Home-made pizza dough and healthy toppings
I was going title this one “quick pizza with healthy topping options”, but when I looked at the ingredients’ list on a bag of pita pockets, which I was going to use for the bases, I saw a bunch of preservatives and additives listed so I decided to revert back to making simple home-made dough. I know it takes slightly longer to make, but you can pre-make your pizza dough on the weekend, then roll out, top with sauce, par bake, cool, freeze and voila! You’ll always have a bunch ready for when the cravings hit (i.e. Friday night with a wine and movie?).
Experiment with different sizes and thicknesses. An individual serve base should only be the size of a dessert plate for an average person. If that seems to small, build it up – rather than out, with extra toppings. Or, if you have enough folks in the house, make your own pizza night where everyone can customise their toppings to what they like. One rule though, make sure that there is at least 2 vegetable toppings on the pizza.
The following sauce recipe will ensure that’s the case for at least 1 of the ingredients. But you don’t have to let anyone know. That way you will squeeze 3 serves of veges into the meal. How good is that?
If you are really stuck for time, and haven’t had a chance to make the dough in advance, it is probably a lesser evil to buy pita pockets for the base rather than phone up one of the large chains and have a pizza delivered. The not knowing what’s in it freaks me out the most about take-aways… Plus the difference in calories could be staggering.
Makes 3 thin or 2 medium crust dinner plate sized pizzas
Home-made pizza dough
- 450g plain flour
- 250ml lukewarm water
- 1 sachet dry yeast
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp olive oil, plus 1 tbsp extra
Mix water, yeast and sugar in a measuring jug. Set aside in a warm place for 10 minutes until the mixture becomes frothy.
Place flour, salt and oil in a large mixing bowl. Add activated yeast mixture and work with a fork to combine the flour and liquid into a dough. Knead on a lightly floured surface for about 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and pliable. Grease a large mixing bowl with the extra oil, place the dough inside and cover with some plastic film. Allow to rise in a warm spot for 45 minutes or until it has doubled in size.
Once risen, take dough out onto a lightly floured surface, fold over a couple of times and cut into 2 or 3 even portions (thick or thin crust). Roll out or spread with your fingers to no less than 1cm thick and trasfer onto a pizza baking tray, a cookie tray or a tart tin lined with some baking paper. Top with sauce (see recipe below), your favourite toppings and bake in a pre-heated oven at 220C (425F, gas mark 7) for about 10-15 minutes.
To freeze, prick each base with a fork, spread tomato sauce to the edges and par bake for 10 minutes. Cool and place each base in a large freezer bag and lie flat in the freezer. Bases will keep for up to 3 months.
Healthy pizza sauce
- 3 large tomatoes, half the seeds removed
- handful of basil // or 1 tbsp dried Italian herbs
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 tsp olive oil
Combine all ingredients in a blender and whizz until smooth, or leave slightly chunkier if you like. The sauce will keep in the fridge for a couple of days.
Healthy topping suggestions
Make sure that there is at least 2 vegetable ingredients on the pizza. The above sauce recipe will ensure that’s the case for at least 1 of the ingredients. But you don’t have to let anyone know. That way you will squeeze 3 serves of veges into the meal. Remember, too, that cheese is optional!
1. Margherita: Spinach, tomato and bocconcini (baby mozarella)
2. Mediterranean: Rocket, zucchini, Spanish onion, feta and olives
3. Hawaiian: Turkey, pineapple, baby spinach, yellow capsicum
4. Spanish: Roasted capsicum, fresh capsicum, chorizo, mushroom and goat’s cheese cheese
5. Asian: Honey soy chicken thighs, bok choy, spring onions, enoki, sesame seeds seeds