Making Pizza With Kids

Making Pizza With Kids

07/15/2024
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If you and your family love pizza, a fun and tasty activity is to make homemade pizza with your kids. It is delicious, a good time together, and a bit messy.

Pizza on pizza stone

This is one of our favorite meals to eat as a family - we don’t do it often though as it’s a lot of work, and we don’t have tons of free time. Pizza is also not the healthiest option usually, so the fact that it’s a special treat for the family is even better.

When we buy pizza from a takeout place, there’s always a discussion about what toppings we should get. My kids like cheese pizza and is what they’ll always say they want, but then when we get something we like, they want it as well. My wife likes lots of vegetables on her pizza, and I prefer all meat. Putting everything on the entire pizza is just too expensive.

One thing that we can agree on is that the pizza crust needs to be thin. Don’t get me wrong, I love a deep dish crust that has a good amount of oil in it, but it’s just so unhealthy that we never get it. I treat myself every now and then, but have learned to avoid it. Thin crust pizza has far fewer calories than a deep dish or normal pizza crust, but I realize it’s not for everyone.

Below is our favorite pizza that we make as a family - it’s a lot of fun when we make it, and we’re all ready to eat as it’s going in the oven.

The crust

Pizza crust on pizza stone

This is the hardest part of doing homemade pizza, but it’s one of the things that really make homemade pizza so much better than a pre-made pizza. You control the ingredients, how it’s shaped, and ultimately what it tastes like. If you really don’t have time or desire to make your own crust, you can buy a pre-made one at the store. You’ll be losing out a bit though.

As noted earlier, thin crust pizza is definitely our favorite. It allows us to really taste the other parts of our pizza, and provides less calories. This is our favorite recipe that we always use - makes enough for two thin crust pizzas:

  • 1 package of dry yeast
  • 1 cup of warm water
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • A pinch of salt

Directions

  • Mix warm water and sugar together. 
  • Add yeast and let sit for about 5 minutes. 
  • Add olive oil, salt and flour, and mix/knead for 8 minutes. Recommend a KitchenAid mixer
  • Add additional flour if it’s too sticky. 
  • Cover and let sit for at least 30 minutes.

The sauce

Pizza sauce in pan

This is secret ingredient number two in our pizza that makes it so delicious. We’ve been told by multiple people that they really like the pizza we make at home, and we're happy to tell them about the crust and the sauce.

You want a sauce that helps to bring out your flavor, but not be too overpowering. It has to compliment the pizza as a whole. You can buy pre-made pizza sauce, but I find it to not be very tasty or else too off to work well in pizza.

Homemade pizza sauce really isn’t too hard to make. You can pre-make a bunch and freeze it for later, or simply make enough for your pizza that you’re eating now. Either way is completely fine. The following recipe makes enough for two pizzas.

  • 1 15 ounce can of tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsp diced onions
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • Other spices by taste

Directions

  • Put the tomato sauce in a pan, add the spices, and mix them up. 
  • Place on low for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  • Let sit for at least 5 minutes. 

The number one ingredient for our pizza sauce is fennel - don’t skip it as it gives a unique flavor that really goes well with the pizza. Also, we don’t really measure any of the spices we put in -we just kind of eyeball it.

The toppings

The big compromise when buying pizza is always the toppings. Making pizza at home lets you control the entire pizza. Perhaps you want pepperoni on the entire pizza, or perhaps you want it on just one slice. Maybe someone loves anchovies, and everyone else can’t stand them. You can put as many, or as few, toppings on the top of your pizza, and you won’t be paying that much more to do so.

Cheese is a must for us, and we use mozzarella. We usually buy the big bags of mozzarella that are sold at Costco so that we don’t worry about not having enough. Be plenty generous with your cheese - not enough cheese can ruin a pizza.

Beyond that, be creative with what you put on top, and don’t be scared to pile it on.

The preparing

Once ready to make your pizza, divide the dough into two balls. Roll out into 12-16 inch crust (depending on your pizza stone size). You'll need some flour and I'd highly recommend a wood rolling pin where you can press down hard as you'll be getting the crust quite thin. Take a tsp of olive oil or so and cover your pizza stone (this will help your crust to not stick to the stone). Put your crust on the pizza stone, and then roll up the edges so that you can put sauce on top and it won't get all over. Put half your sauce on, then put the cheese and toppings on.

The cooking

Now is when you get to sit back and relax. 425 degrees fahrenheit for about 15 minutes on a pizza stone is all it takes. For our family of 4, we have to do 2 pizzas usually (so that we’ll have plenty of leftovers and since we all like something a little different). I wish that we had two pizza stones because it takes awhile for my pizza to be ready, but I've yet to give in for a second pizza stone. If we had pizza more often, I'd buy a second one so that I could get the second pizza ready while the first is cooking. Regardless, one stone will do, just realize it will take longer to cook since you'll be letting the stone cool off in between pizzas as well.

Enjoy

Once the crust is brown, you'll want to pull the pizza out of the oven and let it sit for a couple of minutes. Cut your pizza into smaller pieces (we like triangles, but squares are fine as well). We have a nice pizza cutter that I'd recommend - it's much easier to use than a standard pizza cutter. Let everyone get their pizza, and enjoy a delicious homemade slice of pizza with the family.

Pizza Preparation

  • Pizza dough mixing in mixer
    Mix/knead your pizza dough for 8 minutes.
  • Pizza dough in bowl
    Place dough in bowl, cover, and let sit for 30 minutes.
  • Pizza sauce in pan
    Prepare pizza sauce while dough is rising.
  • Pizza dough on counter
    Place dough on counter to roll out. Use a little flour.
  • Pizza dough rolled out
    Roll pizza into a circular shape.
  • Pizza crust on pizza stone
    Place crust onto pizza stone after putting olive oil on stone.
  • Pizza sauce on pizza crust
    Roll sides of pizza and add sauce.
  • Cheese on pizza
    Generously add cheese.
  • Uncooked pizza
    Add toppings of your choice.
  • Pizza cooked
    Cook your pizza until crust is brown.
  • Pizza slices
    Slice and enjoy.
  • Pizza cooked with pepperoni
    Make as many pizzas as you want.
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