Sunday, August 17, 2008

New Traditions

Here in the J household we've started a Friday Night Pizza Night, thanks to Barbara Kingsolver and her newest book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.

Here is how it started: A couple years ago our friend Greg Nielsen made a fantastic homemade barbecued pizza. He sent us the recipe and after a few spectacular failures, I gave up trying to make the dough. One time, after I discovered that my dough hadn't risen, I substituted a frozen Trader Joe's pizza at the dinner table. I fessed up after Chris made several compliments about the success of 'my' homemade pizza.

Homemade dough isn't that difficult but I was working with old yeast and didn't pay much attention to the water temperature; two important factors in the pizza dough manufacturing process. So the recipe sat, abandoned, for a couple years.

Until two weeks ago. I've had some well-documented troubles working with yeast in the past but after a recent success with french bread, I was willing to give pizza another chance.

We've had two consecutive Friday pizza dough successes and we've been pretty happy with the results. Fresh yeast is key. Someday we'll hopefully have homemade tomato sauce (and fresh goat cheese?!) but for now I've been using TJ's pizza sauce and mozzarella. I'm also a big fan of substituting dry salami for pepperoni. Garden contributions at this point include cherry tomatoes and basil. I'm not ready to open up the J Family Pizzeria quite yet but I'm happy that we've (mostly) made it past the flat-as-a-pancake bread experiences.