Having kids help make the dough and then roll it out and top the pizza is a great way to get them involved in the kitchen. I often give them each their own piece of dough to roll out and create their own pizza with whatever toppings they want - a neat activity for playdates that include staying for lunch or dinner.
I stock up on yeast to store in the fridge, as well as the various flours, which will keep in the freezer for months, plus I almost always have tomato sauce and cheese on hand, so this easy meal comes together quickly, especially since pizza dough only requires one rising.
Here's the recipe (the page is ripping out of my cookbook, I use it so much)! :
Basic Pizza Dough
Makes enough for one 14-inch round (or rectangle-shaped) pizza - 4 servings
1 1/4 cups white bread flour, plus additional for kneading
1/2 cup semolina flour or additional white bread flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1/4 cup yellow cornmeal, plus 2 teaspoons
3/4 tsp salt
1 package quick-rising yeast (time will be doubled with regular dry yeast)
1 cup very warm water (110-120 degrees)
1 tbsp olive oil
1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the white, semolina and whole wheat flours, 1/4 cup of the cornmeal, salt and yeast. Make a well in the center and pour in the water and oil. Mix with a wooden spoon or the paddle of an electric mixer until a soft dough forms - about 5 min. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead by hand for 10 min, or knead in the mixer bowl with a dough hook for 5 min until smooth and elastic.
2. Lightly coat a mixing bowl and baking sheet or pizza stone with cooking spray, place dough in the bowl, cover lightly with a towel and let rise at room temperature until double in bulk (can be as short as 30 min, or a couple of hours in my drafty kitchen depending on time of year!). Punch the dough down and sprinkle baking sheet with 2 tsp cornmeal. Using a rolling pin and your hands to roll and stretch the dough into a circle or rectangle shape (or let kids each make their own mini crusts). Top with pizza or pasta sauce and any other toppings you like (I love mushrooms, roasted red peppers and olives) and bake in a preheated 450-degree oven for about 5 minutes, then take out and add shredded cheese and bake for another 5-7 min (I found if I put the cheese on in the beginning it gets TOO brown). Cut into pieces with a pizza wheel and enjoy!
Adapted from AMA Family Cookbook