I am very fortunate to have a wonderful family that lives close to me. In particular, the cousins on my mom’s side of the family are a hilarious group of people. I invited these cousins over to my house last Friday for a make-your-own-pizza! night.
My cousin Lauren came over early to help me make the pizza dough and sauce. We figured the other kids didn’t need to be involved in this part, and would just want to put their toppings on the pizza. It was really fun to be help her learn something new. We made a great mess, and kneaded enough dough for 8 personal pizzas. She said I have inspired her to start cooking more often!
We used a thin crust pizza dough recipe, adapted from TheKitchn, and a very simple tomato sauce.
Pizza Dough Recipe (4 individual pizzas, or a big pizza for 4, or a smaller pizza for 2…you get the idea)
- 3/4 c warm water
- 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
- 2 1/2 c flour + 1/2 c for dusting
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 clove garlic, minced
Disolve yeast in warm water. Combine other ingredients into a bowl. Start with just 2 cups of flour. Make a well in the center, and add the dissolved yeast and water. Mix until it all comes together in a big ball. You can add an additional 1/2 cup of flour here. I find that I add this much when kneading the dough on the counter, and this makes less of a mess. Lightly dust a flat surface with flour, and turn out your dough. Knead for about 10 minutes until the dough is elastic and no longer sticking to your fingers or the counter. Flatten out the dough to the pizza size/shape of your choice. You’ll want to prepare your pizza toppings either on parchment paper (and stick the whole thing on a heated stone/sheet in the oven) or on a baking sheet covered with cornmeal. Bake at 500 degrees for 5 minutes, rotate, 5 minutes more.
Recipe: Simple Pizza Sauce
Really, very simple. Drain a can of tomatos (whole or diced), puree in blender. Add in a tablespoon or so of your favorite italian dried herbs. I threw in dried basil and oregano, a dash of salt, and a few grinds of pepper. The key is to drain the tomatos first, otherwise you end up with a very liquidy sauce, and it can make the pizza soggy in the middle.
We set up toppings for everyone to make their own pizzas. Of course, with my family, almost everyone just wanted cheese and pepperoni. Pizzas were a success all around, even for those picky eaters 🙂
We ended the evening by making chocolate chip cookies and some chocolate crackle cookies. Fun, yummy, we’ll definately have to do it again soon!