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Pizza’s reputation as a high fat, unhealthy food is not based on the crust. Pizza dough is relatively low in fat and calories. When the dough is made from whole-wheat flour, you gain complex carbohydrates, fibre and essential nutrients.

Basics

One slice of whole-wheat dough from a 12-inch pizza has 136 calories, 25 grams of total carbohydrates and 2 grams of fat. The carbohydrates are almost entirely complex carbohydrates from whole-wheat flour. Some pizza dough recipes call for honey, but it is such a small amount that the sugar in once slice would only amount to 1 or 2 grams. One slice of whole-wheat dough also has 5 grams of protein.

Fibre

Pizza does not have a reputation as a source of fibre, but a slice of whole-wheat pizza dough has 4 grams. That represents 10 percent of the recommended daily intake of fibre for men and 15 percent for women.

Minerals

The whole-wheat flour in pizza dough is a source of iron and magnesium. One slice of plain dough provides 16 percent of the recommended daily intake of iron. Also, it helps maintain a steady heartbeat and regulate blood pressure. One slice of plain whole-wheat pizza dough delivers 12 percent of the recommended daily intake for magnesium.

B Vitamins

Whole-wheat pizza dough provides all of the B vitamins except for vitamin B-12. Most of the vitamins come from whole-wheat flour. Thiamine, riboflavin and niacin are all essential for the chemical processes that turn food into energy. Niacin also lowers cholesterol levels, according to the Linus Pauling Institute. One slice of whole-wheat pizza dough contains 20 percent of the recommended daily intake of thiamine, 12 percent of niacin and 6 percent of riboflavin. You will gain 12 percent of your daily requirement of vitamin B-6 and 7 percent of folate from a slice of dough.

Ingredients

For wheat pizza dough:

  • 3 cups whole-wheat flour (360 g)
  • 1 to 1.25 cups water or add as required
  • 1 ½ teaspoons instant yeast, or 2 teaspoons dry active yeast
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Some whole-wheat flour for dusting

Pizza toppings:

  • Pesto Sauce: Blend 2 cups fresh basil leaves (about 1 large bunch), 3 cloves garlic, 1/2 cup pine nuts, or walnuts, ½ cup olive oil
  • Buffalo cheese
  • Grilled aubergine
  • Colored bell peppers

Dough preparation:

Combine the water, yeast and sugar in a small bowl. Set aside for 5 minutes or until foamy. Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the yeast mixture and oil. Use a round-bladed knife in a cutting motion to mix until the mixture is combined. Use your hands to bring the dough together in the bowl.

Brush a bowl lightly with oil. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Place in the prepared bowl and turn to coat in oil. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draught-free place to rise for 30 minutes or until dough doubles in size.

Dust work surface with flour. Knead dough and form into a long cylinder. Divide into thirds. Use a rolling pin to roll each third into a 20cm disc, then add your toppings and bake.

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