Editor’s note: This reader recipe is an online addition to our September 2017 cover story, “Recipes from the heart.”

Basic pizza crust

By Miriam Henry

As director of Christian education at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Telford, Pa., it is my honor to lead our third-grade Bible class every November. I enjoy helping our third-graders and their families explore all the cool features in their new Spark NRSV Bibles. But a three-hour class can be a little overwhelming for third-graders, so I throw pizza making into the mix. Each family makes their own pizza dough and then can take it home and bake it for dinner! We call it “Bible & Pizza 101.”

First the kids make the sponge. While the yeast is rising we go over Bible basics. Then we mix the sponge into the flour mixture and the kids learn how to knead the dough. While the dough is rising, the families learn how to look up chapter and verses and we read an Old Testament story together. It’s always a lot of fun and the families really enjoy it!

Recipe (makes 1 pizza)

1 package dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup warm water, 105-115 degrees

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
about 1/2 cup cool water

To make sponge:
Stir yeast, sugar and water together in a measuring cup. Let stand until foamy, about 15 minutes.

To make dough:
Place flours, salt and seasoning in large bowl. Stir in oil.
Stir in sponge and enough water to make a workable dough that is stiff and a little sticky.
Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 7 minutes. The dough should be firm and moist.
Shape the dough into a ball and let rise in an oiled bowl, covered with a damp towel, until double in bulk, about 1 hour.

Bake dough:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Using your fist, punch down dough.
Put dough on a pizza baking sheet and, with hands, form to the pan.
Using a fork, prick the dough in several places. (This allows air vents for the steam, and doesn’t cause the bubbles in the crust.)
Bake crust for 7 minutes.
Using hot-pad holders, remove crust from oven. Put on pizza sauce, cheese and desired toppings.
Bake an additional 10 minutes or until cheese becomes brown and bubbly.
Remove from oven.
Let cool 5 minutes before eating.

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