Pizza Express lured us to their St Paul’s branch (alright, we practically ran there). The plan was to check out their new Children’s Menu and make pizza!
The boys weren’t exactly dressed the part when we set out.
But we soon got suited up in aprons and chef hats, ready to get our hands dirty.
Making Pizza with the Pizza Express Chefs
First the assistants scattered flour over our work tops. We covered our hands with it so we could knead the sticky dough. The Pizza Express chef showed us how to flatten the dough out by pressing around the edges and from the centre outwards.
Then we flipped the dough back and forth in our hands to shake off excess flour.
We laid it in the tin and pinched the edges with our thumbs to create pizza crust.
Base ready, time for the toppings.
The chef demonstrated how to ladle sauce into the centre of the base and shake it around. Trickier than it looked, but Jed soon got the hang of it.
The boys had zero interest in any toppings other than mozzarella, herbs and tomato sauce. The classic Margherita pizza is their favourite.
I went to town and created a work of pizza art, if I say so myself.
They placed the pizzas in the oven for 7 minutes and presto, lunch was served.
We all made adult size pizzas so I was sure there’d be leftovers. But I asked Ezra if he wanted to save a slice for Daddy and the answer was a flat ‘No’!
Kids Menu Revamped
The boys sampled the new Piccolo Menu that has been redesigned along with the food offering.
The eye-catching menu folds out like a magazine. It includes activities from mazes and word puzzles to colouring and drawing games. Both 7 and 4 year-old were puzzling away until it was time to cook.
Pizza Express has teamed up with the Children’s Food Trust to revive their kids’ menu with healthier options and fresh ingredients.
Kids can Create their Own pizzas, adding different toppings at no extra cost. Pasta dishes come with homemade sauces, and they’re also offering pizza bases and brownies that are gluten-free.
They’ve added fruit to almost everything — from a helping of fresh strawberries with your brownie to a refreshingly light raspberry sorbet.
And (to Ezra’s horror) they’ve removed Nutella from the Dough Balls, although these are still available with either a serving of crunchy veg or a ramekin of olive oil and balsamic syrup.
They’re also working to reduce salt content. We didn’t add salt at any stage of our pizza making.
Getting Kids Cooking
And did you know Pizza Express holds regular School Visits where your kids and schoolmates can learn to make pizza like we did? It’s part of the Children’s Food Trust initiative Let’s Get Cooking — the UK’s biggest network of healthy, school-based cooking clubs. Pizza Express also offers kids birthday parties where you can ‘make your own pizza’ for just £9.95 per person. Visit the web site for more details.
Thanks to Pizza Express for a fun and educational morning creating delicious pizzas from (almost) scratch.
Disclosure: Pizza Express provided us with drinks, goodie bags and the pizzas we made for free. This post was heavily influenced by my love of pizza.