5 minute (or less) pizza dough
KIDS LOVE PIZZA. I have never met a child (or adult) that when asked "would you like pizza for dinner?" would respond no. I could eat pizza everyday of my life and be a happy camper. But I am also health conscious, and don't really want my children ingesting the chemicals, sugar, white-flour and preservatives found in modern day take-out pizzas. So a couple years back I started making my own dough. It is not as intimidating as it sounds, I promise! I have tried all sorts of recipes, but my favorite I have modified from America's Test Kitchen (I LOVE THEM!!) and is ready to rise in under 5 minutes. No joke. No excessive, kneading or resting. Just mixing in a food processor, and then 1 minute of kneading by hand.
I love this dough recipe because the easiest way to roll it into a flatbread or pizza is squishing it down with your fingers, which will give your little one something to do while you prep your toppings! I love giving my kids a lot of colorful veggie choices to "decorate" with. It makes the whole experience of cooking as a family fun, and when kids have fun they are more likely to want to eat their creations. And if you have a very picky one, let them top half of the pizza just with toppings of their own choosing!
I choose to make my pizza with ancient grain flours instead of modern day whole wheat. The benefits are significant. Tonight I used Einkorn flour, which is the purest form of wheat available. It has not been genetically modified from its ancient form, unlike the conventional wheat we have today, and it is a good source of protein, iron, dietary fiber, thiamine, B vitamins, and the powerful antioxidant lutein. (check out https://draxe.com/einkorn-flour/ if you would like more info on einkorn) My family and I find that we digest ancient forms of wheat SO MUCH easier than regular wheat flour. It just sits in your stomach more lightly!
If you don't have einkorn, spelt, or buckwheat handy (cause let's be honest, these are not normal pantry items), this recipe can easily be subbed out for whatever flour you have using the same measurements. :)
Makes 2 pizza crusts
4.5 cups of flour, plus more for rolling out your dough
2.5 teaspoons of instant or rapid-rise yeast
1.5 teaspoons himalayan sea salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano (optional)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1.5 cups warm water (110° or until it is too hot to comfortably keep your hands under it)
Preheat your oven to 500°
Pulse your dry ingredients in a food processor until combined, about 5 pulses. With your processor running, slowly add your oil, and then your water until a ball is beginning to form (it should take about 30 seconds). Let the dough sit in the processor for 2 minutes, and then turn your machine on again for another 30 seconds. Put a handful of flour on your countertop and collect the dough from the food processor (you may need to add flour to your hands to be able to do this if the dough is still sticky). Knead the dough into the handful of flour until you have a smooth ball. This should take about a minute. Divide the dough into 2 equal parts, and if you are only using 1 dough, wrap the other one in saran wrap and stick it in the freezer! Put the dough you will be using now into an oiled bowl, cover with a clean towel, and let rise in a warm space for 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
To cook my flatbread, I use a rimmed brownie pan that has been sprinkled with semolina flour (or cornmeal). You may use a pizza stone, or any other baking sheet you have as well! Just make sure that you have enough cornmeal to cover the bottom with a very thin layer. Once your dough ball has risen, sprinkle some flour on top and begin stretching the dough to your desired size and shape. I find that squishing the dough to fit into an 9 x 13 inch brownie pan, is easy, gives my 3-year old something to do, and gives me the right crust thickness.
Top with whatever sauce or toppings you wish! Bake for 8-12 minutes. Enjoy a delicious flatbread pizza made from scratch!
Note: the pizza we made here was drizzled with EVOO, shaved Parmigiano Reggiano, zucchini, mushrooms, tuscan kale, grape tomatoes, onions, garlic, and sun-dried tomatoes and lots of sea salt :) No sauce or mozzarella needed to make a meal the kids scarfed down!