Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Playdate Pizza!

The clever girl had one of her friends over for a play-date!  Since we were going to have dinner together, I thought it might be fun for the two of them to make a pizza! 

Before we picked up the clever girl's friend, we made the pizza dough.  I used Bobby Flay's recipe, which is easy to make and makes a tasty crust.  The clever girl carefully kneaded the dough before we left it alone to rise.

I made the scary decision to pre-bake the crust a little before adding the toppings.  I bake it on a pizza stone in a really hot oven (450F+) for about 5 minutes.  This means that when you put the toppings on, you are dealing with a hot crust on a SUPER  hot stone.  I decided to brave the hot stone and wrap the visible areas with kitchen towels to prevent burns.  These awesome girls are 6 so when I explained that the stone was super hot so they could not touch any of the toweled areas, they were very careful and did just fine.  Phew!  I had prepared all of the toppings in separate bowls in advance... the sauce and different cheeses were all ready. 

Pizza Dough
adapted from Bobby Flay
makes 2 14-inch pizza crusts

3 1/2 to 4 cups bread flour, plus more for rolling (bread flour yields a crispier crust.  If you substitute all-purpose flour, you will get a chewier crust)
1 teaspoon sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons instant dry yeast
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 cups water, 110F
2 TB olive water, plus 2 teaspoons

Combine the flour, sugar, yeast and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer.  With the mixer running, slowly add the water and 2 TB olive oil and mix until the dough forms a ball.  If the dough is sticky, add more flour, 1 TB at a time, until the dough is a solid ball.  If the dough is dry, add more water, 1 TB at a time.  Scrape the dough onto a lightly flowered surface and gently knead into a smooth, firm ball.

Grease a large bowl with the remaining 2 teaspoons of olive oil.  Add the dough and cover the bowl with plastic wrap.  Place the bowl in a warm location and let it double in size, about 1 hour.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 2 equal pieces.  Cover each with a clean tea-towel or plastic wrap, and let rest for 10 minutes.

Place a baking stone in the oven and preheat the oven to 450F+.  Sprinkle cornmeal over a pizza peel or rimless baking sheet.  Press and gently tug one piece of dough into a 14-inch circle on the peel or baking sheet.  When the oven is heated, gently slide the crust onto the stone and pre-bake for 5 minutes.  OR you can skip this step.  Shape the dough and cover with your choice of pizza toppings.  Gently slide the pizza onto the hot stone and bake for 15-20 minutes, until crust is golden and cheese is bubbly.
Printable Recipe

This was a total hit!  The girls had such fun making their own pizza!  We used shredded mozzerella, fresh  mozzarella and Parmesan.  Yum.  The cheesier the better, right?

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