternoon, I arrived home at 2:00 with enough time to make
Totally Homemade Mommy Pizza,
so you get an extra blog post. Aren’t you lucky?
Time is such a relative thing, isn’t it?
I mean, if I have enough time, I will decide to do things like make homemade pizza dough,
which will eat up 3 hours of my afternoon as I make, proof, beat down, proof, beat down
and flatten, proof and pre-cook. During which I am cutting and cooking chicken, peppers, bacon, peppers and mushrooms and sautéing them all in multiple pans,
as well as making and proofing dough in more bowls and a mixer,
and shredding mozzarella into yet another container.
And setting out the ham and pepperoni for the younger kids to add to their pizza,
as they will certainly insist on helping so I don’t sneak healthy stuff like
vegetables onto their pizza.
So, obviously, the dishes will be piling up,
and that will mean another half hour or so in my kitchen
cleaning up after dinner with my kids.
Greg gets out of dishes on Fridays as he escapes, I mean leaves,
for hockey on Friday nights.
Don’t worry, I get Sunday afternoons in the summer to play soccer, so it’s all good.
But I digress.
The free time that enables me to make pizza from scratch
ends up leaving me with less free time than if
I just bought the pre-made dough at Schinkels’ and
remembered to pull it out in the morning on my working Fridays
when I make Almost-Homemade Mommy Pepperoni Pizza.
Yes, that is how my mind works, people. You might have to read that last paragraph twice.
Luckily, I get great enjoyment making and especially eating
Mommy’s Totally Homemade Bacon Chicken Pizza.
which is what we made tonight because I had time.
My sister Judith taught me how to make bread years ago,
and I have been eternally grateful ever since.
Again, if you have time, and enjoy eating fresh bread,
it is actually very satisfying to make it yourself.
It’s not hard at all, it just requires time.
The recipe I usually fall back on I use for bread, buns, and pizza dough.
If I want to add seasonings or cheese…..mmmm…..cheese…….
then I just add those in at different steps in the process.
Basic Dough Recipe:
Proofing is super important, and this time of year,
you might have to improvise to get a “warm spot” in your home,
especially if your home budget is encouraging the
“wear a sweater” approach to keeping costs down.
I often have to turn my oven on for a few minutes at 200°F or so,
then turn it off. I then set the covered bowl of dough in the now warm oven,
with the door closed.
If it’s cooled down by the time of the second proof, I’ll just repeat that if needed.
To make pizza from this dough, after the second proof,
divide the dough into two balls and stretch to cover your pizza pan.
I’ve learnt over the years that stretching is way better and quicker than rolling the dough.
Just hold on the the edges and just let the weight of the dough pull itself down
as you move your hands around the circumference.
If you are using a rectangle shaped baking sheet,
just let it stretch into that shape as you rotate the dough.
Another trick is to make sure that you grease the pizza sheet
before pressing the dough into it.
Otherwise, whoever tries to remove the pizza from the sheet after it’s cooked,
you may be teaching young ears new “angry words”.
Tonight, I used the cilantro butter left over from our garlic bread to grease the sheets.
Yes, I’m that good.
After you have it stretched out,
cover it with a towel and let proof again for 20-30 minutes if you want thick crust.
If you like a thinner crust, it will rise a bit as it cooks,
but not as much as if you had let it proof.
If you don’t use both balls of dough, just put the second one into a ziploc bag and
refrigerate or freeze. It will proof again in the fridge,
so just beat it down when you are ready to use it.
Since I have picky, I mean particular, kids, I usually end up making two pizzas,
one kid-friendly and one for the adults.
This works out really well for Greg and I, as the one pizza is shared by everyone else, leaving us to share one pizza over the next couple of days.
Tonight the kid friendly one had ham
(I just had Carol slice two slices of cooked ham a little thicker and then diced it)
and Schinkels’ pepperoni with mozzarella cheese.
They were a little disappointed when they came in to find it all made already,
but that time thing was a ticking away.
And, no, I didn’t call them in from playing outside to dress the pizza,
mainly because they were playing outside. Know what I mean?
The adult friendly one, though, now that was a masterpiece of deliciousness.
I will say so myself, thank you very much.
I try my best to own my own awesomeness if and when it ever pops up.
As a Mom, it’s important to pat yourself on the back now and again, because, well,
you probably won’t get much appreciation from little people for
making them something with vegetables on it.
I sautéd chicken, as well as onions, peppers, and mushrooms.
Had some Schinkels’ bacon handy, so I cut some of that up and
added that to the chicken right before it was done. Mixed all that together.
Now, for my secret, and really good, trick for making a delicious BBQ sauce for the pizza.
Wait for it…
Tried and true, CattleBoyz is a smokey BBQ sauce that’s available at Schinkels’,
and I just mix it equal parts with whatever pasta sauce I have on hand,
which essentially means whatever one was last on sale at NoFrills.
Next, I spread the chicken/vegetable/bacon mixture evenly over the sauce,
and added the shredded mozzarella.
Little known fact: at Schinkels’, you can ask the staff for wonderful things,
like sliced gouda for lasagna or grilled cheese, or,
what I asked for today, shredded mozzarella for pizza.
Never again will I cut my knuckles,
or ask my kids to cut their knuckles endlessly grating cheese for our dinners.
What a truly wonderful place!
I also grated some Asiago cheese
(see yesterday’s blog post about my feelings regarding Asiago)
and ground fresh pepper as well as chive & onion sea salt over top of this adult pizza.
Baked the pizzas at 400°F for 9 minutes each.
I’ve tried doing both at the same time,
but always end up with lower pizza’s bottom too crusty and the top not melted and
the opposite on the upper pizza.
It doesn’t matter that I have a “convection” oven.
Pretty sure that was just a sales gimmick.
Kid pizza first, then the adult one.
Since kids are not known for eating food at temperatures higher than
room temperature anyway, I don’t feel guilty
getting the pizza that comes straight out of the oven as soon as we’ve said grace.
One added benefit to homemade over store bought is the price.
I’m Dutch, and was raised by a wonderful mother who taught me frugality.
Whenever I do something, in the back of my mind is always the voice that says,
“But, is it saving you money?”
Time is valuable, too, don’t get me wrong.
If I’m busy doing housework, chauffeuring kids, running errands, chauffeuring kids,
hanging laundry, chauffeuring kids, whatever, my time is valuable,
and I will pay more for things in life that offer convenience.
But, like I said, today I had time to do something that I enjoy,
and the voice pops up again, trying to qualify the time spent, perhaps,
and I had to address it.
$3.79 for the chicken
about $2.00 for the bacon
$2.08 for the pepperoni
$1.32 for the ham
$1.33 for the peppers
12¢ for the onion
maybe 50¢ for the mushroom
$8.91 for the cheese
about 50¢ for the Asiago cheese
$1.40 for the dough (I worked that cost out years ago)
$20.62 for two large, homemade, fresh and delicious pizzas.
I’m pretty sure I can feel good about this expenditure.