Inspiring Family Traditions: Simple Pizza and Movie Night

Later this afternoon I’ll set my bread maker to “Dough” and away we’ll go.  Children will gather and we will measure ingredients and get the dough mixing.  Later, they’ll oil the pan, roll and stretch the dough, spread the sauce, sprinkle the cheese, and add the toppings.  It is an easy task for little helping hands and they love to watch the pizza puff and bake in the oven.  These are simple delights in our kitchen, but ones I hope they’ll remember.  I especially love that this is becoming a set Friday tradition to finish off the week and make it special.  Later, when Daddy is home, we’ll pull out the pizza and sit together to eat it while watching a family movie.

We are still “consuming” in many senses of the word, but doing so while enjoying each other, laughing and spending relaxed time together, and feasting on our pizza-making labors.  For my husband and me, it offers the chance for us to put up our feet after a long week of work.  We have an excuse to sit with our children, to share common interests, and give them snuggles and physical time many of them need.  Friday nights are slowly becoming family traditions to which we all look forward.

Have a breadmaker or mixer?  Join us–I’ve included a dough recipe below.  Don’t have one?  Buy a store-made crust and see what interesting pizza toppings your crew can come up with.  Whatever you do, do it together; that’s the beauty of family traditions.  Thank Goodness It’s Friday!

Pizza/Calzone Dough

1 ½ cups water

1 ½ Tbs olive oil

3 ¾ cups bread flour

1 ½ Tbs sugar

1 ½ tsp salt

2 tsp rapid rise yeast (or 1 ½ tsp regular yeast)

Mix together in a standing mixer or add to bread maker on the “dough” setting.

(h/t to Queen Bee)

  • Juris Mater

    Great post Bethany! We love our homemade pizza Fridays too (or pizza delivery when we have a new baby : )), and I’ve just started Friday afternoon movies. The kids are baked after a long week of school and so am I, so it’s wonderful to pick them up from school then make our way to the basement for some mom and kids viewing time. Oh yeah, and we use Trader Joe’s dough, it’s 99 cents and so easy to work with and delicious.

  • http://www.buildingcathedrals.com Mary Alice

    Ooh, we used to do a friday movie night, but now our girls have ballet on Friday nights. JM, thank you for permission to do the movie in the afternoon! We all need that break, too, but I felt oddly irresponsible putting on a movie during daylight hours.

    • http://www.buildingcathedrals.com Katrina

      Mary Alice, you are so funny – “I felt oddly irresponsible putting on a movie during daylight hours.” You should come spend some time at our house – you would feel so responsible in comparison :)

  • Erin

    Ha! I just pulled our pizza dough ball out of the freezer for our “homemade” pizza tonight too! A lot of grocery stores are now selling dough balls in the bakery area, and we have found they taste delicious, and you still get the “homemade” feeling of adding your own toppings, rolling it out, etc. When they go on sale we pick up a good number for aobut $1.29 each and put them in the freezer for the next several fridays!

  • http://www.buildingcathedrals.com Katrina

    I have to say that I’ve had trouble with the homemade pizza dough recently – I’ve had some mess-ups in the bread maker, whereas before it seemed to be foolproof. Anyways, I’ve started using the Kitchen-Aid mixer with better success – maybe it has something to do with the rising? Or maybe my bread machine needs a tune-up? In any case, we love pizza night around here too – it’s one of the few meals where no one complains about what’s being served!

    • maryalice

      I started consistently having trouble with my bread machine, and just gave up, it was too disappointing to put all the ingredients in and come back a few hours later to a wet mess. I wonder if a tune up is available, or if these things have a life span?

  • Elizabeth M

    We do Friday night pizza and a movie around here too –almost every Friday. For several years, we’ve been using the Darwin’s crust recipe from their blog:
    http://darwincatholic.blogspot.com/2008/06/pizza-chez-darwin.html
    It’s really easy, so I thought I’d share it for anyone else without a bread maker. Too many dough recipes seem daunting without a bread machine.
    The one change we’ve made from the Darwin version is that we don’t use the cornmeal anymore. i was tired of the mess on the floor and the oven. We now assemble the pizza right on parchment paper on the pizza peel and slide the whole thing into the oven together. Once the dough is set on the pizza stone, we pull the paper right out from underneath it to crisp up. Less mess! I stock up when Parchment is on sale (believe it or not, I get the best prices at the Christmas Tree store). We also find that we can re-use the parchment for several pizzas, and at least 2 Fridays. If it starts to get dark on the edges, trim it off.
    Honestly we have this down to a system and have it memorized. For 4-6 rounds of dough (depending on how you divide it), this is cheap and easy!


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