Pizza and healthy can go together, and it’s a great way to cook with your child. Alessandra loves Mac and Cheese and pizza for lunch, but we don’t head to the local pizza restaurant. Making our own pizza dough is super easy and Alessandra can watch the dough rise for extra entertainment. To be honest, even at 40+ years of age, I still giggle when I see the dough double in size.
This recipe will allow you to make two large pizza, or four mini pizzas. I prefer to make small pizzas and allow Alessandra to make her own.
- 6 cups – All Purpose Flour
- 1 tablespoon fine sea salt
- 3/4 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon instant rise yeast
- 3 cups warm (90-110 degree F)
Combine all dry ingredients into the bowl and mix throughly. Pour in water and stir with wooden spoon or rubber spatula until the water is mixed into the flour and smooth. Cover the bowl with plastic and let rise at room temperature for 4 hours.
After the dough has risen to about 1 1/2 times its original size, get the rubber spatula and loosen the dough from the bowl. Grab one end and fold it back into the dough, turn the bowl 1/4 turn and repeat. Once you have folded the dough 4 times flip the dough over so the cracks are on the bottom. Cover again, and place into the refrigerator where it should deflate a little before cooking.
When you are ready to make pizza take the dough and cut it into four equal pieces. Lightly flour a working area, and then roll out using a rolling-pin to get the dough stretched out into a disk. The shape of your pizza is up to you and the way you want it, round, square, rectangle, or something that resembles a cloud. It’s your pizza and have fun cooking it.
Typical Toppings :
- Grated or shredded cheese.
- Fresh leafy spinach
The goal is to customize the pizza to your liking. My personal favorite is a large thin slices of pecorino romano, olives, and tomato slices. I use a mixture of tomato paste and a little tomato sauce to provide thicker cover for the pizza. Up until now, your child can do almost all of the above, but don’t let it stop now. Big time fun is here in finishing the pizza. Alessandra has cut slices of pecorino romano with her little Ikea knife, or grated cheese using a single sided grater. (note: Be careful if your little one wants to do this step because hands can get hurt.) Having them help just a little all of the way through the process is worth the extra time. Nothing better than putting the toppings on a pizza. I just love how proud Alessandra becomes when she finishes her cooking.
After your child has helped make dough and the pizza with their custom toppings, it is time for the adult to have 100% of the cooking responsibilities. With a preheated oven at 450 degrees and the rack in the upper third, cook the pizza for 2-3 minutes and see if the dough edges are a golden brown. Once they edges do turn brown you can remove the pizza and let it rest until it’s cool enough to eat.
You can make the dough and the pizza on different days to make it easier. It’s good time fun and you can easily get a serving or two of vegetables.