In our home, we have Family Night Fridays. On these evenings, we try to do some fun activities together, which usually includes making homemade pizza. It can be more frugal and filling than store-bought pizza. It’s a good activity for young children and tastes much better than the cardboard-style crust and toppings that are in the grocer’s freezer (at least to me!). Here are the details and our recipe for homemade whole wheat pizza dough for the bread machine.
Homemade Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
Ingredients for One Sixteen-Inch Pizza:
Between 1 and 1 1/4 c. Water
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1/2 c. Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1 1/2 c. All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 c. Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 1/2 tsp. Yeast
Place water, oil, cheese, flours, salt and yeast in bread machine in order suggested by manufacturer (wet ingredients usually go first). Make dough using the dough cycle on your machine. Remove dough from machine and form into a circle on a lightly floured surface. Roll it out into a circle-shaped crust or a rectangle if you’d prefer.
Place on a baking pan, turning excess dough under if necessary. I actually roll my dough out right on my pizza stone from Pampered Chef. It keeps me from wrecking the dough when trying to transfer it. Brush crust very lightly with olive oil. Top with pizza sauce, cheese and your choice of toppings. Bake in a 500 degree Fahrenheit oven for 8-10 minutes or until crust is brown.
This recipe can also be made with all whole wheat flour, but at this point we like the texture with part all-purpose flour.
How Kids Can Help Make Pizza
I find that one of the best ways to keep my children occupied while I’m preparing food is to let them get involved! This can be a time-consuming process but it’s well-worth it when you see how enthusiastic your kids can be about helping Mom or Dad make dinner.
After thoroughly washing his hands, my five-year-old son helps by measuring the ingredients and pouring them into the bread machine. This is typically done during my two-year-old daughter’s nap because the dough take 1 1/2 hours in the machine. He also likes to help roll out the dough, which he takes turns doing with his sister. It might be a bit messy and I’ll usually have to finish it myself but it’s fun for them. Putting on the toppings is also a favorite activity for my children and it helps them to be exposed to a number of different vegetables that I allow them to taste raw during prep time. If you have older children, they can certainly help chop the vegetables as well.
Frugality and Homemade Pizza
Homemade pizza is frugal, especially when you purchase cheese and other ingredients in bulk or on a great sale with coupons like I always try to do. Using veggies from your own garden is another great way to keep the cost down. You can make and freeze your own pizza sauce ahead of time (we love the Easy Pizza Sauce recipe from Bobby Flay) and thaw it a few hours before you assemble your pizza. A big plus for our family is that we know what’s in our pizza and don’t have to worry about extra preservatives, additives and the like.
To me there’s nothing better than an evening spent with my family doing something fun and teachable together. And the end result tastes great!