Why wait until the weekend to give your kids their favourite homemade pizza for dinner. Its especially important during the week that they have a good nutritious dinner to fuel their brains for school, their bodies for after school sports and their spirits for all that socializing.
Just like for us adults the typical weekday is for our kids can be pretty packed, therefore its important for kids to sit down at home in the evening and enjoy a dinner. I have noticed with my own 2 willful boys that when times are stressful and mealtime planning does not happen there is, after a few days/weeks of serving the same pasta based quick to prepare foods, a definite shift away from their willingness to sit down to an evening meal. Who can blame them? if what they see on the see on the table is uninteresting and repetitive, of course they will prefer to spend their precious evening time doing other more interesting things.
Pizza is sure to revive their enthusiasm for family meal time. However, fitting homemade pizza into your busy schedule may seem impossible for a weekday, but here I can show you that its not impossible ans whats more you will not need to spend much time packing up there lunch boxes for the next day at school! Just make 2 large pizzas and the second one will make for great packed lunch the next day. So there are 2 basic options for a school day pizza, you can make the dough in advance and leave it in the fridge until you come home, then just roll it out, top it and bake it. This way your pizza will be on the table in 30-40 minutes, (use bags of grated cheese to make it even faster). If even 30 minutes is too long, you can pre-make the entire pizza in advance and serve it cold as a nutritious picnic dinner as soon as your hungry kids come home.
Pizza in some form or other is enjoyed by every child I know, of course there are the more adventurous kids who enjoy salami, tuna, even veggies on their pizzas as well as those who only accept the basic Margarita. The advantage of making your own is that you can top the pizza according to your own and your child’s preferences. Furthermore you can improve the nutrition of your school day pizza by making the pizza dough from whole grain flour, and thus give your children some good long lasting energy as well as fibre. So taking a little bit of time (and you dont need much) to make a double batch of homemade school day pizza give your child an evening meal he/she will enjoy sitting down to and then cut up the second pizza to fill their lunch boxes. I have to admit this pizza does not qualify as an Italian gourmet pizza, the base is too thick and too wholegrain for that. This pizza is simply a good family meal that your children will enjoy (both for dinner and for lunch the next day!) and you can feel good about giving them as part of your busy family week.
Recipe for School day Pizza.
Ingredients, for 2 large Rectangular pizzas with a robust base, if you roll it thinner this dough will easily make 3 large pizzas.
Wholewheat pizza dough
400g whole wheat flour
400g strong bread flour (or italian tipo 0)
520g warm water
10g dried yeast
50g olive oil or rapeseed oil
For the pizza toppings
A jar of your favourite pasta tomato sauce.
200g grated cheese per pizza (any variety, I used gouda here but cheddar or mozzarella are great choices too)
Topping of your choice for example, olives, chopped peppers, onion, sweetcorn, mushroom, capers, tuna, salami or ham
( I tend to stick to only 2 toppings otherwise it can be a bit overloaded and not good for packing into lunchboxes)
- Use your hands to combine all the ingredients together in a large bowl. When your dough has just about come together turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 3-4 minutes unti lthe dough is soft, supple and elastic. Place into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and now you can either refrigerate the dough for upto 24 hours until you are ready to make your pizzas or leave at room temperature to rise.
- Remove your dough from the fridge (if that is where you had it waiting for you to get home). Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees C and prepare 2 large baking trays by dusting them lightly with flour. Turn out your dough onto a floured work surface and divide into 2 equal pieces. Roll out to fit your baking trays and then carefully transfer onto your baking trays, use the rolling pin to help you.
- Top generously with tomato sauce and cheese and then with whichever toppings you and you family have decided.
- Bake in you pre-heated oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown and bubbly and the base is cooked through in the middle. Its important to peak underneath the pizza and check the dough is slightly browned underneath in teh middle, if not, remove from the tray and return to the oven for another 5 minutes placed directly on the oven shelf.
Your busy growing kids will enjoy this School day pizza warm or cold with a big glass of milk. Of course for the busy parents and small glass of wine will be perfect to go along with this this family favourite pizza dinner.