Pizza Dough Creations – Fast Family Favorite for Versatility (By Anne Ward, Charlotte Rea Farms)
Here at the Ward household, we are continuously looking for ways to make mealtime easier and more enjoyable for all of us. I have two children – Fiona, almost 10 years old, and Jude, six years old – who are incredibly different from each other in many ways, including the types of foods they enjoy.
Fiona is our adventurous eater from an early age – and will try anything, with a particular fondness for my soups or stews. Jude, on the other hand, is not and we are working on slowly helping him expand his food horizons, while being grateful he’ll eat most vegetables and fruit, even if he is overly picky when it comes to his “main” dishes. We encourage him to always try new dishes – just like we do at Flour Power – and get him involved in cooking when we can to help with his “buy in” of what he eats.
One of the recipes that works for both is Flour Power’s pizza dough recipe. It is quick, easy, and versatile! We can always count on Fiona putting her own spin on the dough – making empanadas, pizza pies, calzones, or unusual shapes (yesterday was a pig with pepperoni nose and cheese feet!) Jude a more purist approach – sauce and cheese only please – but loves freshly torn basil on top after cooking (he counts the green leaves among his favorite foods).
You can see how Fiona’s and Jude’s food personalities shine through in the picture of their recent pizza dough creations. I’ve included a back to school picture of each of them as a reminder that this recipe is helpful for busy nights when you are looking for a delicious and fun way for your kids to start making their own dinners. Our kids can do so much more in the kitchen than we often realize. It is understandable that we are not always comfortable with them helping based on the mess that can be created. But – as we ALWAYS say at Flour Power – cleaning is part of cooking and while those pizza dough creations are baking, your children should definitely help wash up and set the table!
· Use fun or seasonal cookie cutters with extra dough to make mini-pizzas
· Free hand shapes such as cats, snakes, stars, hearts
· Use fork to crimp edges of empanadas to seal
· Use toppings from a vegetable or herb garden to show your children how to pick, wash, slice, for pizza toppings
· We like to dissolve the yeast in the warm water then add the sugar – gives us an opportunity to discuss talk about the science of the ingredients (how the sugar feeds the yeast and the mixture getting bubbly if the yeast is still good)
· 1-3/4 to 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
· 1 envelope Fleischmann’s Pizza Yeast
· 1-1/2 teaspoons sugar
· ¾ teaspoons salt
· 2/3 cup very warm tap water (120-130 degrees F)
· 3 tablespoons oil
· Pizza Sauce
1. PREHEAT oven to 425 degrees F.
2. COMBINE 1 cup flour, yeast, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Add water and oil. Mix together until well blended; about 1 minute.
3. ADD gradually, ½ cup flour until soft dough ball is formed; will be slightly sticky. Add additional flour if needed to form dough ball.
4. KNEAD on a floured surface adding additional flour if needed, until smooth and elastic; about 4 minutes. With floured hands, press dough out to form circle.
5. TOP as desired with pizza sauce, toppings and cheese.
6. BAKE on bottom oven rack for 12 to 15 minutes until cheese is bubbly and crust is brown.