You don’t have to be a highly trained pizza chef to enjoy the taste of good, homemade pizza. As a matter of fact, the only thing you need is a good feel for what looks good and what tastes even better. So surprise your kids this weekend with a homemade pizza night!
Let’s get a little crazy with this recipe. Today, we are going to go by touch and smell rather than by precise measurements. After all, isn’t that what all the Italian grandmothers do? In the morning to early afternoon you will be preparing your pizza dough. Grab a big bowl and pour one packet of dried yeast in to it. Then pour about a cup of warm water over it. Sprinkle in salt to taste a few good tosses of sugar for good measure. Now add a splash of olive oil and pour in about a cup of all purpose flour. Stir and let sit for a few minutes. Now it is time to get messy. Add more flour and begin stirring until it is too difficult to turn the spoon.
Place your dough on a floured counter and begin kneading it. If the dough is wet and sticky, add more flour. Keep kneading and adding flour until your dough feels elastic but is not dry. You want the dough to feel a bit moist to prevent it from being chewy after cooking. Believe it or not, the hardest part is done. Coat the bowl with olive oil and put your dough in the bowl. Roll the dough just a bit to cover all sides with the olive oil. Place a cloth over your bowl and let it sit for the rest of the day.
When you are ready to make the pizza, turn the oven on to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Take the dough out and either split it up between the children or let everyone have a turn with it. In our family I make two batches of dough and let each child make his or her own individual pizza. Stretch the dough out with your hands and use a rolling pin to shape and smooth it. If you find the dough stretches back after each pull, let it rest and start again in ten minutes.
Now the easiest part of all. Time to assemble the pizzas! Sprinkle corn meal on the bottom of a pizza pan and place the dough on top. For multiple pizzas, alternate building with baking. Pour jarred spaghetti sauce over the dough and then sprinkle pre-grated pizza cheese such as mozzarella and cheddar over the sauce. Then come the toppings such as pineapple, pepperoni, sliced ham, black olives, jalapeños, mushrooms – just grab what looks good!
Once you have added everything delicious you can think of, it is time to bake the pizza. Again, go by sight and smell! If your pizza is large, it can take 10 to 20 minutes to bake. Smaller individual pizzas will take less time. Set your timer for ten minutes and then check the oven. When your pizza crust is lightly brown and the cheese is melted, your pizza is done. Now get ready for an amazing, homemade pizza treat!