I like to involve my kids in cooking and baking whenever possible. I have found that the more they touch, smell and interact with the food they eat, the more they enjoy what they eat. When they enjoy what they are eating, they eat more of what they are eating. Since I primarily make homemade food using healthful and fresh ingredients I like it when they eat age appropriate portions. I also like not having a fridge full of leftovers. I am all about the win-win. This is a great, kid-friendly recipe in that your kids can easily help make it and will likely devour it as well. You can pile it up with veggies underneath the cheese and serve it with a delicious frozen fruit and milk-“shake”, like this banana one we enjoy. Boom! Homemade, family friendly, nutritious, delicious, need I say more?
I came across a recipe for 60 minute focaccia bread made in a skillet and knew instantly that I would use it as a base for pizza someday. I had no idea on the day I spontaneously decided to make it what a great investment of my time it would be.
You see, my oldest son is a little elusive these days. He’s such a neat guy, but he’s fifteen and hides out in his room a lot. This means I have to be creative about spending “non-electronic” time together. So when he came strolling through the kitchen just as I was about to begin making my aforementioned pizza I casually said, “Turn on that mixer for me and set the timer for five minutes.” He did it without even flinching, so I proceeded to give him one instruction at a time and we ended up making the pizza together. It was easy to talk between the prep we were doing. He even thought it was a great idea when I suggested I take pictures of him spreading out the dough. We shared a great hour. I learned that when I assume he wants to be around and I stay thankful for the time we spend together rather than resentful of the time we are apart, he is willing to hang out and I can truly enjoy the moment as it is. I also think he enjoyed the attention and the one on one time. I know we all enjoyed the final product.
Homemade food is an investment. Part of the reason I don’t mind the time required to prepare the food that we eat and to involve my kids in the process is because I understand I am investing in our memories. Sure, it takes longer, there are more messes and there’s a chance I would’ve ended up with a “better” final product if I had just made it myself, but that’s not the point! They are building useful skills for their future while at the same time our relationship is getting stronger and my patience is being built. Like I said, win-win.
Focaccia Crust Pizza Pie and Banana Milk-Shake
- 3/4 c warm water
- 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp yeast (I used Red Star Active Dry Yeast
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 c all-purpose flour
- 1 c whole wheat flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp grated Parmesan
- 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 2 cloves garlic finely diced or pressed through a fine sieve
pizza toppings of choice, below is listed what I used
- pizza one: pizza sauce, turkey pepperoni, red peppers sliced thinly, fresh baby spinach, shredded cheddar and mozzarella cheese
- pizza two : garlic Parmesan butter, shredded cheddar and mozzarella cheese
- Place water and sugar in a large mixing bowl of a stand mixer. Stir until sugar dissolves.
- Sprinkle yeast over the water and stir few times. Let sit until foamy ( about 5 minutes).
- Turn the mixer on low-speed and add 1 cup all-purpose flour and salt. Mix until combined.
- Add oil and mix well.
- Gradually add as much of the cup of whole wheat flour as you can ( it can be only 3/4 of it) and mix until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
- In the meantime, preheat the oven to 220 degrees F and when it’s ready turn it off. Keep the door closed.
- Grease the skillet.
- Place dough onto a floured surface (use the remaining flour from the second cup) and fold the dough a few times until you feel it’s smooth and not sticky anymore. Shape into a ball.
- Roll out the dough into a size of your skillet.
- Place in skillet. Stretch up the sides. Cover with a kitchen towel and place in the oven for 10 minutes.
- Take the skillet out of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Make indentations in the dough with your fingers.
- Mix melted butter, Parmesan and seasoning in a small bowl. Brush the dough with half the butter.
- Place skillet with dough in the preheated oven and bake 10 minutes, then remove from the oven. For pizza one put on a good amount of pizza sauce, vegetables, half the cheese, pepperoni and remaining cheese. Return to the oven immediately and bake for 15 – 20 minutes more, until bread is golden and cheese is melted. For pizza two brush crust with remaining butter and top with cheeses. Return to the oven immediately and bake an additional 10 – 15 minutes until bread is golden and cheese is melted. Let cool until safe to the touch and slice. Serve.
For the original focaccia recipe go here.
Bonus recipe: Frozen fruit & milk “shake”
Milk-“shake” Ingredients (per shake):
- 1/2 cup frozen fruit (I used one small banana)
- 1/2 to 1 cup milk of choice (dairy, coconut, almond, rice, soy…)
- 1 packet or equivalent stevia sweetener or sugar free caramel syrup to taste
- 1/2 tsp high quality vanilla extract
- pinch salt
Blend all together, adding ice as necessary to achieve desired thickness. Serve immediately with whipped cream as desired.