We have been following a meal plan for the last two weeks and it has been really great. We do a lot of prep work on Saturday and Sunday for weekly meals coming up and make plans for about 2, 3 weeks in advance. They do get switched around slightly but for the most part, we are sticking to it. Today was our homemade pizza and focaccia bread day, and I watched these great videos from Genarro’s Perfect Pizza on Jamie’s Food Tube. These guys are so awesome, and fun to watch, I have learned so much from them and honestly, Jamie is my go-to guy when I want to learn a new style. He really has been a huge inspiration to me.
We made some really gorgeous pizza dough, smoother than I have ever gotten it before, I think it was how I kneaded it this time, as I saw how Gennaro did it, and my kids sure loved this activity. ‘Involve me and I learn’ is a quote I continue to repeat to myself these days, as I want to involve the kids, get them learning in a fun way. You can find the recipe here at Jaime’s website, however, it is in measurements that I am not used to using and I wanted a larger batch today.
So, we started with a larger recipe to yield more pizzas, here it is:
7 1/2 cups Flour, All Purpose
1 TBSP Salt
1 TBSP Dry Active Yeast
3 cups warm water
1 jar of your choice of Pizza Sauce
Cheese Options; Soft mozzarella, hard, shredded mozzarella cheese
Topping Options; Fresh Basil leaves, Pepperoni Slices, Cherry Tomatoes (optional), ham and pineapple chunks
Mix the Flour and Salt together with a whisk.
Fill a large glass measuring cup with warm water and your yeast.
Make a hole in the flour, you can do this on the table, or in a bowl. Using a fork, mix the yeast and water with the flour until it becomes a nice dough, still a bit sticky. Roll out onto a clean floured surface and knead until done. Watch the video in the link above to really see how to do this step, it makes it so smooth. Then you want to roll it into a log and slice it into equal parts, then you make them into balls, by rolling and pinching them with her hands into nice balls and scooping them at the sides, while you turn the ball around and around. Once this was done, you have the most lovely little balls of dough, and you can see my youngest was so happy he kissed each one of them. It was adorable.
The trick with letting them rise at this stage is to use either semolina flour or bread crumbs on the bottom of the sheet. Place your balls on the sheet, dust with flour on each ball, cover with a damp cloth and keep in a warm place for 2 hours.
While you wait for them to rise, I like to take this time to clean up my table space as much as possible and get the toppings ready. But to be totally honest, my kitchen is still a disaster zone for the most part. 🙂
Ok, so it has been 2 hours and you have your oven heated to 425 Degrees F. Take one ball at a time and punch it down lightly, and flip, punch it down and flip, then slowly stretch out the dough to make a circle. They are individual size pizzas, and we used a few different sizes of sheets. We had one pizza sheet with little air holes, one large cookie sheet, and two round pans from a spring-form cake pans that we used to place them on.
Here is our margarita pizza all ready to go into the oven.
And here it is ready to cut and eat right up. It smelled so good and was just lovely.
The Kids just loved this and were eager to taste, touch and make their own pizza pies.
Here you can see the pressing around the edges to help create the ridge around the pizza. It is really fun to make with your hands, versus using a rolling pin the whole time, which is good for fine motor skills too.
Each one was a little different than the last, and at the end, the final one was just so good as well.
Once they were cooled, I placed the ones that had not been gobbled up, into freezer proof bags, and placed them into the fridge. This was we have lunches for the next few days. I may also pop one in the freezer for later on when we need a quick dinner plan.
Let me know if you try this recipe out, it really is great.