While we’re still on braai pies, why not experiment with even more with a braai pizza? This recipe can be made as healthy as you’d like. Skimp on the cheese and add extra flavour using spices and herbs to lower the kilojoule amount. You can make this even healthier by subbing white flour for something denser and more nutritious, like pea or chickpea flour. Plus, baking the dough on the braai comes close to that wood-fired oven effect, something a domestic oven will never achieve.
Braai pizza: what you need
- 1 packet instant yeast
- 2½-3½ cups stone-ground white bread flour (like Eureka Mills)
- 1 cup lukewarm water
- Pinch sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- ¼ cup maize meal
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
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For the topping
- 400g tin whole tomatoes
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 onions, sliced
- 1 bag baby spinach leaves
- Half a lemon
- 200g tub feta
- Black pepper
- Extra-virgin olive oil
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- In a large bowl, mix the yeast and sugar into the warm water and leave for 5 minutes. Stir in the oil. Add the maize meal, then stir in the flour. Tip the dough onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes. Wipe another large bowl with olive oil, add dough, cover and leave in a warm place to rise until it’s doubled in size (1-2 hours). Punch down the dough and leave it to rise for another 40 mins. Divide the dough into four balls and leave to rise for 45 minutes.
- While the dough is rising, prepare the topping: process the tomato in a food processor or with a hand-held blender until more or less smooth.
- Sauté the onion in the butter and olive oil (covered) over very low heat until golden and sweet (about 40 mins). Remove onions, add a little olive oil and cook spinach, tossing it around constantly until it’s bright green and wilted. Add a spritz of lemon juice, then chop finely.
- Prepare the coals but don’t separate them out to the sides; once the coals are at a relatively high heat, they’re ready. Turn a baking sheet upside down and brush with olive oil.
- On a floured board, roll out one of the balls of dough into a five-millimetre-thick circle. Place on the baking sheet and brush with oil. Slide the pizza base (off the baking sheet) onto the grid and cook for about a minute. It should be cooked underneath and when it begins to resemble a giant poppadom. Slide back onto the baking sheet and cook the side facing up, then repeat with the other rounds of dough. Let the coals die down until considerably cooler – around medium heat.
- Add the topping to the cooked side of the pizza: spread with a thin smear of tomato, add spinach and onions, crumble over feta and grind over pepper.
- Slide back onto the grid. Close the dome and cook for another 1 to 3 minutes. It’s ready when the base is crisp (but not burnt) and the cheese is just melting. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and serve immediately. Repeat with the other bases.
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