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Pizza Party!

Who doesn't love pizza, especially when it's made from scratch? Now that's amore!

Little Sous Pizza Party

You’ve probably eaten pizza at restaurants, school, or delivered to your home hundreds of times—after all, pizza is the most popular food in America. But have you ever made your own, from scratch? You will with the lesson in our “Pizza Party!” Kitchen Academy kit—and when you’re finished, you can call yourself a pizzaiolo (if you’re a boy) or pizzaiola (if you’re a girl), which are the Italian words for someone who makes pizza.

Here are some teachable tips from this lesson:

What is in a yeast packet?
Yeast are tiny, one-celled fungi (and distant relatives of mushrooms). The kind of yeast you use in baking love to eat sugar and starch—and when they do, they burp out carbon dioxide gas, which creates bubbles and makes bread and other baked goods rise. The yeast in this lesson comes in a packet that contains millions of tiny yeast ready to wake up when they’re introduced to warm water and sugar.

How do you knead pizza dough?
Start by pushing it away from you with the palms of your hands, then fold the dough in half towards you, and push it away again. Turn the dough a quarter turn and repeat, just until the dough is smooth and springy.

For an in-depth taste exploration of the flavors in tomato sauce, watch this fun video to create the ultimate pizza sauce. Along the way, see how many funny faces you can spot as Bryce and Jane experiment with ingredients.

“Pizza Party” takes you to Italy on a tour of the various pizza styles eaten throughout the region. Learn more about Italy’s vast regional cuisine and how it applies to children in that country—from breakfast to dinner—in Lesley Porcelli’s article “What Kids Eat Around the World: Italy.

Buon Appetito!

Whole-Wheat Pizza Dough and Quick Pizza Sauce

Your pizza journey starts with homemade dough, and our recipe contains both white and wheat flours, which makes it a healthier (and more flavorful, in our opinion) option than regular pizza dough. When your dough is finished, you’ll make a super-quick pizza sauce, which you can use to make a classic pizza Margherita or create your own pie!

Margherita Pizza

Ingredients:

For the pizza dough:
  • 1 ½ cups warm water
  • 2 packets (¼ ounce each) active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for bowl
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
  • 2 cups whole-wheat flour
For the sauce:
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • One 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
For pizza Margherita:
  • 1 pound pizza dough
  • All-purpose flour, for dusting
  • ¼ cup pizza sauce
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • 8 large basil leaves, torn into pieces

Steps:

  1. Step 1

    Pour the water into a large bowl and sprinkle the yeast over it. Let stand until the yeast begins to turn foamy, about 5 minutes.

  2. Step 2

    Add the sugar, salt, and olive oil to the bowl and whisk until combined. Add both flours and stir with a wooden spoon until a sticky dough forms. Use your hands to coat the inside of another large bowl with olive oil. Transfer the dough to the oiled bowl and brush the top with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot. Let the dough rest until it’s doubled in size, about 1 hour.

  3. Step 3

    Sprinkle a work surface with all-purpose flour. Turn the dough out onto the surface, dust your hands with flour, and knead the dough (see box below) until it’s smooth and elastic. If the dough is still sticky after about a minute of kneading, sprinkle it with flour and knead a little more.

  4. Step 4

    Divide the dough into 2 equal balls. If not using the pizza dough right away, wrap it tightly in plastic and refrigerate for up to 3 days (let the dough warm at room temperature for about 2 hours before unwrapping and using). You can also freeze the dough for up to 3 months; thaw in the refrigerator until soft, then let it warm to room temperature before using.

  5. Step 5

    Make the pizza sauce: Place the garlic in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Drain the tomatoes and discard the juice. Place the tomatoes in the food processor and add the olive oil, sugar, and salt. Pulse until the sauce is as chunky or smooth as you like it. The sauce can be refrigerated for up to 5 days, or frozen for up to 3 months.

  6. Step 6

    Make classic pizza Margherita: Start by preheating the oven to 500°F and placing a pizza stone or upside-down baking sheet on the lowest rack.

  7. Step 7

    Sprinkle a pizza peel, large wooden cutting board, or piece of parchment paper with flour. Place the dough on top and use your hands (or a rolling pin) to shape the dough into a circle about 12 inches across.

  8. Step 8

    Spoon the sauce over the pizza and spread it with the back of a spoon, leaving a 1-inch border around the edge. Scatter the cheese on top.

  9. Step 9

    Slide the pizza onto the stone or baking sheet (leave it on the parchment, if using) and bake until the crust is crispy and golden brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and sprinkle the basil on top. Let the pizza cool for a few minutes before slicing the serving.