Guest Post by Shaina Olmanson of ‘Food for My Family’ Presents No Fail Pizza Crust and Family Pizza Night

by Jennifer on February 18, 2011

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Shaina Olmanson is the home cook and photographer behind Food for My Family and Olmanson Photography, a daily contributor to Babble.com’s Family Kitchen Blog and the editor of the food channel for Lifetime Moms. She strives to teach her four children to cook and prepare real food in a day and age where many people have turned to convenience foods because they are so readily available, and she hope to encourage others to do the same. Shaina can usually be found in one of three places: cooking, at the computer or behind the camera.

 

My kids are always welcome in the kitchen. It’s something I decided long ago when I saw the confidence and pride that having my oldest daughter help in the kitchen created. She would beam when she’d been a part of making dinner, presenting it to her dad and younger brother as if they were in a fancy restaurant.

No matter what we’d made, she was excited, and her excitement translated into her interest in eating dinner as well – this from the girl who used to cry if we added pepper to the green beans. These days my eldest is exploring different spices and flavors and my three younger kids are going through their own developmental stages and picky phases.

One way we embrace the differences and the preferences of each of the kids is by having a family pizza night where each member is in charge of rolling the dough (with help for the younger kids) and topping their pizza with their choice of sauce and toppings. By allowing the kids to make their own choices about what they will eat on their pizza, we have a meal where everyone is happy and satisfied, and it encourages the kids to be involved in how they feed themselves.

No Fail Pizza Crust
This crust is no fail because even if you don’t have time to let it rise, it still works as a great crust. Your results will be different, a bit more like a New York thin-style crust with a crisp bottom and a chewy texture, which you may prefer anyway.
1 cup warm water (about 110 degrees)
1 package (2 ¼ tsp) active dry yeast
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons dried herbs (basil and oregano are my herbs of choice)
3 cups all-purpose flour

Pour water into medium-sized bowl. Sprinkle yeast over and allow to sit for five minutes until slightly frothy. Mix in olive oil, salt and herbs. Add flour ½ cup at a time, mixing after each addition. When all the flour is incorporated, turn the dough onto a flat surface sprinkled with flour. Knead the dough a for example times until smooth.

Place dough into an oiled bowl and cover. Let rise in a warm place for one hour. When the dough has risen, punch down and split into 8 separate balls. Preheat oven to 475 degrees F. Roll dough on a floured surface into ¼”-thick circles.

Sprinkle cornmeal on baking sheets or pizza peels (to transfer to baking stone). Place dough on top of cornmeal. Top dough circles with favorite sauce and toppings. Bake at 475 degrees F for 15-20 minutes until crust is golden and cheese is beginning to brown.

Makes (8) 6-7″ pizzas or (2) 14-16″ pizzas.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen February 18, 2011 at 9:09 am

I love what you said about encouraging kids to be involved with what they are eating Shaina, that is such good advice, and of course kids love pizza!

Shaina February 18, 2011 at 9:10 am

Thanks so much for having me, Jen! I hope you’re enjoying your vacation!

Amanda February 18, 2011 at 9:12 am

Love the recipe and love your intentional family time… wonderful post!!

naomi February 18, 2011 at 9:45 am

I completely agree, helping in the kitchen definitely equals betters eaters.

And, of course I love your no fail pizza!

Cookbook Queen February 18, 2011 at 10:38 am

Love the post….making dinner as a family is much more fun than doing it alone!!

Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles February 18, 2011 at 10:43 am

You & I are very much in sync with all of this, Shaina – we really encourage our kids’ involvement with every aspect of our meals. And we love pizza night, too. Yours look beautiful!

Michelle (What's Cooking with Kids) February 18, 2011 at 11:45 am

LOVE that you cook with your kids so much – it’s certainly a huge part of the reason they eat such a varied diet. Love your photos, as usual, Shaina! This looks fantastic – and is a great way to save money in the kitchen, too!

Amber | Bluebonnets & Brownies February 18, 2011 at 11:45 am

I love to make pizza, having worked for Papa John’s, Domino’s, and family owned pizza restaurants. I’ll have to give this crust a try, it looks great!

marla February 18, 2011 at 12:08 pm

Lovely guest post by the beautiful Shaina. My kids love helping me in the kitchen. Some of our best memories are formed when we work together to prepare our food. Gotta try this pizza crust :)

Kristen February 18, 2011 at 1:50 pm

Such a great guest post – a lot of the same things I believe. Kids in the kitchen is such an important thing to instill. (And I love a pizza crust that doesn’t require the full rising time to still work out well!)

Tracy February 18, 2011 at 3:37 pm

I use a similar crust recipe for all my homemade pizzas and I just love it – it really is no-fail!!

Wenderly February 18, 2011 at 4:31 pm

I couldn’t agree more about kids cooking in the kitchen building confidence! Sometimes I must admit that I *cringe* at the mess but the payoff it totally worth it!

LOVED this post by sweet Shaina and can’t wait to try this crust!

Aimee @ Simple Bites February 18, 2011 at 8:24 pm

I need more pizza in my life. But pizza like this. Just beautiful, Shaina!

Jamie | My Baking Addiction February 19, 2011 at 4:21 pm

Great post, Shaina! This crust looks like perfection!

bridget {bake at 350} February 20, 2011 at 12:34 pm

I am SO hungry right now!!!

Samantha April 4, 2011 at 6:21 pm

I love this recipe so much! We were previously making the recipe from Our Best Bites but it just didn’t cut it! We made this one a few weeks ago and it was delicious! I’m making it again tonight!

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