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March-2014-023-1024x768

Cooking class for kids: making pizzas

One of the treats in our house used to be Friday night Pizza Night. (That was before it became Friday night Pancake Night after my recent success with wholemeal and spelt pancakes.)
But recently the kids have started asking for pizza again.

Confession time here: I’ve only made pizzas from scratch with my children once. They really enjoyed it but frankly, all that faffing around with the yeast and kneading was always just a step too far after the school run. Especially when you’re dealing with laundry mountains and tiredness and squabbles.

But making pizzas from scratch has long been on my list of things I want to do. After all, a home-made pizza is clearly a lot healthier than a shop-bought version – you can control exactly how much salt goes in, the type of flour you use and the quantity of veg on the top. And there are zero additives too.

So when my older two (aged seven and five) were offered the chance to trial a kids’ pizza-making class in – my stars! – a real Italian restaurant, it seemed as though all their Christmases, and mine, had come at once.

The class was held in Tozi, an Italian restaurant a minute’s walk from Victoria station in London. It showcased their brand new school holiday cooking classes for kids aged five and up, focusing on making either pizza, pasta, biscotti or ice cream.

Let’s cook

First, the kids watched a demonstration of how to make pizza dough from scratch. Then they got to knead their own ball of dough in a here’s-one-I-made-earlier kind of way. (I had wondered how they were going to get around the issue of rising yeast in a 1.5 hour class.)

pizza-making class at Tozi

 

As well as kneading, they were shown how to press their fingertips into the edges to help the dough expand.

 

 

 

 

March 2014 015When each pizza was shaped perfectly, they loaded them with tomato sauce and toppings.

Then head chef Maurilio popped them into the oven.

 

 

 

 

 

March 2014 031

 

 

They were ready in a couple of minutes, and looked and tasted marvellous.

 

 

 

 

 

March 2014 041Thrillingly, it was then time for my kids to make one for me. (I asked for all the vegetables the kids hadn’t wanted to put on to their own pizzas.)

 

 

 

 

We had lots of fun in the class. The kids learned which ingredients make pizza dough and how you can add interest and flavour with different veggie toppings, like artichoke and aubergine. Plus they picked up useful new skills, like kneading.

And I learned something too: that pizza-making with kids isn’t as hard as I think it will be. I just need to try it at the weekend instead, when we have enough time to let the dough rise while we play.

Now then, where’s that yeast?

 Recipe for proper Italian pizza

(Thanks to Tozi’s head chef Maurilio)

For the dough:
500ml of cold water
1kg of flour
5g of fresh yeast
100ml of extra virgin olive oil
30g of salt

For the tomato sauce
A tin of chopped tomatoes
A handful of fresh basil
A pinch of salt
Extra virgin olive oil

For the toppings:
Mozzarella, ham, artichoke, olives, plus any other ingredients that take your fancy

Method

Dissolve the yeast in the water. Tip the flour into a metal bowl and slowly add in the yeast-dissolved water, stirring continuously. Add the oil and the salt to the mixture and keep kneading until the dough is nice and smooth. Put the dough in a clean bowl and let it rest for one hour covered with cling film.

Divide the dough into balls of 200g each, arrange them on a tray and cover them with cling film. Let them rest again for three hours, until they have doubled in size.

Meanwhile, make the tomato sauce. Pour a generous glug of extra virgin olive oil into a large frying pan, and add the basil and tomatoes. Using the back of a wooden spoon, mush and squash the tomatoes as much as you can and season the sauce with salt and pepper.

Once it comes to the boil, turn down the heat and simmer for five minutes to concentrate the flavours. It will be ready when it’s the perfect consistency for spreading on your pizza.

Knead and stretch out the dough on the work surface, and shape into pizzas. Spread the tomato sauce on top. Add your toppings and put the pizza in the oven for three minutes at 220 ˚C.

 

Disclaimer: I was offered free pizza-making classes for review purposes. All views are my own.


Comments (37)

  • Avatar

    Rebecca

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    Sounds great! Think we might try one of those classes. Do parents normally go along too?
    If you want to make pizzas at home without the hassle of kneading, you could get a bread maker. You could then start making lots of interesting healthy breads too. It could change your life along with your slow cooker!

    • Avatar

      healthiermummy

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      Great idea. Although I do like the idea of kneading some pizza dough to get rid of tension

  • Avatar

    Sarah Ebner

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    Fantastic. We love baking and cooking and this is a great idea. Am sure loads of kids would love it and it seems good value too.

  • Avatar

    Jen aka The Mad House

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    We make pizza every saturday. Although I cheat and make the dough in the bread machine

  • Avatar

    You Baby Me Mummy

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    Such a fun things to make with kids, or without kids come to that! x

  • Avatar

    Michelle

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    Making pizzas with kids is a fab thing to do!

