When your kids can have pizza for all meals (yeah, I mean it!) and you don’t want them eating store bought Maida/all purpose flour all the time, what do you do?
You make this whole wheat Aata pizza at home, from scratch! Loaded with vegetables of different colours (read more nutrition) and a bare smattering of cheese, these home-made pizzas are healthy and delicious.
My children no longer order from Domino’s and Pizza Hut now. And I feel no guilt whatsoever as I know all they are eating is a good, healthy and hearty meal. I have adapted Peter Reinhart’s Country Pizza recipe to make it wholegrain and follow his method of baking to the T. I do not own a Pizza stone, so I bake on my cast iron skillet and it works beautifully. The pizza puffs up nicely making the base light and fluffy. You can use any heavy cast iron dish or even the dosa tawa!
For the Pizza Sauce
I keep it simple with 1 kilo of blanched tomatoes chopped fine and cooked in a tbsp of oil. I season it with salt, pepper,sugar and dry pizza spice mix and throw in some fresh basil leaves towards the end.
For the Pizza Dough
(This recipe makes 5-6 regular sized pizzas)
650 grams aata/ flour (about 5 cups) Use all whole wheat or 4 ½ cups aata/ whole wheat and ½ cup maida/all purpose
1 ½ tsp salt
1 tsp instant yeast (Active dry won’t do unless you proof and add it)
2 tbsp sugar or honey
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
482 grams water
Add all the dry ingredients to a large bowl and stir well to mix.
Now add all the wet ingredients and mix well with a wooden spoon till the mixture is well hydrated. You may need more water depending on the type of flour you are using, but add very slowly- spoon by spoon. Knead for just a couple of minutes till the dough comes together.
Cover and let rest for ten minutes.
Spread out a silicon mat or oil the surface. Move the dough to the mat and flatten out. Fold the dough on to itself three times. Then shape into a ball and let rest for five minutes. This is called the ‘Stretch and Fold’ method.
Perform 3 more Stretches and Folds after every five minutes and move the dough to a large, slightly oiled bowl, cover it and put it in the refrigerator.
Let rest overnight and your pizza dough is ready to bake with anytime!
The dough keeps well for up to five days in the fridge.
(Click on individual pictures to get a larger view )
To bake the pizza pre-heat the oven at 250C for 20 minutes with the slightly oiled skillet inside it (use a pizza stone, if you own one)
I don’t have a pizza peel so I use my wooden chopping board to slide the pizza in. Flour it well so that the pizza does not stick to the chopping board.
Take a handful of dough and flatten it out with your hands or the rolling pin.
Move it to the floured chopping board. Spread the sauce. Top with some fresh basil leaves or dry pizza spice mix. Layer the vegetables of choice. I used mushrooms, broccoli, baby corn and yellow peppers. Season with salt, pepper and some pizza spice mix.
Top lightly with little grated mozzarella cheese. I like to break chunks of the cheese and drop them randomly over the pizza.
Bake for 15-20 minutes till the base is done and cheese has melted.
Serve hot and hear them singing praises 😛