Saturday, March 1, 2014

Homemade Pizza with Garlic Butter Crust

Before I met my future mother in law for the first time, I knew only two things about her.  She is a doctor, and she provided her son with delicious homemade preserves and homemade bread since his childhood on into his adulthood.  From those clues (as well as the extremely good looking and wonderful son she raised), I began to believe that she was some Florence Nightingale meets Betty Crocker wonder woman.  

On the drive to Duluth (from Minneapolis), I peppered Rob with questions about her to ensure my clothing was appropriate, my hostess gift was appropriate, and that his mom might like me. After nearly two and a half hours, Rob realized that I wondered how I stacked up against her, and he assured me that he neither expected me to bake pies or homemade bread, or to save the world one preventative check up at a time.  I think his exact words were, "I love you, and my parents are ecstatic that I found a woman who will go out on more than one date with me."

And they were ecstatic.  They were overwhelmingly kind, and my mother in law is a wonder woman, but not an a scary way.  In fact she's the definition of down home (down home wonder woman- just go with it).  I hope to raise my own son so well, that when he brings a woman to meet me, I don't have to question her character at all; I will know that he has picked well.

Anyhow, in hindsight, my intimidation was not merely ridiculous because of my wonderful MIL, but because none of my mother in law's domestic skills made it to my husband; he is happy to have any help he can get in that department.  For the four years in between the end of college and when we started dating, he ate spaghetti with jarred sauce and bagged meatballs every single Monday.  Frozen chicken nuggets with mixed veggies on Tuesday, and Jack's Pizza on Fridays. (In his defense, he kept an orderly condo and could make a mean homemade fudge).

While our weekday eating improved shortly after we got married, Jack's pizza remained our Friday night staple.  What could be better than Frozen pizza and a Redbox? Nothing, I thought, until we moved to Raleigh, and Jack's pizza was around $5 a pop (as opposed to the $2.50 we were used to in Minneapolis).  We tried Aldi brand pizza for a while, but it tasted meh.

Around this same time, I began crowdsourcing my dinner in earnest, and stumbled upon the blog Good Cheap Eats.  Jessica, the author of Good Cheap Eats has about 10 different pizza recipes on her blog, and I endeavor to try them all.  This recipe is adapted from her's, and the 1979 Betty Crocker Cookbook Pizza Dough recipe (not sure how Rob ended up with this cookbook, but its a treasure).

Homemade Pizza with Garlic Butter Crust

2t Fast Acting Yeast
1C Warm Water
2.5C Flour (split)
2T Honey
2T Olive Oil
1T Garlic Powder
1/2T Dried Basil

4oz Shredded Mozzarella
2oz Parmesan

2T Butter
1/2T Garlic Powder

1. Preheat the oven to 425
2. Combine Yeast and warm water and allow yeast to dissolve
3. Add 2 Cups of flour, Honey, Olive Oil, Garlic Powder and Dried Basil and mix thoroughly.
4. Sprinkle 1/2 C Flour onto your pizza tray or pizza stone and knead the dough for one-two minutes.  Other bloggers recommend longer, but I am guessing they don't have a baby who always becomes fussy the second your hands get dirty.
5. Allow dough to rest about ten minutes.
6. Press Dough into a circle on your pan, with the outside puffier than the inside (shape it like a pizza)
7. Add sauce, meat, peppers, and both cheeses
8. Melt Butter and garlic powder together in the microwave and brush on the outside crust of the pizza
9. Bake for 18-20 minutes (until crust and cheese are both golden brown)
10. Enjoy with whatever B-list movie Redbox has to offer you (or upgrade to Netflix)

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