Kids LOVE pizza and many families order pizza at least once a week and some are eating pizza up to three times in a week! This week, skip the carry out and try making pizza at home. You can use healthier ingredients and greatly reduce the amount of fat and calories while increasing the nutritional value by making your pizza at home versus the frozen or take out/delivery options. Make smaller personal size pizzas. Your kids will love to make their own pizza and top them with fresh and healthy ingredients they get to choose themselves!
The first step to homemade pizza is the crust. You can purchase premade crusts or refrigerated dough from the store or you can try one of these two homemade options.
Easy Pizza Dough
3 1/2 cups bread flour (plus more for rolling) you can substitute with all-purpose flour if you do not have bread flour which will give you a chewier crust versus a crisp crust using the bread flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1 envelope instant dry yeast
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 cups water, 110 degrees F
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus 2 teaspoons
Add the flour, sugar, yeast and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and combine. While the mixer is running, add the water and 2 tablespoons of the oil and beat until the dough forms into a ball. If the dough is sticky, add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together in a solid ball. If the dough is too dry, add additional water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead into a smooth, firm ball.
Grease a large bowl with the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil, add the dough, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in a warm area to let it double in size, about 1 hour. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide it into 2 equal pieces. Cover each with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let them rest for 10 minutes.
Or for a healthier alternative try this recipe which uses whole wheat and all-purpose flour:
Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
1 package dry yeast
1 1/4 cups lukewarm water (approximately 75-80 degrees)
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
Proof yeast (mix yeast and water) in a measuring cup with lukewarm water. In a food processor, add whole wheat and all- purpose flours, proofed yeast, oil mixed with honey and salt. Pulse processor to combine all ingredients. Then process until the dough forms a ball on the blade. Remove dough to a large oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes or until dough has doubled in size.
Punch down dough and transfer to a floured board and knead briefly. Divide dough into 4 equal portions and roll each piece into a ball. Place the balls of dough, covered, in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight. Bring the dough to room temperature before proceeding.
On a floured board roll and stretch each piece of dough into a 7 to 8-inch circle. Place each circle on a wooden pizza peel or pizza pan and top as desired.
You can use store bought marinara or tomato sauce or follow the following recipe for pizza sauce.
Pizza Sauce Recipe
1 (4-ounce) can tomato paste
1 1/2 cups water
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper
1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves
1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves
1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
Mix together the tomato paste, water, and olive oil. Add garlic, salt and pepper to taste, oregano, basil, and rosemary mix well and let stand several hours to let the flavors blend. No cooking necessary, just spread on the pizza dough.
The Finishing Touch
Now here is the fun part, adding the toppings! Be creative! Have lots of fresh veggies available for kids to add to their pizza.
Here are some ideas for pizza toppings:
Grated mozzarella cheese
Grated Parmesan cheese
Sliced onions (red or white)
Roasted peppers, peeled, seeded, sliced
Calamata olives, pitted and sliced
Japanese eggplant, sliced thin
Leeks, washed well, outer leaves trimmed, sliced into “rings”
Lower fat meats
Bake at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted. If you are cooking small personal pizzas cut the time in half.
Hope you and your family enjoy a fun family night making your own personal pizzas this week!