Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Healthy Homemade Pizza

I did a bit of research into a Dominoes pizza and this is what I found. If you choose a large classic crust mighty meaty pizza, this has 10 slices and per portion it is 243 kcals with 9.7g of fat (4.4g sat fat) and 1.3g of salt. At first glance this doesn't seem too bad. However if you consumed half the pizza (5 slices) you would be consuming 1215 kcals, 48.5g fat, (22g sat fat) and 6.5g salt. For a woman this would mean that she is consuming more than the recommended daily amount of saturated fat (20g) and salt (5g), just in this pizza! What if you then include some of the extras? Dough balls for starter and maybe Ben and Jerrys ice cream for dessert. You could quite easily be consuming your total daily calorie allowance in just one meal. I worked it out to be 1576 kcals with 7.3g of salt and 30g saturated fat.  
I think a home made pizza can taste just as good and the calorie content is more like 300- 400 kcals for half the pizza (depending on your topping). It is lovely with sweet potato wedges and a salad or homemade coleslaw. To make a pizza from scratch I begin by making a flat bread dough mix. I always make a large quantity which is then divided up and the rest is frozen. This then makes it really easy the next few times you make pizza as all you have to is defrost the dough, leave to rise again for an hour or two and then use. This dough will make 8 flat breads or 4 pizzas. For the tomato sauce I like to use a small carton of passata. This is simmered for 5 minutes in a pan with a clove of crushed garlic and a pinch of sugar. You then season with black pepper and leave to cool. The secret to a crusty pizza is to get the oven as hot as possible 230C . I don't have a pizza stone but use a large granite tile. I picked this up from Topps Tiles for £5 and it works really well. Make sure you heat it up for 10-15 minutes in the oven before you assemble the pizza. Roll the dough out, then place on the hot tile spread with the sauce and then add the toppings. This is the fun part as you can be as creative as you like and your kids will love helping. Our favourite toppings are seafood and olives, olives and anchovies, beetroot and mozarella, or mushrooms and feta. The pizza will take about 7-10 minutes to cook.
So for Pizzas that taste great and are kind to the waistline, get your family to Rally round as this will knock the spots off Dominos !!

Pizza Dough

Makes 4 pizzas

250g plain white flour (or you can use half wholemeal)
250g strong white flour
1 1/2 level teaspoons of fine sea salt
1 teaspoon of easy blend (instant) dried yeast
1 tablespoon rapeseed or olive oil

Put the 2 flours in a bowl
Add the salt and yeast and mix well
Add the oil and 325ml warm water and mix to a rough dough
Tip out the dough onto a work surface and knead for 10-15 minutes
Do not be tempted to add more flour, it will become less sticky as you knead it.
Grease a clean bowl with a bit of oil. 
Place the dough in the bowl and cover with a damp tea towel or clingfilm.
Leave for at least an hour until doubled in size.
When ready to use, tip out and knock it back with your fingers, to deflate it.

While the dough is rising make the tomato sauce
Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a pan and add 1 clove of crushed garlic
Fry for a minute
Add 150g passata and 1/2 teaspoon of sugar
Simmer for 5-7 minutes until thickened
Season to taste and then set aside to cool

Heat the oven to 230C
Place a pizza stone, granite tile or baking sheet in the oven and heat for 10-15 minutes
Roll out the dough as thinly as possible. Place onto lightly floured stone, tile or baking sheet
Spread with the tomato sauce
Decorate with the topping of your choice
Bake for 7-10 minutes

Tonight I made pizza for tea. I enjoy making it all from scratch, pizza dough, tomato sauce and then topping with whatever I have to hand. Tonight was olives and mozzarella. If you have never made pizza before it really is easier than you think and also much healthier than the shop bought ones or a takeaway.

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