I love pizza. I have always loved pizza. It is one of my top comfort foods, right up there with ice cream and sushi. I live very close to one of my favorite regional pizza chains (I’ve been their loyal customer since childhood) but over the past several years I’ve grown very fond of homemade pizza. I still love going out from time to time but let’s face it, homemade pizza is a lot less greasy. When I decided to cut back on grains this year, pizza clearly wasn’t something I was considering. Once I realized the stupidly obvious- that cutting back on grains would mean cutting back on one of my favorite meals, I knew I had to take action. Some things are sacred. What is the point of existence without being able to enjoy a hot cheesy slice of pizza?
Thus began my quest for the perfect grain-free pizza crust. I tried cauliflower crust; what a complete joke. It wouldn’t hold together so that night we had “pizza surprise.” I finally decided to try adapting my own pizza dough recipe using an assortment of ingredients from my go-to alternative flour company- Bob’s Red Mill.
After numerous experiments, I’ve come up with a pizza crust that I love. It’s flavorful, sturdy and really tasty. Is it as good as the classic chewy pizza crusts that use flour? No. As far as I’m concerned, it doesn’t need to be. I’m still going to have traditional pizza from time to time. But this crust is perfect for those in between times when I want to enjoy pizza without consuming grains. This recipe uses all of the ingredients I would normally use in the dough: yeast, extra virgin olive oil, egg and salt. In place of flour I use a combination of almond meal and arrowroot. As you can see from the above photo, it doesn’t look like normal dough when it rises. It has a texture more like thick cake batter and a slight graininess from the almond meal.
Once baked, the taste reminds me a bit of cornmeal crust. It’s thin and crunchy without being crumbly. Unlike regular pizza, this dough needs to be mostly baked before adding the toppings. And then you can add whatever toppings you like. Vegetables, sauce, cheese. I’m mostly a traditionalist. I love tomato sauce, good quality mozzarella and crushed red peppers.
- 2½ teaspoons active dry yeast
- ¼ cup warm water
- 2½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (plus more as needed)
- 1 egg
- 4 ounces (1 cup) almond meal
- 4¼ ounces (1 cup) arrowroot flour
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the active dry yeast and warm water. Allow the yeast to proof for 3-5 minutes, or until it's bubbly. Add the extra virgin olive oil and egg. Using the paddle attachment, mix on medium speed for 30 seconds.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond meal, arrowroot and salt. Add this dry mixture to the stand mixer and mix on low until the ingredients are starting to combine and then turn the speed up to medium-high. Mix for one minute. The dough will be thinner and stickier than typical pizza dough.
- Grease a medium 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. Press the dough into a thin round circle that's approximately 10-11 inches in diameter (note: do not do this step in advance 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.
- Add whatever pizza toppings you like to the crust and broil until the ingredients are properly cooked.
Ready for a giveaway? Bob’s Red Mill is kindly giving away the two specialty flours required to make this recipe along with a $50 gift card to use at their online store. To enter, use the Rafflecopter widget below. The contest will run through May 3rd. The winner will be contacted via email and have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is selected. Must be 18 years old to enter. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclaimer: I was paid to develop a recipe for Bob’s Red Mill. As always, all opinions are my own (and it is my opinion that you should make this pizza crust).