May 19: Dinner + a Movie Night

From “A Nomad Homecook’s Perpetual Almanac Cookbook (The PAC)” (c) 2020 OTBI

Who does not enjoy a hot, gooey slice of pizza while snuggled up on the couch to a good movie? This dough recipe makes 6 medium pizza crusts. You can bake them off all at once or freeze in portions for special nights such as these. Use crusts with frozen portions of pizza sauce and you have pizza on the fly for date night (or calzones, empanadas and breadsticks on another night.)

You can dream up new combinations throughout the week and siphon toppings from meals prepared beforehand. Our personal favorite is pepperoni and pineapple. Great toppings include around 1/4 cup of any combination of the below in addition to 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese plus 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese and 1/2 cup pizza sauce on a crust (oil the edges):

  • sausage
  • pineapple
  • 1/4″ sliced grilled chicken
  • 1/4″ sliced mushrooms
  • sliced olives
  • pepperoni
  • ham
  • 1/4″ sliced onions
  • 1/4″ sliced bell peppers

You can also enjoy a build-your-own pizza bar for birthdays and get togethers with friends. Kids love making pizza maybe more than they like eating it.


Pizza Dough

makes 6 pizza crusts, 12 calzones or empanadas, or 48 garlic breadsticks

In a large bowl, combine and cover for 10 minutes at room temperature.

1/2 lukewarm water

1 teaspoon sugar

2 teaspoons active dry yeast

Measure flour into  a second large bowl.

5 cups flour (plus up to 2 tablespoons for dusting)

Combine in measuring cup and stir to dissolve. 

1/4 cup lukewarm water

2 teaspoons salt

Add to yeast mixture. Add flour, stirring to incorporate. Turn onto a floured surface and knewd for 5-8 minutes until smooth and elastic.

Round the dough and rise until doubles, about 1 hour.

Divide into pieces, round off, dust with flour, cover then rise until 1-1/2 times the size, about 1 hour. Bake off or freeze 6 portions or dough.

To bake, dust a pizza stone with cornmeal. Stretch the dough with your wrists and knuckles to a medium crust and spread evenly across the pizza stone.

up tp 2 tablespoons of cornmeal

Brush 1″ of crust edge with olive oil then spread the pizza sauce evenly over the center of the crust.

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 cup pizza sauce

Sprinkle with combined mozzarella and cheddar then layer with your choice of toppings. Bake at 400° for 20-30 minutes.

Freeze dough balls separately, sealed and used within 6 months. Defrost overnight in the fridge and bring to room temperature 30 minutes before use or set out on the countertop in the morning and be ready to bake by 3 pm.

Prepare breadsticks in an oiled round metal cake pan. Rise thawed dough covered for 1/2 hour at room temperature. Score the breadsticks, baste the top with butter, Italian seasonings and parmesan cheese. Bake for 13-15 minutes. Serve with warm pizza sauce as a dipper.

To bake empanadas, divide dough ball in half then roll out, top with up to 1/2 cup of fillings. Trace water over the edges of the dough and fole in half, sealing the wet edge with your fingers then a fork. Cut a vent slit in the top and bake ona parchment-lined sheet for 40 minutes. Serve with warm pizza sauce as a dipper.


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