Did you have Pizza Night when you were little? If you're like me and most of my friends' families, you did, and that night was Friday night. Fridays, in my opinion, are terrific days. I might even venture to say they're the best days. The thing about Fridays is that they're so full of promise. They're worn down around the edges, tired and rugged with too much crammed into their minutes, with sudden pops of light and joy bubbling up from within because they hold that unavoidable, irrepressible scent of weekend freedom.Fridays are just peachy-keen, and pizza makes them better.
When I was growing up, my mom would sometimes buy individual Boboli pizzas for the two of us. We would unwrap the fluffy discs and shred firm aged mozzarella onto them, then top the whole thing with discs of spicy pepperoni. If we felt zany, we'd add some sliced mushrooms and black olives. It didn't matter to me that the crust came from the grocery store and the pepperoni slid out of plastic packages. All I cared about was the fact that I got to make something I was going to eat, and my mom let me pull the little pizzas out of the oven when they were finished and scrape the too-hot bits of burned cheese off the cookie sheet to nibble. To me, with my fluffy bangs and scrunchies tied around my wrists, those pizzas were as good as homemade. It was the time my mom took out of her day of working, going to college, and cleaning up after me that mattered, plus the joy we shared as we artfully topped our pies.
I find myself wanting pizza on Friday nights a whole lot more than I do on other days. Which is a good thing if you feel like making your Friday Pizza from scratch. It takes a while for the dough to rise, so you'll probably be having a late dinner, but you don't have to wake up early, because tomorrow is Saturday. I know; I'm a little brilliant sometimes. You might also want to sip some wine and taste some cheese while you wait. Just a thought.
My point is this: It's Friday. You've worked hard. Reward yourself with a delectable cooking (and dining) experience, and make this pizza. I followed Gourmet's recipe exactly, minus using a large cookie sheet instead of a pizza stone. Mary claimed it was the best pizza she's ever eaten in her life. While I will admit that, as my girlfriend, she is biased, I will also say that the girl is from Brooklyn, and if there's anything she knows, it's pizza. If I were you, I'd trust her.