Sleepover Treats
Recipe: Animal Face Pizzas
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Recipe: Animal Face Pizzas

Makes 12 or 6 pizzas  -  Prep time: 30 mins  -  Cooking time: 8-10 mins

For the pizza base: 225g/8oz strong plain flour
2 tsp fast action dried yeast
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp oil
150ml/5 fl oz water

For the hidden vegetable sauce: 1 shallot, finely chopped
½ small leek, thinly sliced
1 small carrot, peeled and grated
¼ courgette, grated
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small clove garlic, crushed
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp sundried tomato puree
2 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 x 400g/14oz tin chopped tomatoes
1½ tsp sugar

Toppings: 3 ripe tomatoes, thinly sliced
Small bunch of basil leaves, chopped
175g/6oz mozzarella cheese grated
175g/6oz mature Cheddar cheese, grated
Extra toppings for decoration
Sweet pepper

It’s fun making pizza dough and then laying out little bowls of toppings so that the children can use these to design faces on their pizzas. If making as a sauce for pasta, cut down the cooking time so that the sauce is less thick. You can also roll out the pizza dough into the base and freeze it. You can use the base straight from the
freezer, put the tomato topping on top cover with grated cheese and toppings and bake in the oven for 15 minutes. If you wish, you can puree the veg and tomatoes before cooking the sauce. First it is easier to blend with more liquid and second it is easier to tell when the sauce is thick enough. The sauce can also be frozen separately.

First make the dough. Put the flour, yeast and salt into a bowl and pour in the oil and water. Stir with a wooden spoon and then use your hands to mix everything together. Sprinkle a little extra flour over a clean work surface, then knead the dough for about seven minutes until it is smooth and elastic. Oil a large bowl, pop in the dough and cover with clingfilm. Leave in a warm place for about one and a half hours or until the dough has doubled in size.

To make the tomato sauce, heat the oil in a large saucepan and sauté the vegetables for ten minutes, until soft but not coloured. Add the garlic and cook for one minute. Transfer to a blender. Add the puree, ketchup, tomatoes and sugar and whiz until smooth. Return to the pan and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until thick. Season to taste with salt and pepper and allow to cool slightly. Preheat the oven to 220C/ 425F/Gas Mark 7. Once you think the dough has risen you can test to see if it is ready. Poke holes in the dough and if the holes remain, it's ready. Punch down with your fists and place on a floured surface. Knead the dough again for a couple of

Divide the dough into 12 or six balls. Roll out using a rolling pin until about the thickness of a coin to 9cm/3.5in or 18cm/7in circles, depending on whether you want to create mini pizzas or not. Place on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. For extra crispy bases, preheat a baking sheet until hot then put the parchment paper and pizzas on top of the hot baking sheet. Spread the sauce over each of the pizza bases. Arrange some thinly sliced tomatoes and basil over the top. Sprinkle over the cheeses and season with salt and pepper. Arrange your favourite toppings to decorate the pizzas with faces. Cook in the oven for eight to ten minutes or until golden and crispy.

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