I'm a full-time mom, part-time preschool teacher who believes experiences are more important than things, travel is one of the best ways to learn compassion for other cultures, and now is the time to make memories with the ones you love.

  • Jana Mascioni

Step-by-Step Guide to Making Authentic Italian Pizza with Kids

Updated: Apr 6

Without a wood-burning oven, it is impossible to replicate the distinctive taste of pizza from a traditional authentic Italian Pizzeria. Still, with the right ingredients, you can come close. You must use fresh quality ingredients for authentic tasting pizza. Check the cheese section of the grocery store or visit an Italian deli to buy the mozzarella and Parmigiano (no green cans of Parmigiano). Our Costco sells a fantastic fresh mozzarella from Tuscany. Costco is also where I buy our Parmesan imported from Italy, although I would not compare it to the quality the average Italian is use too.

Before planning to make the pizza with your kids read through these steps. You will need to account for leaving some time for the dough to rise. Don’t wait until an hour before you plan to eat to get started.


In an Italian pizzeria, each person gets their own pizza. The crust is thin, and the pizzas are not as large or topped as heavily with cheese and other toppings. The recipe below makes about 4 pizza’s, one per person.



How to Involve Your Kid In the Cooking


Cooking with your kid is a chance to practice practical skills like reading, following directions, measuring, fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and the early concepts of math and science. My favorite part of cooking with my daughter is the growing appreciation she has for how food is made. While cooking with her, she is learning the importance of using fresh ingredients for better taste and health. Plus, she is filled with a sense of accomplishment and pride when she eats something she made!


Most kids are excited to eat pizza, so it shouldn't be hard to get them excited about the idea of making it! Here is a list of some of the ways you can get them involved.

  • Make a grocery list and have them check off items as you go throughout the store.

  • They can check off the supplies and ingredients needed before starting. If your child isn’t reading yet, read this list to them as you run your finger across the words, so they begin to understand that words have meaning. Reading off lists and getting organized is also an excellent executive functioning skill!

  • Read through and complete the steps together.

  • While waiting for the dough to rise, spend time together researching on the internet or a book, the science of what makes dough rise. Why does it have to be at a specific temperature and any other questions your kids may have.

  • Kneading the dough is great for building muscles in little one’s hands (muscles they will need before ever being able to pick up correctly and write with a pencil.)

  • Practice cutting the fresh ingredients with safe knives like these from Amazon. Even the smallest of kids can practice cutting the mozzarella with a dull toddler knife.

  • Let them choose the ingredients and put the toppings on their own personal pizza.

  • Once the pizza is complete, you can talk about fractions while cutting to serve.

The most important thing is just to be present with your kid and have fun. Cooking together can make memories that last a lifetime!


Classic Italian Kid-Friendly Topping Combinations


I haven’t included amounts for the toppings as you can choose to put on as much as you like. You can choose to make all four pizza’s the same or mix it up!


*Important note about the fresh mozzarella cheese. When using fresh mozzarella that comes in a container of liquid, you must first let it dry out a little, or it will make your pizza soggy! Slice the fresh mozzarella then set it to dry on a tea towel for at least 15 minutes. Blot both sides with a tea towel or paper towels to make sure excess moisture has been removed.



Margherita

High-quality Tomato sauce made in Italy

Fresh mozzarella cheese (see above note)

Basil (add basil after taking out of the oven)


Margherita Bianca

Fresh mozzarella cheese (see above note)

Freshly grated Parmigiano

Basil (add basil after taking out of the oven)


Marinara

High-quality Tomato sauce made in Italy

Fresh oregano chopped


Aglio E Olio

Sliced garlic cloves

Fresh oregano chopped


Aglio, Olio e Pomodoro

Fresh tomato, peeled, sliced and diced

Sliced garlic cloves

Fresh oregano


Bianca con i Funghi

Sliced white mushrooms

Chopped Italian parsley

Sliced garlic clove

Salt and pepper

Fresh mozzarella cheese (see above note)


Patate

Potatoes sliced very thin

Fresh rosemary leaves

Fresh mozzarella cheese (see above note)

Salt and pepper


Dough Ingredients

Makes 4 personal pizzas

1 tablespoon active dry yeast

1 ½ cups warm water

3 ½ cups high-protein flour plus more for dusting (Preferably from Italy, organic & minimally processed.)

1 tablespoon good extra-virgin olive oil

Pinch of fine sea salt

Preferred toppings


Supplies Needed

A large mixing bowl

A medium bowl

A large cutting board or clean workspace

Dough scraper (optional)

Rolling Pin

Metal pizza pan, pizza stone or a pizza peel

How to Make it


Note:

The temperature in the room should be between 68 to 75 degrees F for the dough to rise properly.


Step 1

In the large mixing bowl, sprinkle the yeast on the warm water. Stir to dissolve then let it stand for about 5 minutes. Doing this helps the yeast dissolve and start to activate.


Step 2

Once the yeast has dissolved, stir in two cups of the flour. Once mixed, slowly add the rest of the flour and mix until the dough is formed.


Step 3

Add a generous pinch of salt and mix. If you add it before, it could inhibit the yeast's growth.


Step 4

Sprinkle some flour on the cutting board or clean work surface. Place the dough on the floured surface.


Step 5

Knead the dough just a little with your hands. To knead the dough, pull it towards you with one hand while pushing it away with the other. Stretch and fold the dough back upon itself. Do this just long enough for the dough to take in a little more flour, and until it no longer sticks to your hands. This may take about 10 minutes.


Step 6

With your hand, spread a little olive oil inside a medium bowl


Step 7

Shape the dough into a ball. Use the dough scraper to scrape all the dough off the board. Place the ball into the oiled bowl.


Step 8

Make two incisions that cross over the dough ball and cover with a little olive oil. This will prevent the surface of the dough from breaking too much while rising.


Step 9

Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and set the bowl aside for 1 ½ to 2 hours until the dough doubles in size. You will know the dough is ready for the next step when you press the dough with your finger, and the indention remains.


Step 10

Once ready, punch the dough down to eliminate the air bubbles and place the dough on a floured cutting board or work surface.


Step 11

Cut the dough into four equal pieces.


Step 12

On the work surface, shape one piece of dough at a time into a thinner round layer. Make a pizza about 12 inches in diameter using your hands and a rolling pin. Once done, work on the other three pieces for a total of 4 pizzas.


Step 13

Place the pizzas on an oiled metal pizza pan, pizza stone, or a floured pizza peel. Using your fingertips, push from the center to the sides to cover the surface of the pan.


Step 14

Add on to the pizza your preferred toppings. But hold off on the cheese! The cheese should be added the last 5 to 10 minutes before removing the pizza from the oven. (Remember first to dry out the fresh mozzarella cheese, see my note under the heading Classic Italian Kid Friendly Toppings).


Step 15

Drizzle with olive oil


Step 16

Cook the Pizza in the oven at 500 degrees F for about 20 to 25 minutes. To check for readiness, lift one side of the pizza. The pizza is ready when the bottom surface is light brown.


Print recipe


This is part of the #KidCultureBlogger Link-Up hosted by me the last Saturday of every month where bloggers share their passion for exposing kids to culture through travel, cooking, events, art, crafts, theatre, and other unplugged learning experiences.


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I'm a full-time mom, part-time preschool teacher who believes experiences are more important than things, travel is one of the best ways to learn compassion for other cultures, and now is the time to make memories with the ones you love.

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