My Mom’s Pizza
I miss my mom.
We haven’t lived in the same place for years – the day I left for university was basically our last day of long-term co-habitation. I didn’t realize it at the time, of course, but now I wish I had spent more summers and holidays at home while in university. When I graduated, I went straight to South Korea and lived there for years. Then, when I was planning to go to culinary school, I chose Toronto thinking I would get the best food education there (I think I was right, but still… there were schools closer to home I could have gone to). Being from Nova Scotia and living in Toronto, you might as well be living in a different country. It takes almost as long to get to my house from Toronto as it does to get to Ireland.
That’s why I always find it funny when people tsk-tsk and say, “You’re so far from home, and with a baby on the way…”
It’s sweet, but I’m pretty much the same distance from home as I was while living in another part of Canada. And in Ireland, I’m at least close to my in-laws.
But I digress. I miss my mom. And my dad, of course, but he’ll get another post closer to Father’s Day.
My mom is brilliant. A phenomenal cook, an interior design and gardening whiz, a champion fisher and all-around country livin’ domestic goddess. She is a fantastic teacher. Actually, she taught me all through elementary and high school. She was my principal in elementary and when I moved on to high school, she actually followed me to the new school and took on the role of my high school English teacher. I have never quite forgiven her for that, but my fellow students loved her. She takes education so seriously, and yet makes it fun. It’s a fine balance, being a good teacher. She has always pulled it off with flair.
This is a big year for her. She is going to be a first-time grandmother (you’re welcome, mom) and she is retiring after many, many years of teaching. That means she will be coming to Ireland for two months when our baby arrives. Until then, I will keep on missing her.
Patrick and I have homemade pizza for dinner about once a week. The dough is, and always will be, my mother’s recipe. It’s the best.
Happy (Canadian) Mother’s Day!
Mom’s Pizza Dough
1 Tbsp or 1 package of dry, active yeast
1/2 Tbsp honey
2 cups warm water
2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- Put the yeast in a large mixing bowl. Mix the honey into the warm water and pour directly over the dry yeast. Allow to activate (this could take anywhere from 2-10 minutes depending on the temperature of the water, the weather, etc.).
- When the yeast mixture is bubbling, add the salt and olive oil. Whisk together.
- Add the flour and stir (a stand mixer is great for this part, using the dough hook) until the dough starts to come away from the sides of the bowl. If the dough is too sticky, simply add more flour at 1/4 cup intervals until it comes away.
- If using the stand mixer, set the speed to medium and allow the hook to knead the dough for 5-10 minutes. Alternately, turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and start kneading by hand. Knead the dough for about 5-10 minutes, or until you’ve achieved a smooth, elastic dough that lightly bounces back when poked.
- Pour a small amount of olive oil into a mixing bowl and smear it around until the bowl is well oiled. Put the dough into the bowl and turn it once, allowing the oil to coat it. Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel or some saran wrap and allow to rise for 1 1/2 hours.
- When the dough has risen, it’s ready to use. Punch it down, roll it out and make some pizza! I usually bake my pizzas at the highest temperature my oven will go on a pizza stone or a perforated pan.
* This dough also makes a great foccacia bread! I make mine in a cast iron pan – but that’s another recipe for another time.