What is a more versatile meal than pizza? I’ll be honest, pizza is sort of my own personal version of heaven. You might as well know now, there will definitely be more pizza posts in the future. It is simply my favorite food. First you start with a delicious yeast dough, add a sauce such as marinara or Alfredo or go rogue and try something less conventional like salsa. Next comes the cheese. Oooooooooh, for the love of cheese. Whether melted into ooey gooey perfection or served up sliced with crackers, cheese is a highly regarded ingredient in the Hungry kitchen. It doesn’t stop there though, how about the toppings? The possibilities are endless!
Pizza is one of those meals my kids never hesitate to get involved in making. From rolling out the dough, to adding the layers, to slicing it once it comes out of the oven, they like to be part of every step. And I don’t mind a bit! When your kids are in the kitchen with you it is a perfect opportunity to discuss the benefits and nutritional value of some of the foods as you prepare them.
The secret to a good pizza dough is to make sure the yeast is activated before moving to the next step in the recipe. Using a food thermometer, check to make sure the temperature of the water is 105 – 115 degrees then add in the yeast and sugar. You can give the mixture a gentle stir to make sure it is mixed in well and then wait 1 – 2 minutes. You will know the yeast is activated if it gets frothy on top. If it does not become frothy, toss the mixture and try again.
After all the ingredients are mixed and ready, work the mixture into a ball, apply a tiny bit of olive oil to the bottom of a medium sized bowl, place the dough ball in the bowl, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Leave it to rise for an hour.
Once the dough is ready to roll out, this is when the kids seem to suddenly appear at my elbow all ready to pitch in and help! Hands get thoroughly washed and then we get busy rolling and pressing out the dough.
Here is another great opportunity to use my Sweet and Savory Marinara Sauce. You just can’t have a respectable pizza without it!
And just like that, it’s time for toppings! There are endless options with toppings. It is a great way to get those veggies in! Try mushrooms, olives, peppers, roasted garlic, pineapple, broccoli, or onions. You can get really adventurous and use sweet potato, butternut squash, artichokes, asparagus… so many possibilities!
My personal favorites are fresh spinach leaves, Roma tomatoes, and feta cheese. Roma tomatoes are nice and sweet and oh so tender when cooked. And then there’s… cheese. Mozzarella, provolone, Parmesan, cheddar, Edam, so much yummy! I’m just crazy about feta cheese! I add it in to so many things. Does that mean it’s my obsession? Well then, naturally I’d have feta cheese on my pizza.
As always, the pizza was a hit and there were no leftovers. I’m planning to get more creative with pizza in the coming months and try some new combinations. I will keep you all updated.
What sort of pizza toppings and combinations do you like? Comment below to let me know!
Wishing you a healthy weekend,