What could be better than piping hot pizza with rich tomato sauce, fresh basil and melting mozzarella? A PIZZA THAT IS NUTRITIOUS AND HOMEMADE!! Impossibile, you say!! My sister is a nutritionist and she is always telling her patients, you don’t need to see carbs as the enemy, however, white flour does absolutely nothing for your body so if you choose whole-wheat flour it makes your baking so much better for you.
Here’s the breakdown…
This stuff is evil. It’s made from heavily refined and processed wheat grain. This process takes away the fiber-rich grain. It is classed as a high-GI food that gives you a quick sugar spike and satisfies you while you’re eating the pizza, only to leave you feel tired and bloated and irritable about an hour later.
Brown or ‘whole-wheat’ flour has a completely different nutritional value because it’s packed with fiber, which helps you lose weight, prevents constipation and lowers your blood cholesterol. Because it’s a low-GI food it gives you energy that lasts over a longer period of time and leaves you feeling fuller for longer so you’ll be less likely to jump into dessert an hour after eating this pizza.
MORE GOOD NEWS!! Wholemeal flour has a higher amount of vitamins too – such as folate, riboflavin and vitamins B-1, B-3 and B-5!!
From a taste perspective I love the nutty wholesome flavour of wholemeal flour and even Patrick, who was supportive but slightly reticent, was converted. I wanted to try whipping up some pizzas at home rolling the dough out nice and thin so that the crust would still be crisp on the bottom and slightly chewy inside. These pizzas were so FREAKIN’ delicious that Patrick ate three of them and was rendered speechless aside from a few groans of pleasure and a repeated, ‘I just can’t believe HOW GOOD the wholemeal base tastes!!!’.
Okay are you ready? You’ll never be dialing for a pizza ever again, I promise!
DOUGH (makes 4 medium size pizzas)
- 2 cups wholemeal flour
- 1 and a half packets of 8g sachet dry yeast (so… 12g!)
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon castor sugar
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste/concentrate
- 1 can chopped tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons oregano
- 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon castor sugar
- 3 tablespoons red wine
TOPPING (stop adding more toppings! learn from the Italians and keep it simple! besides, we don’t want your homemade crust to be upstaged)
- buffalo mozzarella
- fresh basil
- Put flour, salt, sugar, olive oil in a big bowl.
- Mix yeast in a small cup with the warm water and then add to other ingredients.
- With your fingers combine everything until it resembles a slightly sticky messy ball of dough.
- Cover with a little flour and let it rest in the bowl with a moist tea towel over the bowl in a warm place for at least 40 mins.
- While you’re waiting for your dough to rise, finely chop garlic and cook in a pan on a low heat in 1 tablespoon of olive oil for 2 minutes.
- Add canned tomatoes, tomato paste, salt, sugar, oregano, chilli, red wine and another tablespoon of olive oil. Bring to the boil and then lower heat and simmer until you’re ready to put on your pizza. The longer you simmer, the richer and more developed the flavours will be!
- Has your dough become bigger? Punch it down! Then lightly flour a BIG work surface, rub a bit of olive oil into your hands and knead the dough for as long as you can until your biceps are in REAL PAIN.
- Divide your dough into three or four balls and just roll out one ball at a time for each pizza, keeping the remainder of the dough covered in a tea towel or cling wrap while you work.
- Spoon a little of your tomato sauce over the pizza and add all toppings except the fresh basil.
- I’m a good dough kneader but I was still a bit worried about producing a brick-like base given how heavy wholemeal flour is. Patrick told me about the trick of heating up a frying pan, simultaneously getting your grill on its highest heat. When your pizza is ready with sauce and toppings on top, take your pan off the stove, flip it over, lay the dough on the base of the pan and then stick it under the grill so it simulates a wood fired oven with super high heat coming from all directions. It guarantees a delicious crisp base! Be careful – it will cook very fast!!
- Top with fresh basil and tell all the people sighing and salivating in your house who are intoxicated by the smell of garlic and melting mozzarella that LA PIZZA E’ PRONTA!!
Love authentic Italian food? Then you might want to watch our new black and white vintage TV series that celebrates la cucina Italiana and the passion it brings into the bedroom… 😉