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Pizza. It is something that my family rarely tires of and it is one of the few foods that my toddler will eat consistently. Sometimes he will even eat a piece or two of spinach on top if I am lucky. He has been getting better at trying different foods and eating more at mealtime, which is hopeful, but I still need to sneak some extra veggies on the pizza and in his smoothies for my peace of mind.
I absolutely adore smoothies and I have shared my love with my kids who will drink almost anything blended up and called a smoothie. This particular night we enjoyed a Greek yogurt, strawberry, banana, blueberry and spinach smoothie with a drizzle of raw honey on top. Thick, creamy, sweet and absolutely delicious.
My little guy helped me assemble the ingredients for the smoothie and jumped into his Learning Tower with the tamper in hand to mush the ingredients down as the blender was whirling. Can I just say I love to cook in the kitchen with my kids. It becomes an activity to engage them, teaches them skills and with certain recipes it can mean less work for me. Granted this does not work with every recipe, but pizza is one of the foods we make together since the oven is not involved until the very end and they can do most of the assembling themselves.
This particular night we made a ham, pepperoni, spinach and Parmesan pizza with the ingredients strategically placed based on who wanted which kind of meat. I always think I am being generous with the spinach on top to account for shrinking, but I was reminded once again that we need to really pile it on! Luckily we got some extra greens in our smoothies.
As I wrote about earlier this year, the Fleishmann’s new Pizza Crust Yeast is very convenient for a quick dinner and turns out surprisingly well considering the dough does not need to rise. Although I made the recipe above using the crust recipe found on the back of the Pizza Crust Yeast packets, I did find out that you can let it rise a little while to get some extra loft and softness in the dough all while skipping the kneading all together. This was discovered by accident earlier this month after I ran out of Active Dry Yeast for my regular dough recipe and spaced-out of the kneading step all together while preparing for dinner guests. They liked the pizza so much I sent my friend home with some of the yeast to try making homemade pizza on her own!
The recipe for my no-knead pizza dough is as follows:
No-Knead Pizza Dough
(adaption from The Earthbound Cook)
2 packets Fleishmann’s Pizza Crust Yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1 3/4 cups warm tap water
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 1/4 to 3 3/4 cups whole wheat white flour, plus more for dusting
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1. In a small bowl place the warm water and sprinkle the yeast and sugar on top. Set it aside for a few minutes while you get a large bowl and the remaining ingredients. Add the olive oil to the water and yeast mixture, gently stir and transfer to a large bowl.
2. Add the salt and 3 1/4 cups of flour, one cup at a time until fully incorporated and use the remaining 1/2 cup of flour only if needed. The dough should be a little sticky, but not so much that it cannot be handled. Leave the bowl in a warm place (or just on the counter) for approximately an hour until it has doubled.
3. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Separate the dough into two or three sections and roll it out onto a pizza stone or a cast iron pan works really great for a 12-inch pizza. You may need to dust the dough with some extra flour or wet your hands to make it easier to work with the dough. Then poke some holes in the dough with a fork, and top with sauce and toppings. Bake for approximately 12-15 minutes depending on your oven and the size of the pizza.
This recipe should make approximately two 16-inch or three 12-inch pizzas.