It is such an uphill task competing with the famous neighbourhood pizza delivery guy. He has invaded every nook and cranny of our city, streets, malls, business areas with his presence. He sends in mailers with attractive discounts, weird Wednesday offers (to get over the mid week slump), gigantic weekend deals and all the gimmicky stuff you can think of. So, how is a stay-at-home mom supposed to fight with this omnipresent monster who has made a fan out of son, father and herself (I am no saint), strictly in that order. Reasoning with the boys to eat healthy during the cricket season is no mean task. The horrors of trans fat, bleached flour, MSG and all the preservatives that come as additional toppings to the extra cheese, are lost in the taste.
So out of sheer desperation and the need to fight the friendly neighbourhood pizza guy, I have twisted the pizza (literally) into a pinwheel and given it a healthier, super tasty look and taste.
These pinwheels are 100% homemade except for the cheese (so make it 85% homemade). The bread is super tasty, seasoned with herbs, part healthy, with wheat flour and olive oil. The sauce is homemade with real tomatoes, onions and herbs and no MSG!! You can play around with the cheese and add goat’s cheese or cottage cheese instead of pizza cheese or mozzarella. The topping options are endless. The bread is an adaptation of a focaccia recipe I followed from the Bread Bible by Christine Ingram and Jeannie Shapter. Half of the bread I turned into a Focaccia and the other half into Pizza Pinwheels. The idea for the pinwheels is not mine entirely and comes from a Youtube video I saw a few months back.
After reading the recipe some might argue- that’s too much effort for a mere pizza! Yes it is, but the sauce can be pre made in large quantities and only the bread needs to be made fresh. The effort is worth the oohs and aahs and then we all know, that nothing good and wholesome comes out of a cardboard box and gets delivered in half an hour! Hah!
Makes 20- 25
200 garms whole wheat flour
300 grams all purpose flour
2 tsp salt
2 teaspoons dried yeast
325-300 ml lukewarm water
2 teaspoons salt
45 ml/ 3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon each thyme and rosemary finely chopped
- Dissolve the yeast in the water ( use about 325 ml leaving the rest for later if you require)and set aside for 5 -10 minutes until it starts to bubble on the surface. Add in the oil.
- Sift the flours and salt together in a large bowl. Make a well in the centra and add in the yeast mixture. Mix to form a soft dough.
- Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes until soft and elastic. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a lightly oiled cling wrap and leave to rise in a warm place for 1-1 ½ hours or until doubled in bulk.
- Once risen turn out the dough onto a floured surface, knock out the air and knead in the herbs.
3 large ripe tomatoes
1 medium sized onion
4-5 cloves garlic
Fistful of fresh basil leaves (broken into rough pieces or cut fine)
1 teaspoon red chilli flakes
3 tablespoons ketchup
½ teaspoon sugar
Salt to taste
½ teaspoon pepper
- Cut the tomatoes, onions and garlic into rough pieces. Put them in a pot and pour over water to just about cover (submerge ) them. Boil on medium heat until the veges have softened and the water has almost dried out. It’s alright if there is some water left behind.
- With a hand blender, blend the mix to a smooth mixture and return to the pot. Add in the other ingredients and boil on medium –low heat until the sauce is thick. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
8-9 green/black Olives (chopped)
3-4 cloves garlis finely chopped
1 onion thinely sliced and sautéed in olive oil
2-3 slices of smoked ham
Mozarella cheese/ Pizza cheese
- Divide the dough into 2 parts.
- On a floured surface stretch out the dough into a rectangle about 11x 6 inches and 3 mm thick. It doesn’t need to be perfect or evenly thick. The longer side of the rectangle should be towards you.
- Spread 3-4 tablespoons of sauce on the surface of the dough, leaving a ½ inch margin on the top and bottom (broad) side. Use the sauce sparingly or it may leak out.
- Spread the toppings, grate the cheese.
- Start rolling the long side of the rectangle (closest to you), away from you to form a long tube, like a swiss roll.
- With a floured knife gently cut the roll into 11-12 slices (about 1 inch thick). Hold the roll and cut slowly with a sawing (back and forth) motion. Do not panic if the dough breaks open and the filling spills out. Carefully seal it and put it in the baking tray. The pinwheels will stick together on baking.
- Gently lift each piece and arrange it in an 8×8 inch well oiled tin. Leave half an inch gap between the pinwheels. Grate a tablespoon or 2 of cheese on top and cover with a cloth and leave to rise in a warm place. ½ hour to 45 mins.
- Meanwhile preheat oven to 200oC. Bake for 25-28 minutes until golden brown. Remove from tin and cool on wire rack. They are best eaten warm but stay well in the refrigerator, tightly wrapped in cling film for 4-5 days.
Notes: The other half of the dough was used to make a Focaccia.