Kids in the Kitchen: Pizza is a Vegetable Night

Pizza is a great meal for kids to learn to make.  In fact, I think pizza ought to be in your weekly meal rotation.  Why?  It’s a perfect vehicle for lots and lots of vegetables; it’s a one pot meal on a cookie sheet; everyone loves pizza!  Once you learn to make the dough, the only trick is deciding what to top it with this time.  Brett is our chief pizza dough maker, and this is the recipe he likes:

Pizza Dough

2 1/4 teaspoons yeast

1 cup warm water

1 1/4 cups cold water

2 tablespoons oil

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

5 1/4 cups flour

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water and allow to stand for 5 minutes.  In a mixing bowl, place all ingredients except reserve about 1 cup of flour.  Mix to combine.  If you are using a stand mixer, allow it to knead into a soft dough, adding remaining flour as needed.  Otherwise, turn the dough onto a well flour counter and knead for about 5 minutes, adding additional flour to make the dough smooth but not tough.  Allow dough to rise for one hour in well-oiled bowl.

Grease a pan for the pizza.  I like thick “Pizza Hut” style crust, and I use a jelly roll pan.  This recipe could easily make two pizzas if you use round pizza pans or like thin, crispy crust.  Without completely deflating the dough, divide it and spread it onto the prepared sheet(s).  Preheat oven to 475 degrees.  Good crust depends on a hot oven.  Allow to rest while you prepare toppings.

Some of our favorite toppings:

  • pesto, fresh mozzarella and tomatoes
  • potatoes (thinly slice and parboil, spread over the pizza with a drizzle of olive oil and salt)
  • carmelized onions with parmesan
  • alfredo sauce, chicken and red bell peppers
  • tomato sauce with ham and pineapple
  • tonight’s meal was homemade pizza sauce with mushrooms, fresh tomatoes, onions, and fresh mozzarella
  • pepperoni with a sprinkle of parmesan

When the toppings are spread on the pizza, put in the preheated oven and bake 20 to 25 minutes, until crust is nicely browned.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before cutting and serving.

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