Pizza making is a great activity with the kids. They get to pick their own toppings and eat their creations. But I found that pizza was hard to make from scratch without a ton of time and a hot oven. Obviously not ideal for a fast summer meal. So I have found a few ways to make it easier. For a short cut, try picking up raw pizza dough from Trade Joe's. It is inexpensive and can be a quick base for a kid-friendly dinner. At our house, we make our own dough from scratch. This recipe is an adaptation of Bobby Flay's No-Rise Dough Recipe.
4 cups all-purpose or bread flour, plus more for rolling and dusting
1 teaspoon sugar
1 envelope instant dry yeast
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups water, 110 degrees F
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup of cheese
2 cups of pasta sauce
(optional) Toppings like mushrooms, sausage, pepperoni
Have your kids put the yeast and sugar in the warm water and stir it lightly. Let it rest to foam up for about 5 minutes. Place 3 cups of flour and salt in the food processor and start it. Ask the kids to slowly pour in the oil and the yeast water through the top. The flour mixture should be fairly wet after all of the ingredients are added. While the food processor is still running, slowly add flour a bit at a time until it turns into a large ball of dough. It should take about another half to full cup of flour. Remove the ball and place it on a well-floured surface to keep it from sticking. Roll into a smooth ball and place it in a well-oiled bowl in a warm place for 10+ minutes. In the meantime, gather the rest of your ingredients.
Heat up your waffle iron to medium and spray both sides well. Take out the dough and pull off a 2 in ball. Flatten to about 4 in across. Once the waffle iron is heated, place a piece of dough on kitty corner on the iron. If you place them side by side, they can merge to become one large piece making it hard to remove. Heat until it is partially cooked, and add sauce and cheese. Add any toppings also. Leave oven open to continue cooking. Putting the lid down does crisp the cheese, but it is rather hard to clean later.
If your family likes their cheese more toasted, remove and place in toaster oven to broil for up to 5 minutes. Since each child gets to customize their own dinner, so this is a picky-eater friendly recipe.