Are you looking for ways to involve your kids in the kitchen? Have you considered making pizzas with the little ones at home? Cooking up pizzas is a great way to include them in the kitchen. The experience will be fun and make the relationship more dynamic.
Giving your children the opportunity to make their own favorite food will make them more willing to eat dinner. This will also be an interactive learning session where your child can acquire basic cooking skills which are very helpful in the long run.
Pizzas are great stepping stones in the culinary world for the little ones and will be enjoyable at any party. Here are some recipe tips and tips to consider when baking a pizza with budding chefs.
Before starting out, make sure that you have everything you need. You should have plenty of all the pantry essentials like oregano, flour, yeast, sugar, salt, etc.
You should also ensure you have the right aprons for yourself and your child as the pizza-making process can be messy. You can go for flannel or checkered apron to dress the part. You can also add a matching floppy chef hat to finish the whole look.
Stock up on child-friendly bowls and cutlery. If you want to introduce knives, opt for child-safe nylon knife sets. Making and serving the first pizza for dinner is a milestone for any young chef. It is best to also have the best pizza cutters so that everyone can have the perfect slice without needing 100 attempts to cut it.
If your kid is too young to handle knives or just wants to roll the dough and add toppings, you can do the prepping yourself in advance. However, children hone their motor skills better by preparing the meal.
With the help of child-safe knives, constant supervision, and patience, your kid can learn how to cut vegetables and prepare other ingredients. This will also help them acquire basic skills and appreciate the work that goes behind making a meal.
Since pizza is generally a favorite, learning to make them will be a fun experience. Slowly cut the veggies and show them how it is done. When they are cutting, tell them to take their time. You need to be patient and hold back criticism when they cut them too thick or thin.
Compliment their first attempts and encourage them. Let them know they will become a pro one day and keep inspiring them. Show them how to use measuring cups and knead the dough. Don’t forget to wash your hands thoroughly before prepping the food.
Prepping for the pizza usually includes making the sauce, kneading the dough and letting it rise, cutting the vegetables, and preparing other toppings like pepperoni. You can get pre-cut pepperoni from the grocery store to lessen the work. You can also opt for premade marinara sauces in jars available at any shop.
However, homemade marinara sauces are easy to make and always taste the best. Moreover, freshly made sauces are more nutritional than store-bought ones. You also have more control of how the sauce will turn out when you are cooking them yourself.
Teaching your kid how to make the sauce for pizzas is also a fun experience. Your child will also know how to add different spices and elevate the flavors of the dish.
Tips for Making Pizzas
Make sure your counter and cooking space is clear. Be prepared for a good dose of fun, chaos, and creativity. Do not forget to assemble all the ingredients in clean bowls and organize them in an organized queue.
Ensure that the pizza dough is room temperature and not too cold to touch. If you are using refrigerated pre-made dough from the store, allow it to rest on the counter, or any clean surface in the kitchen, for at least 2 hours.
Allow the dough to reach room temperature, so that you can easily knead it and work the gluten. Let your kid have fun with the dough by stretching and rolling it. Do not fret if your child rips the dough. Simply show your young one how to pinch them back together.
After successfully rolling out the dough, move on to the toppings. Before you start adding the sauce and toppings, preheat the oven. Encourage creativity and let your little chef experiment with different toppings. It is best to avoid aiming for perfection because you will likely become discouraged. If you have leftover dough, you can repurpose them to make delicious pretzels.
Allow your children to make innovative or hilarious concoctions of toppings. Remember, your pizzas do not have to be standard menu pizzas. The main aim is to spend quality time with your children. Keep your calm when they throw tantrums and do not force them to participate in the entire pizza-making process.
Pizza Recipe for Kids
Following is a simple recipe which your child can have fun making. The ingredients are also readily available at local food stores.
650 g of all-purpose flour
7 g of dry yeast
2 teaspoons of salt
25 mL olive oil (any other plant-based oil can be used)
50 mL warm milk (soya milk can be used as a vegan substitute)
325 mL warm water
How to Make the Dough
In a large mixing bowl, mix all the dry ingredients and make a well in the middle of the dry mixture. Pour in the oil and milk and then gently start stirring the mixture from the center. Once it is thoroughly mixed, gradually add the water and stir. Mix until you form a soft dough.
Flour a clean surface on which you will knead the dough. Then transfer the dough on it and start working on it. Knead until it is smooth and stretchy, which will take around five minutes.
Put the dough into a large clean bowl and cover it with a damp towel. Leave it to rise for at least 1.5 hours. If possible, let it rise overnight in the fridge. The dough should rise to about double its size.
When the dough has risen, push out the air and knead it again until it’s smooth. Then roll it into a ball and set it aside. Set the oven to the highest temperature and let it preheat.
Sprinkle flour again on the surface, divide the glutinous dough into 6 balls and roll each of them into large circles with a diameter of around 20 cm. Your pizza dough is now ready to be slathered by the sauce and covered in toppings of your choice.
If you have an Instant pot you may want to try this Instant Pot Pizza Dough recipe!
Pizza Sauce Ingredients (Optional)
You can simply opt for the store-bought marinara sauce or make the sauce yourself beforehand. If your little one wants to make the sauce, here is the ideal recipe.
½ tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced or 2 teaspoons of garlic paste
870 g tomato paste or puree (3.5 cups approximately)
2 teaspoons of dried oregano
1 teaspoon of finely chopped fresh basil leaves
Simply combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and stir them. Let it simmer in medium heat for the first 3 minutes. Afterward, turn down the heat to low settings and let it simmer with the lid closed. Stir from time to time to prevent any burning on the bottom.
Turn off the heat once the desired consistency is achieved. It usually takes around 30 to 60 minutes to be properly cooked. If your sauce is too thick, then add water and let it cook at medium heat.
Final Pizza Assembly
Spread the sauce over each rolled-out pizza dough. Then add the toppings and cheese. Bake the pizzas in the preheated oven for about 10 mins, or until the crust becomes golden and the cheese fully melted. Your delicious pizza will then be ready to be served and devoured.
Always remember, positive reinforcement is the key when cooking with children. Praise their first attempts and enjoy time with them by making this delicious slab of cheesy goodness. Try out different fun and easy recipes for kids to spend more quality time.