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Pizza Fun with Messy Me

It’s National Pizza Day on Friday – which sounds like a perfect excuse for getting little ones into the kitchen making their tea.

There are so many benefits to cooking with children – allowing them to learn about different textures, how ingredients change when added together, weighing / measuring quantities, how ingredients change when cooked – and they generally have lots of fun at the same time!

 

 

My children still love making pizza – mixing and kneading the dough, adding their favourite ingredients – and generally making a mess…

Making pizza from scratch at home is easier than you might think and can be healthier than many shop bought pizzas / pizza bases as you can decide whether to add salt or sugar.

Ingredients:

For the dough

  • 300g strong plain flour (+ more to dust)
  • 200ml warm water
  • 1 tsp fast action dried yeast
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp sugar (optional – I tend to omit for children)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (optional – again, I tend to omit for children)

For the topping

  • Passata (mixed with 1 glove of garlic – optional) or pizza sauce
  • Sprinkling of oregano / basil leaves (optional)
  • Grated cheese (mozzarella or cheddar or a mix of both)
  • Toppings

What to do:

Preheat the oven to 200c / gas mark 6

Mix all the dough ingredients in a bowl using a wooden spoon or your hands until you have a smooth dough

Tip: if the mixture is too sticky, add more flour.  If the water isn’t sticking together enough, add a bit more water

Cover the mixture with cling film and leave it to prove (rise) for 30 minutes

Flour a surface, divide the dough into 2 equal sized balls or 4 smaller balls if you want smaller pizzas.  Use a rolling pin or your fingers to flatten the dough into a circular shape

Transfer the dough to a greased baking tray, spread your tomato sauce on to the base then add all your favourite toppings

Bake for 15-20 minutes checking regularly to avoid overcooking

If making the dough feels too much like hard work, pitta bread, tortilla wraps, halved baguettes or muffins can also be used as the base.

Managing the Mess!

Making pizzas is both fun and messy – making pizzas just wouldn’t be the same without getting covered in flour and having super sticky hands!  Here are some tips to manage the mess…

Roll up children’s sleeves and use aprons to protect their clothes

Clear the surfaces before getting the flour out – otherwise anything close by with receive a light dusting of flour by the time you’ve finished

You could use a wipe clean tablecloth or splashmat to protect your table from the floury mess

Have some soapy water close by for children to wash their hands after making the dough – you don’t want them trying to open bathroom doors / turn on taps with super sticky hands!

Watch out for tomato spillages on clothes as these can be stain – scooping off the excess tomato as soon as you can, blotting with a wet cloth and applying some liquid detergent before washing can help reduce the risk of stains

Most importantly – have fun!  Your children will love it, the mess can be cleared away and the children will have a real sense of satisfaction having helped prepare their delicious tea themselves!