Friday, January 13, 2006

Pizza, Frozen Dough and Double Duty With a Sticky Pot

This has been an incredibly long week. I think I like the snow days more than the kids do. We're going to celebrate Friday with homemade pizza. The key to keeping it frugal and sane is to make several batches of pizza douch at one time and freeze the extra in useable portions.

Useable portions is really the key here. A frozen blob of dough that makes 12 pizzas is not helpful to me, in fact its a source of aggravation. Three packages of frozen dough that will make four pizzas each is a godsend! You have to think about how much your family uses at one time and do your freezing based on that, no matter what you're freezing. Sounds simple but it took me a few years to figure that one out.

We're going to make southwestern pizza tonight by using black beans, salsa and cilantro as our topping. I'm going to peruse The Uncheese Cookbook for a possible cheesy topping but we may just use a sprinkle of nutritional yeast instead. (Store bought soy cheese is just too pricey.)

Tonight is game night with the kids. I may make a batch of the caramel popcorn from The Complete Tightwad Gazette. The kids love it, and so do I. I usually make a batch of granola before I make the popcorn because I can reuse the same huge pot (and then its just one gunky sticky pot to clean!) If I plan things right, I can have snacks and breakfasts already made for the early part of next week. I'll just have to make sure some of the popcorn is put away before the kids get home from school!

5 comments:

Laura Winter said...

I'd love it if you could share your pizza dough recipe and the technique. We've tried homemade pizza a few times over the years with very little success on the dough. I really want to conquer it, though, this year!

lauren said...

Before I left for work this morning, I took out a bag of frozen whole wheat pizza dough to defrost for Friday night dinner. I'm going to serve some sweet potato oven-fries along with it. I'm already looking forward to dinner! :)

Michelle said...

You seem so organized! How long have you been refining your "system"?

Shaunta said...

We had homemade pizza last night. I found a recipe on allrecipes.com for dough that you just mix up and use. No rising, even though there is yeast in it. I actually let it rise for about 20 minutes because I like a lighter dough, but it's good either way.

I'd love your recipe, too.

Shaunta
http://www.pennywisejournal.com

Katie said...

Laura & Shaunta,

I'll be posting my pizza dough recipe shortly. We had lot of false starts with our homemade pizza dough over the years.

I used to have a fear of rolling out dough (it always used to stick!!) This fear led to a series of really thick, way too chewy pizzas that no one liked.

I also have a habit of tinkering with recipes and it doesn't always pan out. I overcame the fear of rolling and worked out the kinks of the recipe by taking my time and really learning what pizza dough should feel like.

I can't cook new things when I'm in a panic or rushing around. I didn't invite my kids to help with the pizza dough until I was confident in my own skills.

Now, making pizza is a family event that everyone enjoys and the pizza finally tastes good.

Lauren,

Those sweet potato oven fries sound really good!

Michelle,
I guess its been about a year and a half now. Here's a little secret, a lot of my organization stems from laziness. The caramel popcorn and granola made in the same pot is a classic example. I love to cook but I hate doing dishes.

Making bread dough, pizza dough, donut dough and cinnamon bread dough on the same day means I only have to clean the bread bucket one time. Since the ingredients are similar, it also means I only have to drag out the ingredients one time.

I'm aiming for economy of motion and I'm always refining the process.

I'm also not always successful. This summer I attempted to melt the sugar/oil for the caramel popcorn in the microwave. I ended up ruining a bowl and making the house stink!