If your kids like eating pizza, then they will probably have a great time making pizza. You can make your own dough from scratch, which really isn't too difficult, or you can buy some from your local grocery store or pizza shop. That's right-just drop by your local pizza shop and ask them if you can buy some dough. Usually they will be happy to sell you a dough ball big enough for one large pizza, for just a few dollars.
Once the pizza dough is ready, set up your child to help you add the finishing touches. If you have more than one child, you could either cut the dough in half and give them each a half, or buy a couple of balls and let them go to town making their own large "za".
What to do next? This part is easy, but it will get messy. Give your child an apron if you care about getting flour all over his or her shirt, but otherwise, just let it go and sweep it all up later...together! Create a workstation and dust the countertop, or a large cutting board or Silpat (silicon mat) in front of your child. Give him or her the dough and have him or her roll it around in the flour so the dough is coated and not sticky. Give your child a rolling pin and have him or her roll out the dough as best he/she can.
Meanwhile, you can arrange small plastic bowls of toppings in front of your child and preheat the oven or grill. Grilling pizzas is a delicious way to go and won't heat up your entire house. If using a stone in and oven, make sure to preheat the stone for a good 20 minutes at 450-500ºF.
The toppings can be anything that pleases you and your family. If using red sauce, your child will enjoy "painting' the dough with the sauce before adding the other toppings. Make sure to leave a little room for the crust so the sauce doesn't drip off the edges and cause a burn in your oven. The crust will also act as a frame to keep the cheese and other goodies on the pie and not off the side. If you aren't into tomato sauce, you can just spread a little EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) over the dough before you add any other ingredients (this is the beginning of a White Pizza). You can also spread the dough with pesto sauce or tapenade, or really anything that has oil as a base to keep the pizza moist.
Once your little one decorates the pizzas, in the oven or on the grill they go and within a few short minutes, the result is there for everyone to share and enjoy! You can high five your guy or gal for making dinner for the whole family!
Rachael Ray pizza recipes to try:
Mario Batali pizza recipes: