Pi Day Pizza

Pizza

For those who don’t know, Pi is a mathematical number, equaling 3.14 when rounded. March is the 3rd month and today is the 14th day of the month, so voila, Pi Day. You can find more details on Pi Day here.

You are probably thinking that my family and I made pizza pies today in honor of Pi Day. Well, you are wrong. If it weren’t for the snow day I would’ve been working until 6:15p so ain’t nobody got time for making homemade pizza on a weeknight. Our tribute to Pi day was to eat the final slices left from pizzas that we made over the weekend.

…I know, I know, that was a stretch. Let’s be straightforward, you are reading this article for the recipe and not for the backstory…

Since the hustle and busy of our weekdays do not allow for a lot of family time, I try to maximize our time over the weekend. Quality family time is important for children’s overall development, socialization/social skills development, and mental health. We also use these times to build on existing math skills (e.g. counting scoops of ingredients), science knowledge (such as going from liquid to solid states, how certain ingredients affect the outcome, etc.), and fine motor skills.

But most importantly we love pizza. By making it ourselves we know exactly what ingredients and how much of those ingredients are going in. This way we have a much better idea of what is going into our bodies. Healthy bodies, healthy minds.  Alright, on to the recipe.

Pizza Dough

I used this recipe by Bobby Flay. I used 4 cups of flour and ended up using at least 2 cups of water. I mixed and kneaded by hand rather than using the food processor and my bread maker. Since it is cold here in Maryland getting the dough to rise properly was an issue. A trick I used to help the dough to rise was warming my oven to the lowest setting possible, turning off the oven once it reached temperature, and then put the dough (still inside of the bowl and covered) on top of a sheet pan in the oven.

Pizza Sauce (bear with me again, I didn’t measure anything so these are rough estimates)

1 32oz can of pizza sauce

1.5tsp black pepper (freshly ground)

2tbsps parsley (dried; if using fresh use at least 3tbsps)

1.5tbsps oregano (dried; if using fresh use 2tbsps)

1tbsp Italian seasoning

garlic (5 cloves)

one handful of fresh basil (or about 2tbsps if using dried)

Mix all of the ingredients together and set aside. I did this right after I made the dough. Allowing it to sit gives the seasonings a chance to get to know each other (i.e., it enhances the flavor).

Pie Assembly

Toppings: mozzarella cheese (fresh, and sliced or grated), sausage (ground and cooked), black olives, Kalamata olives, green peppers, pepperoni, tomatoes

Grease the baking sheet with olive oil. Stretch the dough onto the baking sheet (we were able to make 2 large pizzas and one medium sized pizza from this dough). First top with the pizza sauce mixture and be sure not to put too much. Then layer whatever toppings you like but save the cheese for last. Bake in a 425 degree Farenheit oven for about 23 minutes for the large pizzas and about 20 minutes for the medium pizza or until the crust is golden brown. Allow to cool slightly. Slice and enjoy!!

By the way, I realize that the use of sausage and pepperoni flies in the face of healthy eating. First, I never said this was a healthy recipe. You can certainly swap out sausage and pepperoni for chicken or mushrooms (and we sometimes do). Second, I am a big believer in moderation and balance. Do we eat like this everyday? No. Do we even eat like this every weekend? No. It is okay to indulge in some of these less healthy ingredients as long as it is not a regular habit. Moderation and balance, people!!

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