Monday, March 11, 2013

Toddler Pizza Party!

One of my fondest memories of being a kid was helping my mom and grandmothers in the kitchen.  Being from a large Italian and Polish family, food was always at the center of all of our family gatherings.  With the recent passing of both of my wonderful grandmothers I wanted to do a post about how I have started to share the tradition of cooking together with my daughter.  One of our favorite things to make together is homemade pizza.  Even though she's only 3 - we have been making food together in the kitchen since she was old enough to stand up on the chair next to the counter.  It's never to early to start cooking together!

Gooba and I use the Emeril's Basic Pizza Dough Recipe for our basic dough.  The recipe is for one pizza - but we usually double it.

1 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees F)1 (1/4-ounce) envelope active dry yeast1 teaspoon honey2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour1 teaspoon saltYellow cornmeal, for sprinkling the baking sheet

Directions:In a large bowl, combine the water, yeast, honey, and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, stirring to combine. Let sit until the mixture is foamy, about 5 minutes.  For this part I measure the ingredients and let little Gooba pour them into the bowl.

Add 1 1/2 cups of the flour and the salt, mixing by hand until it is all incorporated and the mixture is smooth. Continue adding the flour, 1/4 cup at a time, working the dough after each addition, until the dough is smooth but still slightly sticky.  I usually work the dough and let Gooba add the flour 1/4 cup at a time - which helps so you don't get your sticky hands in the flour. You might not need all of the flour. 

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth but still slightly tacky, 3 to 5 minutes.  For this part I usually give little Gooba her own dough ball to work with.  She has her own knife and rolling pin that she loves to use.  One of her favorite parts is kneading and punching the dough.

Oil a large mixing bowl with remaining olive oil. Place the dough in the bowl, turning to coat with the oil. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place, free from drafts until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.

Once the dough has risen it's time to make the pizza!  Now for Gooba's ultimate favorite part... rolling out the dough!  Again here I give little Gooba her own dough ball to work with while I roll out the first pizza.  

Once I roll the pizza and form the crust I pour the sauce onto the pizza.  Then I let Gooba spread the sauce over the pizza with a spatula.  Then it's time for the CHEESE!  Sprinkle, sprinkle, sprinkle.  We usually add sausage and peppers to ours after the cheese - but the fun part is making any topping you want!

Then it's time to bake your pizza at 425 degrees in the oven until the cheese is bubbly, melty, and delicious!  Then it's time for my favorite part - eating the pizza!  So there you have it!  A messy, delicious, and fun way to spend time with your little ones!

This post was brought to you by Gooba Gear and The Gooba Diaries.

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