April 5 is an important day. It’s a day that should be commemorated and celebrated across the world. A day that should unite us all. That day is National Deep Dish Pizza Day.

If you’ve never had the pleasure of tasting this culinary delight, be sure to go out of your way to do so–because it is amazing. I experienced my first authentic deep dish pizza in Chicago a few years ago, and it was life changing. Super-thick crust. A seemingly endless pile of cheese that literally drips as you take a slice out of the dish. Savory sauce. I’m getting hungry just writing about it.

Now, obviously we all don’t have access to authentic Chicago-style deep dish pizza, but in Today’s Lesson…, I’m going to tell you how to make some delicious (non-deep dish) pizza at home! It’s a fun way to bond, a great teaching tool for kids (measurements and fractions, yay!), and a pretty economical way to enjoy a slice. So, put on the aprons and get ready to learn how to make pizza!

, Today’s Lesson Is…How to Make Pizza!
Authentic Chicago deep dish pizza…and my daughter peering through the cheese in amazement

At home, my family and I generally make our own pizzas once a week–one is pretty traditional, the other is more of a specialty pizza. Lucky for you, I’m going to give you instructions on how to make both.

Let’s start with the traditional pizza.

Traditional Pizza

What You’ll Need

  • Pizza pan (at least 12”, up to 16”)
  • Frozen dough ball (or an already-made crust such as Boboli…I prefer dough, like Papa Sal’s)
  • Jar of pizza sauce (any brand you like)
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Provolone cheese (optional, but I think it adds a nice touch)
  • Garlic powder
  • Oregano
  • Olive oil
  • Toppings of choice (we enjoy turkey pepperoni, but you do you!)

Steps

  1. Preheat your oven to 430 degrees–you may need to adjust in high altitudes
  2. Spray your pizza pan with nonstick cooking spray
  3. Stretch or roll your thawed dough ball into a circle that fits the pan (IMPORTANT: if you’re using frozen dough, you’ll need to take it out of the freezer to thaw for several hours; once it’s soft, you can place in the refrigerator until ready to use)
  4. Spread a generous amount of pizza sauce on the dough, leaving about an inch around the edge
  5. Sprinkle some garlic powder and oregano over the sauce
  6. Lay down slices of provolone cheese to cover the sauce (optional, but delicious…nothing beats melted provolone)
  7. Add your favorite toppings (this is where I’d cover most of the surface with slices of turkey pepperoni, but feel free to add regular pepperoni, sausage, broccoli, spinach, mushrooms, anchovies, or anything else you like on a pizza)
  8. Sprinkle a handful or two of mozzarella cheese over your toppings
  9. Add another sprinkle of garlic powder and oregano
  10. Brush olive oil along the edge of the pizza (optional, but olive oil gives the crust a nice golden brown look and crunch)
  11. Bake for around 15 minutes or until cheese is golden brown and/or bubbling
  12. Cut into 8 slices and enjoy!
, Today’s Lesson Is…How to Make Pizza!
My attempt at a heart-shaped pizza for Valentine’s Day

OK, now that you know how to make a traditional pizza, let’s go for something more bold–this is my personal favorite, one that I’ve started to perfect over the years…the BBQ Chicken Pizza!

Now, this isn’t for everyone–my son and I generally split one of these because my wife and daughter aren’t big fans. But if you love chicken and barbecue sauce and bacon and lots of cheese, this is definitely worth a try!

BBQ Chicken Pizza

What You’ll Need

  • Pizza pan (at least 12”, up to 16”)
  • Frozen dough ball (or an already-made crust such as Boboli)
  • Barbecue sauce (your favorite brand)
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Provolone cheese
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Bacon crumbles
  • Grilled or sauteed chicken breast, cut into cubes or strips (canned chicken can also work in a pinch)
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Olive oil

Steps

  1. Preheat your oven to 430 degrees–you may need to adjust in high altitudes
  2. Spray your pizza pan with nonstick cooking spray
  3. Grill or saute a chicken breast and cut into cubes or strips; if you’re using canned chicken, drain the water and then add to a pan until it starts to brown (for a little extra flavor, sprinkle some seasoned salt on the chicken)
  4. Stretch or roll your thawed dough ball into a circle that fits the pan (IMPORTANT: if you’re using frozen dough, you’ll need to take it out of the freezer to thaw for several hours; once it’s soft, you can place in the refrigerator until ready to use)
  5. Spread barbecue sauce on the dough, leaving about an inch around the edge (I don’t layer the sauce too thick because it can get messy)
  6. Sprinkle some garlic powder and onion powder over the barbecue sauce (feel free to use actual onions…I’m not a fan, so onion powder works for me)
  7. Add about half the chicken pieces over the sauce
  8. Lay down slices of provolone cheese over the first layer of chicken pieces
  9. Sprinkle some cheddar cheese on top of the provolone–not too much
  10. Add the rest of the chicken pieces around the pizza
  11. Sprinkle a handful or two of mozzarella cheese on top of the chicken
  1. Sprinkle a handful of bacon crumbles around the pizza
  2. Brush olive oil along the edge of the pizza (optional, but olive oil gives the crust a nice golden brown look and crunch)
  3. Bake for around 15 minutes or until cheese is golden brown and/or bubbling
  4. Let stand for about 5 minutes–otherwise the pizza will get pretty sloppy and require a fork and knife to eat…which is ok!
  5. Cut into 8 slices and enjoy!
, Today’s Lesson Is…How to Make Pizza!
Not a great picture, but a finished BBQ chicken pizza!

, Today’s Lesson Is…How to Make Pizza!
A closer look at the BBQ chicken pizza

Get the whole family involved–have the kids gather the ingredients, spread the sauce, sprinkle the cheese and toppings. I would advise the adults to handle the dough–sometimes it takes a bit of work to get it stretched out enough, but not too much that it’s paper thin and has holes in it. None of the ingredients here require precise measurements, but feel free to work some kitchen measuring lessons to the recipe–2 cups of mozzarella cheese, ½ teaspoon of garlic powder, etc. This will give your kids some real-world practice in the kitchen.

Now, I’m not going to tell you that this homemade pizza will rival Chicago deep dish–after all, we’re not professionals and I don’t own a pizza oven…yet. But, if you can’t track down some deep dish pizza, give these a try on National Deep Dish Pizza Day. Your children will love helping out, they’ll learn something along the way, and they get to eat some delicious pizza! If you try these out, feel free to leave a comment below and let us know how your pizza turned out.

We hope you enjoyed Today’s Lesson! Subscribe to our blog for more fun lesson ideas and creative homeschooling tips and tricks! And…Happy National Deep Dish Pizza Day!