Earlier this year I created a grain-free paleo pizza crust for the blog and it was surprisingly successful, considering the fact that I’m not known for being a gluten-free/paleo blogger. Even though I don’t follow any specific diet, we make a real effort at home to limit refined sugars and carbohydrates. However, Jeff and I are both completely nuts for pizza. It’s a weakness. This pizza crust is a nice way to indulge periodically without all the guilt.
I make pizza variations with this crust all the time and today I’m sharing one of those with you. It’s the same exact crust except that I use tapioca flour instead of arrowroot (both are sold by Bob’s Red Mill and can be found at most grocery stores). These starches can be used interchangeably in the recipe so I just use whichever one I happen to have on hand. The pizza crust has a crunchy texture and a nutty flavor that almost reminds me of cornmeal.
The four cheeses I use are ricotta (either whole or part skim), goat, mozzarella and parmesan. For best results, buy good quality cheese. Nothing shredded, pre-grated or pre-crumbled. You want to maximize and savor each of these unique flavors. I like to mix roasted garlic with the ricotta. It adds a sweet and savory depth that I love, but it can be omitted if you’re not a fan of garlic in general. You might also be able to find pre-roasted garlic to save time.
Finally, I love making single serving pizzas for each of us so that’s what I’ve done with this recipe. I divide the dough and topping ingredients in half to make 2 smaller pizzas. If you prefer, you can make one large pizza following the exact same instructions. Just don’t divide the dough and toppings.
- 2½ teaspoons active dry yeast
- ¼ cup warm water
- 2½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (plus more as needed)
- 1 large egg
- 4 ounces (1 cup) almond meal (I used Bob's Red Mill)
- 4¼ ounces (1 cup) tapioca flour (I used Bob's Red Mill)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 head garlic
- 1 cup whole or part skim ricotta cheese
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon fresh oregano (or ¼ teaspoon dried)
- ½ teaspoon fresh basil (or ¼ teaspoon dried)
- ½ cup goat cheese
- ½ cup fresh mozzarella cheese
- fresh grated parmesan cheese
- fresh ground black pepper
- Whisk the yeast and warm water together in the bowl of a stand mixer. Allow the mixture to rest for 3-5 minutes (it should bubble up). Add the olive oil and egg. Using the paddle attachment, mix for 30 seconds on medium speed.
- In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the almond meal, tapioca and salt. Add this mixture to the stand mixer and mix on low speed until the ingredients just are just combined. Turn the speed up to medium-high and mix for one minute. The dough will be more thin and sticky than regular dough.
- Grease a medium sized bowl with olive oil. Using a spatula, scrape out the dough and move it to the oiled bowl. Cover the bowl with a towel and place it in the microwave (or oven, somewhere it can sit undisturbed). Boil some water and pour it into a bowl. Carefully place the bowl into the microwave to create a warm, steamy environment. Allow the dough to rise for 90-100 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F and place a pizza stone in the oven. Once the oven is at temperature, grease a large sheet of parchment paper with olive oil. Divide the dough in half (note: the dough can also be left whole for one large pizza or divided into 4 pieces for mini pizzas). Press the first half into a thin round circle that's approximately 5 inches in diameter. Do not do this step before the oven is preheated or the next step might not work.
- Using oven mitts, remove the pizza stone from the oven. Swiftly flip the parchment paper over so that the dough transfers onto the pizza stone. Place the stone back in the oven and bake the crust for 6 minutes, or until it's slightly browning on the edges and firm on top.
- Repeat this process with the remaining dough.
- Turn the oven down to 400 degrees F. Remove most of the outer layers of skin from the garlic. Carefully slice off the top of the head so that the cloves are exposed. Place the head in a ramekin, cut side up, and drizzle with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Cover with foil and place in the oven. Roast for 30 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool for several minutes. Once the head is cool enough to be handled, squeeze the roasted cloves out of the skin and mash into a paste.
- In a small bowl, combine the roasted garlic paste, ricotta cheese, salt, oregano and basil. Spread half of the mixture onto each pizza crust, leaving space around the end of the crust for handling. For a lighter topping, do not use all of the ricotta mixture (it’s great on salads).
- Crumble the goat cheese evenly over both pizzas. Rip the mozzarella into small pieces and distribute evenly on both pizzas. Grate plenty of fresh parmesan cheese on top and then finish with a few twists of fresh ground black pepper.
- Place each pizza under the broiler until the cheese has melted and the edges of the crust are golden (4-6 minutes). Do not walk away while the broiler is on!
- Serve immediately.
Crust inspired by Zen Belly Catering
Disclaimer: I was paid to develop a recipe for Bob’s Red Mill. As always, all opinions are my own.