* Make a gourmet pizza at home by Paul Bailey


The crust
Use wholemeal Lebanese or pita breads as your base. Just spoon on tomato paste and toppings and cook them on a baking tray.

Make your own homemade dough with a mixture of plain and wholemeal flour. Try the following recipe:

Wholemeal Pizza Dough

Makes one 30cm pizza crust

Ingredients

  • ½ cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 7g (1 tbs) yeast
  • 1 cup wholemeal flour
  • ¾ cup plain flour

Instructions

  • Combine warm water, oil and salt in a small bowl and sprinkle in yeast. Stand for 5 minutes until foamy.
  • Combine both flours in a food processor. With machine running, add yeast mixture. After dough forms a ball, move it to a lightly floured surfance (such as the clean benchtop). Knead briefly until smooth and elastic.
  • Spray a large bowl with cooking oil spray; place dough in the bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm spot until it doubles in size. This will take about 1 hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 210°C. Knock back dough and roll into a 30cm circle. Spray a non-stick baking tray with cooking oil spray. Place dough on tray and top as desired. Bake until light brown and crunchy or around 15 to 20 minutes.

A few words about tomato sauce and cheese:

  • Try using a tomato based pasta sauce which is low in fat or a container of tomato paste.
  • Excessive cheese does not produce a good pizza, and it adds lots of kilojoules. A pizza without cheese can be delicious, or try dolloping with ricotta or some crumbled feta cheese. If you do opt for cheese, buy a good-quality low-fat cheese and use it sparingly. You’ll only need about 60g of grated cheese.

Nine ideas for pizza toppings

  1. Capsicum, Goats Cheese and Spinach Pizza
    Top pizza base with baby spinach leaves. Place capsicum strips on top of the leaves, and dollop with goats cheese.
  2. Zucchini and Ham Pizza
    Cover crust thinly with pizza base sauce. Grate large zucchini; squeeze out all moisture. Toss with finely diced, low-fat ham; sprinkle on base. Top with grated parmesan cheese, then bake.
  3. Prawn and Salsa Pizza
    Spread a thin layer of fat-free tomato salsa over the base. Cover with cooked, peeled prawns. Sprinkle grated low-fat cheese on top. Dot with fat-free sour cream after baking.
  4. Sweet Potato, Rocket and Feta Pizza
    Cover crust thinly with pizza base sauce. Top with roasted sweet potato. Bake until golden, add rocket leaves and crumbled feta.
  5. Easy Vegie Pizza
    Cover crust with chopped, frozen mixed vegetables (thawed). Bake. Sprinkle with balsamic vinegar and, if desired, extra-virgin olive oil before serving.
  6. BBQ Chicken Pizza
    Cover crust with a thin layer of BBQ sauce. Sprinkle sliced BBQ chicken breast, chopped red onion, coriander and grated mozzarella over top before baking.
  7. Chicken Fajita Pizza
    Top crust with thinly sliced onion and capsicum. Sprinkle canned, chopped green chillies and sliced BBQ chicken breast over pizza before baking.
  8. Hawaiian Pizza
    Place drained pineapple rings on crust. Sprinkle with chopped lean bacon, thinly sliced shallots and low-fat grated cheese before baking.
  9. Smoked Salmon Pizza
    Cover crust with thinly sliced tomatoes. Add slices of smoked salmon and chopped red capsicum. When golden, top with low-fat ricotta cheese.

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