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BW’s Pizza Dough

February 5, 2011

When meeting new people, I always run a line through the back of my mind, “If they intimidate me, they are probably going to end up being an excellent friend.” I know, it is a really weird message to send yourself, but for me, it is always true. What intimidates me is not beauty or money, but confidence. When someone is confident, you know they are secure and can see the truth. It is also, what I value in people. Over the years I have realized that true confidence, not the insecure kind that compensates through gossiping or boasting, a real comfort with oneself, means that they will be a stronger friend. So, I give myself a pep talk to get to know that person more. So far, it appears to have worked, evidence from meeting people from my two closest friends in my PhD program to my husband.

When I was just out of college, Fee and I were incredibly intimidated by one of her co-workers, BW. She is always my biggest reminder of the old adage don’t  judge a book by its cover. After growing up in Atlanta, BW graduated from the University of Georgia, having been a member of a sorority . I made all sorts of judgments, based on past experiences, of what her identity encompassed. She just seemed to have it all together at 22. My bigger issue probably was that I couldn’t get away with being an idiot around her! Well, I have never been so wrong. A solid person and friend,Fee and I spent hours with BW talking, laughing, and cooking. It turned out, that we had common interests in food, running, and well, wine. When I think of that awkward post-college time that makes most people cringe, I take comfort in the memory of the hours we spent hanging out in her absolutely perfect old Clarendon apartment sprinkled with character which reflected my favorite 1940’s era Arlington architecture. She was a kind, sage friend, whom I miss. Over the past three or five years, Fee and I slowly lost touch with BW. Swallowed up by life changes and living on separate coasts, we drifted. However, I love our memories. Especially, the last night I lived in DC before heading to graduate school. A warm summer night the two of us on her front stoop of her apartment building, drinking red wine, and talking about if she should date her future husband. She was trying to figure out if he liked her, and I was chasing away anxiety about leaving DC, but closer to AAM. To distract ourselves from the details, we were supposed to be making homemade pizza, but we became caught up in deep discussion shrouded in humor. In the middle of laughing about some silliness, I remember running chaotically into her apartment to check if we burned our pizza. In the middle of the chaos, I realized that this confident person, this person who intimidated me, was a good friend. Well, my good friend had a baby boy a few weeks back, and so tonight, AAM and I made a homemade pizza in her honor. Maybe someday, when flights get cheaper (seriously how is it $350 to go Ireland but nearly $1000 to go to Oregon?), we will cross the coast and get to meet the little guy.

About the Pizza Dough: If you have never made homemade pizza, try it. It tastes better, and is a great group cooking activity. This is perfect recipe for a date, with friends, or teaching you child about cooking. The dough recipe is BW’s own recipe, which I wrote down ten years ago.  There are variations on the web, but I find this to be a good solid dough recipe. If you like making pizza, I highly recommend a pizza stone. I am not a gadget freak, but many consider this essential for making a good pizza. In fact, when I left for grad school, my parents gave me one so I could fill the void of pizza nights with BW.  You can use an aluminum baking sheet on your first try.

BW’s Pizza Dough

  • 2 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of brown sugar
  • 2 tb olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups of warm water
  • 3 cups of all purpose flour (we use whole wheat)
  • sprinkle of corn flour

1. Preheat the oven to 425, with pizza stone in the oven.

2. In a bowl, dissolve the yeast and brown sugar in water and let it sit for about ten minutes.

3. Next stir in the kosher salt and oil. Follow it up by 2 1/2 cups of flour. Mix until it is a ball.

4. Sprinkle your clean counter with flour. Take the ball of dough and knead it until it isn’t sticky. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, and let it rise, about an 1 hr. Then, punch down the dough, and form a ball. Roll it out.

5. Sprinkle corn flour on the pizza stone, place the dough on top. Put your toppings on the pizza and bake for 15 minutes. I would advise against sitting outside and running inside like a crazy person to pull it out. One of you might fall. I am just saying.


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