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04Dec 13

Fun home-made pizzas for children

It has happened to most of us working mums. After a long day at the office, one of the last things we want to do is slave over a hot cooker preparing dinner, so we phone our favourite pizza place and order one for delivery. The kids love pizza, and mum gets a break. It’s a win-win, right?

Not exactly. With all the grease, fat and less-than-fresh toppings, delivery pizzas should not be on regular rotation in our diets. But that doesn’t mean all pizzas are off the menu! While I certainly love the occasional delivery pizza, I’ve discovered a healthy and fairly easy recipe for home-made pizzas that tastes even better. Making them is also a fun activity that my two sons Jack and Rodger and I can do together, and the leftovers can be used for packed lunches throughout the rest of the week.

I confess that sometimes I save time by buying pre-made pizza sauce from the supermarket, but when I do, I make sure that it contains no preservatives, is low in sodium, and is packed with a few vegetables in addition to the tomatoes. I also don’t think my boys are ready to safely handle sharp knives yet, so I chop most of the pizza toppings while they get messy making the dough.

The measurements for these fun home-made pizzas for children will make four individual pizzas.

No more pizza delivery! Fun home-made pizzas for children

Fun home-made pizzas for children

The crust

Kids love to get their hands dirty, so it shouldn’t require too much convincing to get them to help make the dough. Remember to make the dough about an hour or so before you plan to eat because it needs sufficient time to rise. If you want a thin and crispy crust, it is not necessary to let it rise.

Ingredients

  • 300 g strong bread flour
  • 1 tsp instant yeast (from a sachet or a tub)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 200 ml warm water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Method

  1. Mix the flour, yeast and salt in a large bowl.
  2. Make a well in the middle of the mixture and pour in the warm water and olive oil.
  3. Using a wooden spoon, mix the flour mixture into the liquid until you have a soft, moist dough.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough until it is smooth.
  5. Cover with a tea towel and allow the dough to rise for an hour or so.

The sauce

Ingredients

  • 100 ml tomato purée
  • handful of fresh basil or 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • cumin seeds, to taste
  • dried chillies, to taste (optional)
  • olive oil

Method

  1. Heat a dash of olive oil in a pan over a medium heat.
  2. Add the garlic, cumin seeds and dried chillies and cook until the garlic is slightly browned.
  3. Add the tomato purée and basil.
  4. Cook for five to seven minutes and remove from the heat.

Toppings

Roll out the dough into individually sized pizzas, top them with a good serving of sauce, and then add whatever toppings you like. We usually have cheese, fresh mushrooms, fresh red peppers, fresh onions, olives and ham at hand, and I let my sons choose which toppings they want – as long as there is a good serving of a vegetable included!

Then, bake the pizzas at 200º C for 20 to 25 minutes or until the crust and cheese are nicely browned. Drizzle with olive oil, serve and enjoy!

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