One of the ‘headaches’ I sometimes encounter in running a family day care, is managing a wide variety of food preferences (and aversions) among all the kids each day. Every single child comes with their own unique quirks. Some chomp down anything and everything laid before them. Some pick through their meal painfully. Some love all sorts of fruits and veges. Some refuse to touch anything with a tinge of green in it.
I am usually pretty firm about giving any new foods a taste or try before deciding not to finish it, as I do with my own children. But to keep meal times to a low-drama activity, I have learnt to modify my expectations and focus mostly on preparing healthy meals that are generally crowd-pleasing. I do try to introduce something new and different every now and then, but I keep that to a minimum. Kids thrive on enjoying the same old favourites on a regular basis anyway.
One regular crowd-pleaser that is always a big hit with everyone is: The good old classic PIZZA.
Sometimes I prepare a base from scratch using my bread maker to mix the ingredients together beforehand. And sometimes I keep a stash of mini pizza bases or flatbreads in the freezer to load up with some toppings.
But I recently came across this recipe for deep pan pizza which I consider to be one of the most genius ideas I have ever seen.
Only four basic ingredients for the base, which is whipped up in literally 2 minutes. It is so easy and so good that I simply have to share it with you.
Easy deep pan pizza
(Adapted from 4 Ingredients One Pot One Bowl)
1 cup self-raising flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
2/3 cup of water
A good pinch of salt
4 tbsn passata/pizza sauce
Toppings of your choice (cheese, pepperoni, ham, tomatoes, zucchini etc.)
Grease a non-stick frying pan with some olive oil. Then mix together flour, olive oil, salt and water to form a wet sticky dough. Spoon the passata/pizza sauce over the dough and spread. Then add your favourite toppings.
Cover pan with a lid, then set on the stove to cook on a medium heat for ten minutes. Carefully slide the pizza out onto a board. Allow pizza to sit for two minutes before slicing into wedges to serve.
(Optional Step: Preheat the oven/grill, then after cooking the pizza on the stove, remove the lid and slide under the grill for 5 minutes to lightly brown cheese and crisp up toppings)'
It’s a terrific activity to let the kids get involved in. I prepare the base and toppings before hand, get everyone’s hands washed and aprons on. Then just let them all dive in. They can sometimes go a little overboard with the toppings, but they will most likely gobble everything down happily knowing they made it themselves..
I was initially a little dubious over the dough mixture on how wet and sticky it was and whether everything would cook through properly. But I followed through the steps and was pleasantly surprised by the results.
This is not a regular style pizza, so the texture of the pizza will turn out on the rather steamy-soft side. If you don’t like the idea of this, just go easy on the toppings and don’t overload the pizza with too much ingredients.