We settled down to make some homemade pizza the day before Eid when our cooking gas tank ran out. Alhamdulillah, I hadn’t actually gotten further than heating up the liquids or I would have been a bit peeved. I had just finished saying how I knew someone was going to run out of a tank on Eid and I hoped it wasn’t us. :0 Two days later, we were able to fill up our tank (there is usually a shortage around the Eid and as it starts to get colder, heads up for those heading to Yemen) and we settled down to make homemade pizza.
There is just something about homemade pizza that kids seem to love. Its always a winner in our house. My first attempts at homemade pizza were satisfying but left something to be desired. Of course, it never tastes like Pizza Hut, but my oldest son said it was even better than the pizza from our usual pizza joints in Sana’a.
Making pizza can be a great family activity. I’ve been a little lazy lately, but in the earlier days, I used to prepare the crust and then give each child his own crust to create his own pizza masterpiece. Of course, you have to help the smaller ones a bit so that their final product can actually come out tasting like the pizza they are expecting.
And you can add even more fun to the activity by shaping the dough into neat shapes such as a heart shape, or the shape of the first letter of the child’s name, etc.
Here’s a pizza crust recipe that I found from www.easypizzacrusts.com. It came out excellent, masha Allah. I did add a tablespoon of oil to the recipe, just ‘cuz the recipes I have had in the past have always had a little oil in them. This made two small pizzas for us (I made a rectangular shaped pizza) with eight slices.
3 cups All Purpose Flour Oven 400 degrees
1 pkg instant yeast (.25 oz.)
2 tsp salt
1/3 cup sugar
8 oz. milk, warmed to 110 degrees
4 oz. water, warmed to 110 degrees
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare pizza pan by spraying with non-stick cooking spray. Combine dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Add warmed liquids all at once to the dry mixture. Stir until well mixed, incorporating all the dry ingredients. Cover the bowl with a clean towel and set aside for about 20-25 minutes, allowing the dough to rise. Empty dough out onto a clean, floured surface. Knead by hand 6-8 times, it may be necessary to add additional flour to the surface to keep dough from sticking. Roll into desired shape and thickness. Place rolled dough onto prepared pizza pan, add favorite sauce and toppings. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes, depending on crust thickness.
One of the tricks when working with dough (if that’s not your thing) is to make sure that you do not add to much flour as it will get tough. The dough should be fairly soft and light feeling.
As I said, this latest pizza was a hit and making homemade pizza is always something that the kids look forward to. Once I finished the crust for the second batch (we ended up making four pizzas total, my 12 year old finished making the last two pizzas (older kids can be so handy).
So if you are looking for an activity to bring the family together on Jumuah (Friday) or any day, try making pizza. It may not taste like the commercial brands, but its fun and so satisfying.
(If you are new to pizza making, check out easypizzacrusts.com pizza crust tips: http://www.easypizzacrusts.com/pizzatips.html