A few weeks ago we had the Purdy family over for dinner. The Purdys have an insatiable appetite for pizza, so we thought, why just have DINNER when we can have a PIZZA PARTY!?
Before they arrived, I made dough (the dough recipe I use is at the bottom of the post) and rolled out two personal pan size crusts for the Purdy boys. I put the prepared crusts on parchment paper so I could just pick them up and put them on the pizza stone.
The boys chose their pizzas and got to work.
First step, the pizza sauce.
I use a sauce recipe I found in Better Homes & Gardens. I like it because it is simple, requires no cooking, and is delicious.
BHG’s All-Purpose Pizza Sauce (The only change I make is that I don’t add water; it made the sauce too thin for us.)
Next up: cheese!
This next step is optional and only if you want a “Baxter-style Smash Pizza”. After you add the cheese, you mix the cheese and sauce and smash it into your crust.
Then, pepperoni. We had lots of other ingredients for them to choose from: mushrooms, spinach, chicken, sausage, onions. But they stuck to the basics. I’ve heard that if you want to really see if a pizza place is good, order the most basic pizza because it’s easier to hide a bad crust and sauce behind a stack of ingredients. So maybe that’s was Owen and Baxter’s plan? Or maybe they just really love pepperoni and cheese pizza.
Annnd we’re ready for the oven.
Owen’s is half pepperoni, half cheese. Baxters is all pepperoni, all smash. The cool thing about pizza parties with kids is that pizza-making isn’t crème brûlée; it doesn’t require specific measurements or that the ingredients are a specific temperature. Also “pizza” isn’t written with fancy accent marks (did you know the accent over the “u” is called a circumflex? I did not).
Basically, pizza is hard to mess up. Perfect for kids.
The adults made pizza, too. Ours were piled high with all the toppings the boys passed up.
After a few minutes in the oven — not too bad. The smash pizza even came out great.
This is the best part of any recipe, the eating part.
After dinner I had carrot cake cupcakes for dessert, but I also had a big jar of Peeps sitting on the counter. Baxter and his sister Lucy (who I didn’t take one photo of) chose to eat a Peep for dessert.
People either love Peeps or hate Peeps. Since I’m in the former group, when I can sit at a table, eat a Peep with a 3.5 year old and feel unashamed, well, it helps me remember I’m not alone in the world.
Pizza Dough recipe
from the BH&G Bridal Edition Cookbook
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
2 Tbsp oil
1/4 tsp salt
In a large mixing bowl, mix 1 1/2 cups of flour, yeast and salt; add the warm water and oil. Slowly add the remaining flour and stir until combined. Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead until the dough is moderately stiff, smooth and elastic. Cover; let rest for 10 minutes.
- I’ve tried lots of pizza dough recipes and this is our favorite. It has a few ingredients, no sugar and has never failed. The recipe says this makes two pizza crusts, but we like thick crust so yields one Krieger pizza crust.
- This crust rises like crazy (I’ve even seen it rise in the fridge), I smear the dough with olive oil, cover with saran wrap or a damp towel, and let it rise and punch it down a few times during the day. I just think it tastes better with rises. If you like thin crust, though, don’t let it rise.
- We also used to add whole wheat flour, but then we raised the white flag and admitted we like white pizza crusts better. Sometimes I substitute a cup of wheat flour, but I usually don’t.
- I always make several crusts on the same day, wrap a few in saran wrap and freeze them to use later.
- To keep the crusts from sticking to the pan, drizzle the pan with olive oil and sprinkle it with corn meal.
- Bake according to the directions of the pizza you’re making. If you’re doing veggie pizza, it’s a good idea to bake the pizza crust a few minutes before adding toppings because the liquid from the veggies can make the crust limp. (And if you’re not following a recipe, just bake at like 425 until the crust is brown — 15 to 20 min. Remember, it’s tough to mess up.)