What is 3:00 like at your house? Lisa and I call it coffee o’clock. Homeschool is over, nap time is done, and I’m out of ideas even though bed time is still hours away. The other day, I asked Lila, slightly exasperated, what she wanted to do and her response was, “I want to make with you!”
“Okay”, I said hesitantly, “what do you want to make?”
“Pizza dough, for Daddy.”
She loves making dough. She has her own mini chef set from my friends Ali, Mark and Nathan and she takes her job very seriously. So, I agreed to make dough with her. She is really getting good. She can measure and stir and even knead. It’s like playdough that doesn’t crumble all over the floor and make me want to pull my hair out.
So, at 3:00, I say yes. Because, honestly, I don’t always have a plan for the next four hours until bed time and I just need us all to keep busy and do something fun together. I say yes because I’ve already said no 1,000 times that day and I can’t stand the taste of the word any longer. I say yes so that we can be on a team and laugh and make something great. I say yes, because on pizza night, everyone wins.
My recipe is super simple. It’s slightly sweet, a little chewy and gives that nice crunchy crust. I just make it and leave it covered on the counter all day until dinner time. It’s best if you can just make it and leave it in the fridge for the next day or so. It gets even better.
Real talk, yes, I have made some pizza sauce and froze it. However, I ain’t proud. I use jarred pasta sauce from the grocery store as my sauce. It’s quick and simple, and works just fine.
I top my pizzas with whatever we have. A family favorite is peppers and onions. This time, I topped it with caramelized onions, yellow peppers and tiny slices of kale. I shredded some mild cheddar and mozzerella for that marbled melty cheese topping and sprinkled it with a bit of dried oregano before I threw it in the oven.
The recipe makes enough for two pizzas. I normally prep the first pizza as a thin crust on an Solid Wood Pizza Peel coated with cornmeal and slide it off to cook on my amazing Pizza Stone, if you don’t have one yet, you really should consider investing. Especially if you want to bake your own breads. It gets really hot and helps get a crisp crust. I make the second pizza a thicker crust in a Cast-Iron Chef’s Skillet. Another cooking essential for me. If you make two and only use one, you can freeze the extra for next time, cooked or uncooked. Both have worked well for me. If you want, just make a giant “pan” style pizza that is just rolled out so that the crust is thicker. A family friend rolls out the dough, and tucks string cheese into the crust for a stuffed crust kind of deal. The possibilities are endless…and delicious.
Don’t be intimidated, this is a very easy and forgiving recipe, you can totally do it!
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- 10 0z of warm water (90-110 degrees)
- 1 tbs honey (sugar works fine in a pinch)
- 3 tsp yeast
- 2 tbs olive oil (butter works well too)
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cup white flour
- 1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- mix the yeast, water, and honey in a small bowl and set aside to "sponge"
- meanwhile, put the rest of the ingredients in your mixer with the dough hook attachment.
- pour the yeast into the mixer and mix until the dough forms a good ball and pulls from the side.
- Continue to allow the mixer, to knead the dough for a few minutes. If you're just forming this by hand, simply knead it on a lightly floured surface until it is soft and it pushes back when you press your thumb into it.
- Place it in a lightly oiled bowl and cover it to rise for about an hour (30 min minimum)
- Roll out to any shape or thickness you'd like!
- bake in a very hot (450-500 degree) oven with all of the toppings on it for about 12-14 min. or until the crust is crispy and the cheese is bubbling and starting to brown.
- if you're rolling out your dough and it keeps snapping back at you, just give it about 5-10 minutes to rest and then try again, it should cooperate just fine.