Saturday, March 27, 2010


When I was growing up, my mom had a recipe for play dough taped to the inside of the cupboard. I remember that it was written on lined paper and that the tape grew yellow with age. That recipe stayed up long after our play dough making days had passed. I totally get that now.

Homemade play dough smells and lasts better than the stuff you buy in the store and you can make all kinds of wacky colors. Jack and I made orange and blue this week and he's been busy making play dough cuisine with the kitchen tools he received for his birthday. Orange play dough soup, anyone?

Here is the easy peasy recipe we use:
1 cup flour
1 cup water
1/2 cup salt
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
3 tsp. cream of tartar
food coloring

Mix ingredients in a pan and cook on low heat while stirring frequently. Dough is done when it pulls away from the pan and forms a ball. Let cool and enjoy!

I have a recipe taped to the inside of my cupboard, as well. For the past six or so years I have been on a quest to find the perfect pizza dough recipe. Over the years I have experimented with a variety of techniques and had varying degrees of success. Finally I stumbled upon a recipe that contained the SECRET INGREDIENT. (No, it is not buttermilk. Good guess.)

Perfect Pizza Crust

2 tsp. honey
2 1/4 tsp. yeast
3/4 cup warm water
2+ cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. whole milk yogurt (!!)

Dissolve yeast and honey into warm water and let stand for five minutes or until bubbly. Stir in remaining ingredients (except cornmeal) and knead for 6-8 minutes. I do this with the bread hook in the Kitchen Aid because I am lazy and weak. Dough will be wet and sticky. Transfer to an oiled bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes or until doubled.

Gently deflate and stretch the dough to resemble a pizza shape. My experience is that the less you handle the dough, the better it will turn out. Also, I try to avoid using a rolling pin, since good pizza dough will be soft and supple. Just stretch it gently and be okay with a misshapen pie. Place onto a cookie sheet dusted with cornmeal, top with whatever your heart desires, and bake at 400 for about 15 minutes.

Jack and Sawyer get the standard Just Cheese version, while Brent and I prefer something a bit more exciting like veggie sausage, olive, green pepper, and garlic. Oh, and don't skimp on the cheese.


  1. Loving the post about dough. We too have a favorite play dough recipe. I made something like 19 batches of it for Orion's party favors when he turned 5. Turns out you can mix up to 6 cups of dough at once. Any more and it is too hard to stir and doesn't cook right. We had a LOT of play dough! :)
    I'm making pizza tonight, but got started on my recipe, thinking I could switch to yours half way through. Now that's thinking. ;) Do you ever add gluten flour to your dough? Does the yogurt have to be full fat? (We only had low fat in the house. I thought about just adding more oil.)
    Give those boys a squeeze for me!

  2. I have not tried gluten flour. Would that addition be for taste or health reasons? I use WW flour in this recipe too, on occasion. As for the yogurt- full fat is best, though I'm not sure why. I've tried w/ low fat and it just wasn't the same. Happy pizza making!