First, start off with making your dough. It will need a little time to rise, so you can either make it an hour or two before you need to eat, or the night before. My favourite homemade pizza dough recipe is from the cookbook, Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day by Jeffrey Hertzberg.
This is a fool-proof pizza dough and is incredibly versatile; we’ve made it with both white bread flour and whole wheat flour to great results, and we are constantly trying out new toppings. (My maple-glazed pecans, apple and parmesan version remains a favourite.)
Olive Oil Pizza Dough Recipe:
- 2 3/4 cup lukewarm water
- 1 1/2 Tablespoon granulated yeast
- 1 1/2 Tablespoon coarse salt
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (we’ve substituted whole wheat and bread flours as well)
Mix yeast, salt, sugar, and oil in water. Leave 2-5 minutes until yeast activates and you can see small bubbles.
After the second rising, roll out a handful of your pizza dough on a cornmeal- or flour-covered surface.
I encourage the kids to try their hand at rolling out the dough to a 1/2″ to 1″ thickness, but I don’t worry too much about the shape. (It can be tricky for adults to even get close to a decent circle.) This is a great time to explore descriptive words like “sticky,” “stretchy,” “elasticity,” etc.
We use a variety of different “spreads” on our pizzas, from homemade tomato paste to pesto to alfredo sauce, and even a delicious ricotta-Parmesan cheese spread from Erin Gleeson’s The Forest Feast cookbook.
This is our go-to recipe for Homemade Tomato Paste.
- 1 cup ricotta
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/4 cup Parmesan
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary
Spread your desired paste or sauce evenly over the surface of the dough with the back of a spoon, leaving about 1″ bare at the edges.
Ella went with a tomato paste, Parmesan cheese, and thick-cut pepperoni pizza, while I took advantage of the short window that my garden produces zucchini flowers and topped the ricotta-Parmesan cheese spread with fresh, cleaned buds.
To cook, I preheated our pizza stone in the oven at 550F and used our pizza peel to slide the homemade pizzas one at a time onto the sizzling surface. Make sure to cover your pizza peel really well with cornmeal to avoid having the pizza stick to it.
Bake 10-12 minutes until the crust is the perfect golden colour and cheese is fully melted.
To let the kids cut the pizza themselves, we use this awesome cut-and-roll pizza slicer that is not sharp, plastic, but cuts through food easily and fits in the kids’ hands perfectly. It also comes completely apart for a good cleaning – I’m planning on buying a second one shortly because it’s so wonderful for the kids to cut their own sandwiches, pizza, etc.
What are your favourite toppings for homemade pizza?
The Jenny Evolution is sharing her twist on Homemade Pizza on her site today as part of the Kids’ Kitchen series.
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