    I once threw a birthday party for my son (him and a handful of mates) and they made pizzas 😀

  • Avatar

    Clare Mansell

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    I love a good homemade (or restaurant made) pizza and these sound great!

  • Avatar

    Jo Bryan

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    I make my own pizza, its a faff making the dough, but so worth the effort. What a fantastic opportunity for your family!

  • Avatar

    Astrid

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    This class sounds wonderful. I remember making pizza from scratch a few tiems with my parents. It was Always exciting to choose my own topping.

  • Avatar

    Louisa

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    The classes look like great fun. We’ve bought some pizza dough so we can make our own and have total freedom on the toppings we use.

  • Avatar

    Mummy of Two

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    What a great class to attend! I love making pizzas with my son although he can get a bit bored making the dough he loves helping me put the toppings on, and eating them of course!

  • Avatar

    Aisha from expatlog

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    If you’re looking for a quick alternative to a base made with yeast you could try a ‘scone’ one. We make homemade pizza all the time with this…
    175g/6oz self-raising flour
    half a teaspoon of salt
    30g/1oz butter
    120 ml/4fl oz milk

    1. Sift flour and salt into a bowl
    2. Rub in the butter with your fingers until it resembles fine breadcrumbs
    3. Make a well in the centre and pour in almost all of the milk. Mix in quickly with a knife and only add the last of the milk if necessary
    4. Turn the dough out on a floured worktop and knead 3 or 4 times
    5. Roll or press out into a 25cm/10inch circle
    6. Sprinkle a baking tray/pizza pan with semolina and place the dough on top. Push up the edge slightly all round to form a ridge and use immediately

    It takes just minutes :-)

    • Avatar

      healthiermummy

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      Oooh, love this. Will have to try it. Thanks so much.

  • Avatar

    Rachel @ activities4kidz

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    We love making homemade pizzas but I have to admit to cheating and buying the pizza base mix that you just add water to, or use baguette for a base! Kids love it as well x

  • Avatar

    Rachel @ activities4kidz

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    We love making pizza although I cheat and buy the pizza base mix you just add water to,or use baguettes as a base, but the kids love it!

    • Avatar

      healthiermummy

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      That’s a great idea for a quick-fix. Thanks.

  • Avatar

    Kirsty Hijacked By Twins

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    Oh this looks great :-) I love making pizzas and have let the twins have a play with the dough once it has proved and they loved it :-)

    • Avatar

      healthiermummy

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      Great idea. We’re going to enjoy making them this weekend.

  • Avatar

    Sarah Bailey

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    You have made me wonder why I have never made pizza my self before – what a fantastic yummy idea it sounds like. Shame I am to old 😉 x

    • Avatar

      healthiermummy

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      I don’t think you’re ever too old to make pizza!

  • Avatar

    Kizzy

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    This is something I have been wanting to do with the children for ages, need to get it done now, thanks for the prompt!

    • Avatar

      healthiermummy

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      Me too. We’re going to be cooking pizzas this weekend.

  • Avatar

    Mel W

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    What cook cooking classes!

    I think it’s such an important skill that has gotten lost in the last decade or so.

    My son will be off to uni in the next year or two and I’m thinking of teaching him some recipes before he goes

    • Avatar

      healthiermummy

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      Good idea re your son. I think being able to cook is such an important skill

  • Avatar

    Orli D

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    My eldest was in a pizza making party a few years ago and he really loved it. I forgot about it, so thanks for reminding me, I really should do it again with the kids.

  • Avatar

    Sylvia @ Happiness is homemade

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    Mmm…pizza! Love the idea of cooking classes for kids, must be such a fun for them! I wish we had this type of activities when I was younger!

    • Avatar

      healthiermummy

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      I know what you mean – I don’t think I did cooking classes as a child too. Yet kids really enjoy them

  • Avatar

    Model Mummy

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    I have never made pizza and i forgot i wanted to try it. Defo made a note to give it a go. Pizzas look fantastic and glad you all enjoyed your day!

  • Avatar

    anna

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    Looks great! I took my 5 yr old to a pizza making class once and he loved it – his pizza came out very tasty too! I should take him again

    • Avatar

      healthiermummy

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      Good plan, we really enjoyed it.

  • Avatar

    kara

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    I adore making homemade pizza’s – we do the dough in the bread maker

  • Avatar

    Meg

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    Such a great idea. We made pizzas on Sunday using your recipe and all had such great fun, plus the pizzas were delicious! I did find that I’d managed to make double the amount of dough that we needed, so I portioned the leftover amount into balls and froze them – I then made double the tomato sauce needed and froze half of that too, so another time the pizzas will be even easier to make. Thanks for this, it’ll definitely become a family tradition!

    • Avatar

      healthiermummy

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      Well done, sounds really tasty. And you’ve got more for another day too!

  • Avatar

    agatapokutycka

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    What a great experience.
    Do they take adults too?

    • Avatar

      healthiermummy

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      I don’t think so but wish they would.

Comments are closed