H is for Homemade Pizza for The Kids Cook Monday

***I have been updating the layout of some of my old posts and some how this one has published as a new post rather than just updating the old version.  Hope you enjoy this blast from the past!**

This week the threefootcooks, hubby and myself are travelling to visit relatives for Christmas so I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to repost a family dinner favourite.

Homemade Pizza is a perfect dish to cook with kids and with most school kids in Australia now (or very soon) on holidays it is a great draw card to get the whole family cooking together.
You may find your kids eating more veggies than they normally do because they are on top of a pizza and covered with cheese.

I like to make my own pizza sauce using home grown tomatoes.  I sauté onion and garlic in a large saucepan until the onion has softened then add the chopped tomatoes, a small amount of red wine and some fresh herbs like basil and oregano.

Pizza night has been a staple in the threefootcooks household for as long as I can remember (long before the three foot cooks came along).  Lately, however, we have been making our own rather than buying takeaway pizzas.  Cost and nutrition are the main factors in choosing to make our own pizzas.  As well as these factors, Bear and Bee are able to make the pizza bases and prepare the toppings.

Hubby received a benchtop pizza oven as a present last Christmas and it is the bomb!  I was dubious at first.  I was sure we could make pizzas that were just as good in the regular oven.  But I was wrong.  The pizzas out of the pizza oven are tastier, crispier and faster to cook.

To make our homemade pizzas I use the Pizza and Focaccia mix by Laucke for the bases (no I’m not being paid to say this, I just think it’s a really great product).  There are lots of different pre-mix pizza base flours on the market that you could use, or you could purchase ready-made pizza bases.

For the first stage of preparing the pizza dough I use my electric mixer with the dough hook attachment.  If you want to knead it by hand this is a skill you could involve your child in.  I wait until the dough has rested for the first time and needs to be kneaded a little ready for more resting to get Bear and Bee involved.  That way it doesn’t affect the final product too much if they don’t knead it enough.
Preparing dough for homemade pizza recipe
Bee helping to knead the pizza dough
While the dough is going through its final resting stage, Bear and Bee help prepare the pizza toppings.  You can start with this step if you are using ready-made pizza bases. 

Cutting up tomatoes for homemade pizza recipe
Bee cutting up our homegrown tomatoes for the pizza.
 Pizza is a great recipe for children to help with as most of the toppings are easy enough to chop up with a table knife.  They can even help grate the cheese if you have a rotary cheese grater.  I wouldn’t recommend letting them use a box grater until they are older and have the coordination needed to avoid grating their fingers.

Preparing more toppings for homemade pizza recipe
Next Bear and Bee help roll out and shape the pizza dough for the bases.  I am still not sure where Bear got the idea that pizza dough needed to be thrown in the air!  We roll the dough out on squares of baking paper to stop it sticking to the bench and to make it easier to transfer the bases to the pizza oven.
Rolling out the dough for homemade pizza recipe

Rolling out the dough for homemade pizza recipe
Practicing pizza throwing skills for homemade pizza recipe

Practicing pizza throwing skills for homemade pizza recipe
Bee and Bear practising their pizza throwing skills
Now all we need to do is put on the toppings we like and cook the pizzas for 7-8 minutes.  If you are using ready-made pizza bases and a regular oven you will need to cook the pizzas for longer.  For the pizza sauce we use a homemade version made from the tomatoes grown in our own backyard.  I will write about these tomatoes and the pizza sauce recipe in a future post, so check back regularly.

Adding toppings to base for homemade pizza recipe
Bee checking what dad is doing with the pizza toppings

 Bear and Bee’s favourite pizza – cheese and ham.
Homemade cheese and ham pizza

Here are the links to some more great homemade pizza recipes.

What is your child’s favourite pizza toppings?                            

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