Making Pizza with a 3 Year Old
I'm always looking for fun things to do in the kitchen with my 3 year old. She loves to cook and is always asking to help when I'm prepping dinner. Unfortunately, many of the meals I cook involve chopping, fire, oil and other nasty things that scare the begeezus out of me. So, more often than not, she must sit at the island and watch while I get to have all the fun.
Then I realized, why not pizza?! Of course, I can chop all the necessary toppings- but she can help with so much of the prep!
So on my last shopping trip, I gathered all the necessary items to make pizza from "scratch" and waited for a day when we had a bit of extra time (you always want to allow extra time when a 3 year old is involved!) and a day when her behavior was pretty good. Today is the day!
Making the pizza dough was a learning experience for her. Today she learned how to tell the difference between sugar and flour and we talked about the importance of measuring. She is so proud of those two doughy orbs rising on the counter.
She can't wait for daddy to come home so we can finish our project and reap the rewards- eating fresh home baked Pizza!
Here is the recipe we used:
(makes 1 "regular" 12-inch crust or 2 thin 12-inch crusts)
1 3/4- 2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 envelope Fleischmann's Pizza Yeast
1 1/2 tsp. sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
2/3 c. very warm water
3 tbsp olive oil
Combine water, sugar and yeast in a bowl and wait for the yeast to "activate" or create air bubbles on top of the water. Add in 1 cup flour, salt, and oil. Mix until well blended; about 1 minute.
Gradually add 1/2 cup flour until soft dough ball is formed; will be slightly sticky. Add additional flour if needed to form dough ball.
Knead on a floured surface adding additional flour as needed until smooth and elastic; about four minutes.
Here is where I now allow my dough to rise for a couple of hours at room temp. I place the dough ball(s) on a lightly oiled surface and smear a small amount of oil on the dough ball (to keep it from drying out). Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit and rise until you are ready to bake.
According to Fleischmann's you do not have to allow the dough to sit or rise. However, I used to work in a pizza shop. During slow times when the dough was allowed to rise at room temp, the pizzas crust was always waaay better than when we had to "turn and burn" through dough that was freshly made. So- if you have the time and patience, allow your dough to sit and rise! If you do let it rise, don't forget to punch the dough down before you bake it!
When you are ready (for us, when daddy get's home)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees roll out a 12" round pizza pie. Sprinkle a baking stone with a bit of corn meal for added crunch in your crust and place the pizza crust on top.
Top with whatever sauce or oil you desire, add cheese(s) and toppings. Bake for 12-15 minutes until crust is golden brown and cheese is bubbly. Enjoy!
This post originally published on This Happy Housewife by Jackie Georgiou. Besides being a freelance writer, Jackie is a mommy to two beautiful little girls, one obnoxious Golden Retriever and one very understanding husband.