GOLDEN CRUNCH PIZZA (using whole wheat flour)
Pizza! Indeed, the most popular dish in the world. And who doesn’t like it? At least I have not seen any such person. But, weight watchers are most likely to avoid this sinful junk food.
Let us take a harder look at what makes pizza a junk food? We are talking of store-bought pizza here. Its main ingredient is the refined flour (all purpose flour/ maida), that significantly contributes to obesity, raises cholesterol and, with time, has a tendency to raise blood sugar levels. Then it has saturated fats, high sodium content, preservatives, dough conditioners, multiple chemical compounds that we can’t even spell. Poor storage conditions and contaminants are additional concerns, if you pick a non-vegetarian pizza.
Renowned international nutritionists claim that if made at home, without all the preservatives and industrialized ingredients high in carbs, fat and salt, the pizza can be a good source of nutrients as long as it is eaten in moderation, and NOT at night.
So, for those times when we want to indulge into its wonderful taste, let’s not skip health concern altogether. How about baking your own customized pizza at home? Yes, that’s definitely possible. And once you tasted this, you won’t want to go back to the store-bought one then. Let’s bake it without refined flour, without saturated fats, load it with veggies, and use low sodium pizza sauce, and a rather low fat mozzarella cheese. So, let us begin!
GOLDEN CRUNCH PIZZA (Using Wholewheat flour)
- Whole wheat flour- 3 cups
- Water warm- 1.25 cup
- Yeast Instant / Dry active- 2 tsp
- Sugar- ¼ tsp
- Salt- a pinch
- Olive oil- 3 tbs
- Corn meal for dusting
- Fresh tomato puree- 2 cups
- Garlic- 8-10 cloves finely chopped
- Oregano fresh/ dried- 1.5 tbs
- Basil leaves fresh/ dried- 1 tbs
- Black pepper powder- ¼ tbs
- Salt- ½ tbs
- Olive oil- 2 tsb
- Green red and yellow bell peppers- 1 each, cut into juliennes or squares
- Onion- 1 cut into juliennes or squares
- Tomato- 1 cut into juliennes or squares
- Mushrooms- 10-12 cut into long thin slices
- Broccoli- 1 small cut into small florets
- Olives black/ green- 15-16 pieces
Italian Seasoning*- as needed
Mozzarella cheese- 1 cup, grated
For pizza dough:
Combine warm water, yeast and sugar in a small bowl. Set aside until frothy (5 min with instant yeast, 15 min with dry active yeast).
In a large bowl, add the flour and salt and make a well in the centre. Add the yeast mixture and olive oil into it.
Mix thoroughly until well combined.
Transfer to a surface, and knead for 8-10 minutes, or until smooth.
Turn the dough into an oil brushed bowl, and let it rest in a warm, dry place for 1- 2 hrs or until dough doubles in size.
For pizza sauce:
Heat olive oil in a pan and add chopped garlic, and let it sweat.
Now add tomato puree, and cook until oil leaves the sides of the pan.
Add the other ingredients under pizza sauce and mix.
Let it cook further until it thickens, and then transfer into a bowl, or a jar.
For Pizza Seasoning:
Simply add all the ingredients into a mortar and crush with pestle. Store in an air tight jar.
Assembling the pizza:
Be ready with all 5 components above while assembling the pizza.
Pre-heat your oven to 240 deg C at least for 15 min.
Spread corn meal over the surface, and flatten the dough into a disc (by stretching with both hands, and not with rolling pin)
Transfer to a parchment paper or aluminium foil.
Then prick with centre of dough with the help of fork
Spread pizza sauce generously leaving the sides slightly.
Spread mozzarrela cheese and top with the veggies and chicken (if using).
Sprinkle the prepared pizza seasoning and again spread grated cheese.
Transfer carefully to the hot oven tray (preheated at 240 deg C)
Further, bake at 240 deg C for about 15 minutes.
Finally, slice and serve the pizza hot.
•For preparing in a microwave, cook the pizza for 15-18 minutes on convection mode at 220-240 deg C
For toppings, you can add any vegetables of your choice
• For a chicken pizza, use cooked boneless chicken breast pieces of small size
• Spraying the sides of pizza lightly with water yields soft crust pizza • Using an electric mixer/ food processor for preparing dough takes a lot of hard-work off you.
It is crucial to knead the dough well, or else pizza will be chewy.
• You can adjust the quantity of water or flour to make a soft dough
• Whole wheat pizza tastes best when served fresh. Stored one tends to dry out.
Check out how to prepare your Italian Seasoning at home.