This is a special post because today is the seventh annual World Autism Awareness Day a life long developmental disability characterised by impairments in social communication, social interaction and thought process.To find out more about Autism please visit National Autistic Society and HACS
In 2012 the word “Baking” took to another level when it became a language, therapy,activity and development tool. Why? It was the year when my son who will be 7 in a few days got diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum disorder, developmental coordination delay, sensory processing difficulties and mild to moderate ADHD. My world felt torn and above all I had to adapt and work out strategies and ways to help my child with these areas of difficulties whilst awaiting a lengthy process of getting a statement for him. How can I engage him in activities and interaction, how do I aid his understanding especially with his impaired receptive language? Well the answer was starring at me all along . This is where baking came into play, as much as my passion and personal relaxation it was a brilliant way of interacting and being closer to him. A day at a time, small steps each day I was able to engage him in short baking activities starting off with cookies. It certainly was a challenge in itself but with perseverance and encouragement he engaged and took pride. Being a visual learner, it was easier for him to follow 1-2 word instructions with visual demonstration, the happiness and smiles on his face were priceless. Engaging him in baking activities meant I got to work on social skills, fine motor and gross motor skills, sequencing, problem solving, planning etc.Baking with him has become a big part of my life as not only does he enjoy it but it aids his development. This is a special post dedicated to World Autism Day as my son loves Pizza.
Pizza, pizza, pizza is what he sings whenever I mention pizza for dinner. To be honest who doesn’t enjoy a good pizza that even home made from scratch. The fun and smiles involved in making the dough, rolling it, shaping it and topping it is priceless. I must warn you it can get messy, flour on the face, over the clothes, on the floor but hey when you get delicious, mouthwatering,additive free pizza you’ll forget the mess. Both kids and adults will love making this crispy yet fluffy dough. Personally we like a bit of crunch when biting into a baked pizza. Simply by adding semolina will change the texture of your dough to give that added crunch. How about you? Do you prefer deep pan or thin? Which ever it is you can achieve tasty pizzas with this recipe.So why not enjoy making this delicious dough with your kids. Kids will require some assistance with preparing the dough but once you make this you won’t turn to ready made bases.
Home made Pizza Dough
Preparation time: 45-50 minutes- prep time for dough only
Baking time: 20-25 minutes
200g Strong white bread flour
100g Fine semolina plus extra for dusting
1 Tsp fast acting yeast
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tsp salt
200ml Warm water
1. In a bowl mix bread flour, semolina and salt. Add yeast, water and oil and mix into a dough.
2. Knead for 5-8 minutes.
3. Place the dough in a bowl, cover with a tea towel and rest the dough for 30 minutes.
4. Knock back the dough by punching down on it. Pre heat oven to 220 degree C or 200 for fan assisted.
5. Lightly dust work surface with semolina, take a piece of dough and roll it out roughly to about 0.5cm thickness. Place the dough on a oiled tray and rest for about 5 minutes before spreading the sauce and adding the toppings. If using a pizza stone you can bake the dough straight away.
6. Bake the pizza for 15-20 minutes, the dough should have a golden, crisp look. Check the under side of the base, if golden then its cooked all the way through, if not cook for a further 5 minutes.