Thanks to a sweet friend of mine, I am the proud owner of the Italian cooking bible “the silver spoon”. The book itself ways several kilo’s, but is worth all the shelf space it occupies in my book cupboard.
My Italian cooking bible
What you notice when you leaf through this book is how delightfully simple the Italian cuisine really is. Few ingredients are used to make the star of the show shine. I would recommend this book to any starting home cook.
One of my favorite recipes from “The silver spoon” is pizza. I use the recipe for making pizza dough but for the toppings I let my guests decide. I knead the pizza dough the evening before. I let the dough proof in the fridge. This means that making the pizza’s takes little time on the day itself.
My toddler loves pizza. From the moment we bought his kitchen stool he has been joining me to “help” with my cooking. And pizza is the perfect opportunity for this because:
- Your toddler can help you knead the dough. Simply give your toddler a small portion of the dough and continue kneading together. My son loves pushing his fingers or fists into the dough! Simply combine the dough every now and then, and give your toddler a new ball to knead.
- Your toddler can help dusting your work top and roll out the dough. At this point in time my toddler runs to the kitchen cabinet container a big and a small rolling pin. My toddler is so experienced now (3 years old), that he rolls out a pizza all by himself, but you might wanna help a bit the first few times.
- Your toddler can prick holes in the pizza with a fork.
- Your toddler can sprinkle cheese, oregano and veg on his own pizza.
My son is always extremely proud of his creation and walks to the oven to check on his pizza regularly. Both dad and son are big pizza lovers.
Pizza dough (for 2 adults and 1 toddler)
- 500 gram plain flower and extra for dusting
- 7 gram instant yeast
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 240 ml lukewarm water
- Olive oil
Mix your flower, water, salt and yeast together. Cover the mixture with a kitchen towel and let this mixture stand for 10 minutes (you can skip this step, but I promiss you it makes the kneading easier.
Knead your dough for a minimum of 10 minutes. Time your kneading, it will seam like forever the first time, but after 10 minutes you will have that smooth, elastic stuff people like to rave about.
tip: knead your dough on a table top, not your kitchen counter. This lower surface makes it possible for you to use your body weight when pushing into the dough to stretch it.
Make sure your dough is covered in oil to protect it from sticking and place it in a large container. The dough (at least) will double in size. Make sure you prevent your dough from drying out by applying an air tight lid or use kling film. Now you have two choices: let your dough proof in the fridge for up to 24 hours, or proof it at room temperature for 1 hour.
When you want to make your pizza, take the dough out of the fridge, knock it back and let it get to room temperature for at least 30 minutes. Now you can devide your dough into 2 large balls and one smaller ball. Protect your dough by covering it with a (damp) kitchen towel until you roll out your pizza.
Roll out your dough to form your pizza. Prick holes with a fork where the topping goes.
Place your toppings on your pizza and bake for 10 to 20 minutes at 220 degrees.
I will blog about my husband’s favorite pizza some other day.