I love making homemade pizza with my son Joe. He has so much fun making the dough (especially punching the dough) and picking out his own toppings. It’s a great way to get him involved in the kitchen and encourage him to eat more vegetables. When we have time, we make our own focaccia dough, but in a pinch we pick up Trader Joe’s pizza dough (whole wheat or garlic & herb). You can find the focaccia recipe at the bottom of this post. Don’t be intimidated, it is really easy to make!
Cooking With Kids: Pizza Night
A few weeks ago, we got our focaccia dough ready and headed out to the garden. Joe picked some red sweet peppers,
and some basil (his favorite).
He enjoyed trying the sweet red pepper.
While we are cooking, Joe likes to taste and smell each step and ingredient. Sometimes he gets a little too close to the bowl.
His favorite part, punching the dough.
I let Joe prepare his portion of the pizza however he wants to. I encourage him to choose at least one vegetable for his side. This time he chose marinara sauce, tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and basil.
Mom and Dad’s side of the pizza included pesto, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, basil (and sausage on Dad’s side). Everyone gets what they like!
Leila was excited about her brother’s creation.
These photos are from Nanna’s house where we used Trader Joe’s garlic & herb dough (they were out of whole wheat that day).
Joe chose zucchini as his vegetable this time.
Because Trader Joe’s dough is a little smaller than the focaccia, we used 2 packages of dough and made a kid pizza and an adult pizza.
-1 T. granulated sugar (I recommend organic sugar)
-1 T. (one package) active dry yeast
-1½ C. lukewarm water
-3 C. unbleached flour
-1 C. whole wheat flour
(I HIGHLY recommend using quality flour such as Bob’s Red Mill organic unbleached flour and organic whole wheat flour. Using quality flour makes a huge difference in the taste and texture of the dough)
-2 t. salt
-¼ C. onion, chopped
-1 t. garlic, minced
1. Combine the sugar, yeast and water. Stir until it is dissolved.
2. Gradually add the flour mixture to the water mixture until it is fully incorporated.
3. Add the salt, onion and garlic. You can either knead the dough by hand or with a mixer. I use a KitchenAid Mixer with a dough hook. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes. If you are kneading by hand, use a small amount of flour to coat your hands and your work surface to keep the dough from sticking.
4. Place the dough in an oiled bowl. Cover with a clean cloth or plastic wrap and let it rise until it doubles in size. If you are making your dough in advance, stick the bowl into the refrigerator. You can even make it the night before you plan to use it.
5. Punch the dough down (so fun with kids!) after it has doubled in size. Flatten the dough on a large oiled baking sheet. Spread it out to the edges, it should be no more than 1 inch thick. Let the dough sit on the baking sheet for about 15 minutes in a warm place. I like to place mine on the stove while the oven warms up.
6. Add your sauce and toppings (get creative and have fun!) Bake at 400 degrees until the dough is lightly brown, about 20 minutes. Eat and enjoy!
Do you cook with your kids? What do you make?