Perfect Kid's Pizza Recipe!
As a kid, my favorite pizza recipe was any one that let me put what kind of toppings I wanted on it (usually all of them :D).
The same goes for most children today, too. I know my daughter's personal perfect pizza recipe is sauce, cheese and sliced black olives in the shape of a smiley face. Yours might be a pepperoni pinwheel, mushroom maze or sausage starfish. Regardless, what a great opportunity to let him or her show their creativity, develop their food adventurousness and enjoy wholesome family fun in the kitchen!
And for you parents of picky eaters, this is the perfect pizza recipe weapon against the "I-Don't-Like-Its". They can't complain, they made it!
I'll give you the rundown on the complete pizza recipe, including the dough process, but you're very welcome to just buy a ready made pizza dough either par-baked or frozen. These make for a really quick and easy, interactive meal...
...Personally though, I find a lot of joy in making my own dough. There's therapeutic value to kneading and shaping a pie, that, and tossing a stiff pre-made in the air just isn't the same thing!
For planning purposes, the dough can be made a day ahead and refrigerated in a plastic storage bag that has been thoroughly coated in olive oil. Don't skip the olive oil, it will save you lots of trouble when going to take the risen dough out of the bag!
**To make things easier, I've underlined your little Sous Chef's part in this pizza recipe**
Now you, the adult, can begin by preheating the oven to 375 degrees, and gathering all the ingredients, bowls, utensils and bakeware needed for the job into one place. If you don’t have the most kitchen counter space in the world (like me, believe it or not), it’s okay, just work in stages. Here’s a rundown for all the ingredients needed for this pizza recipe.
OH, also, if your child is a little more proficient in the kitchen, you can have them immediately start measuring out some of the ingredients into separate containers as we go along.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon white sugar or honey
- 1 cup warm water
- Have your child gently sprinkle the yeast over the warm water. Don't stir the yeast, or it will clump up, just let it dissolve into the warm water slowly. If you want to give it a jump start, dissolve your sugar into the warm water first. Yeast feed off of the sugars and become active quicker!
- Next have your little Sous Chef stir all the dry ingredients together into a large bowl. To this mixture, pour in the cloudy yeast water and the olive oil. Now is the time for a little muscle, or a Kitchenaid stand mixer with a dough hook attachment ;). Knead the dough until a smooth ball has formed. If your dough is a little dry, or "shaggy", that's ok. Just add a little more water until all the flour is incorporated. If it's a little to wet and wont come together...
...you got it! Add a little more flour till it tightens up into a ball.
When the dough is at the right consistency, a nice smooth ball, knead it by hand or mixer for 5 minutes until it is good and tight.
**What I mean by tight is, after kneading the dough for a bit, poke it with your finger. If the indentation stays in the dough, you need to knead more! If the poke mark springs back to it's original ball shape, you've kneaded well and developed a good gluten structure. This makes the dough elastic and workable, instead of having a pizza that rips when rolling out a round or tossing it in the air!**
- Let the dough rest for 5 minutes under a towel or bowl on your work surface, after you've gotten a good knead tightness. When rested, the glutens will have relaxed and the dough will be soft and squishy again. Here you can repeat the knead and relax process two more times, or you can get started rolling it out into rounds or fitting it into a greased baking sheet for a square pizza. Another option is to cut your rested dough into quarters and have your child knead their own little ball of dough, and then roll it out using a rolling pin into a 6-inch circle.
- Now we're ready for the...
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
- 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes, with juice
- 2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
This part is best done ahead of time by a parent because it's mostly knife work and heating.
- Start by chopping up your onions, garlic and herbs.
- In a medium sauce pot, heat the olive oil until shimmering in the pan. Add the chopped onions and cook till translucent and very fragrant. Add the chopped garlic, cooking for another 2 minutes.
- Add the canned crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, salt, pepper and sugar to the pot. Simmer for 15 minutes. At the end, add the fresh chopped herbs
- Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
- Now you can either leave it somewhat chunky for a rustic style or process it in a blender till smooth.
- Have your Sous Chef spread out an even layer of sauce onto your shaped pizza dough. Be sure to try to leave at least a 1/2 inch border around the dough.
- Now the best part of this pizza recipe, applying the ...
- grated mozzarella
- parmesan cheese
- fresh basil
- fresh tomato
- red onion
- bell peppers
- canadian bacon
- bbq chicken
- roasted garlic
the possibilities are endless...
I don't think i need to tell you much about this part of the process, except not to pile 'em on too thick (it will make your pizza unbalanced and possibly soggy). Here's where you and the kids have tons of fun creating your own perfect personal pizza recipe! The sky's the limit to how many different variations you can try.
All you have to do now is bake it at 375 degrees for about 20 - 25 minutes, depending on its size. The best test is if it's golden brown, bubbly and delicious, it's done!
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