Friday, October 26, 2012

Pizza Crust - Wheat/Grain Free

This evening I decided to test out a modified pizza crust at the request of one of my readers.  She asked me if I had ever used almond flour to make a pizza crust before and I told her I had not.  I've made a cauliflower pizza crust that was good but really tedious and not very practical for me to make on a work night as well as a Flax/Herb/Parmesan pizza crust that I created.  My favorite is the one with flax and its the one I make all the time; it's quick and easy and my favorite so far.  I told my follower that I would test one out this weekend using almond here goes my first testI essentially used my Flax/Herb/Parmesan crust that I bumped up the herbs and seasonings for on the dough I made my calzones with last week.  

So tonight, I am using that basic calzone dough I made last week but substituting 1/2 almond flour for 1/2 of the flax in the recipe.  That means it uses 1/4 cup almond flour and 1/4 cup flax instead of all flax.  Since almond flour tends to burn easier, I also lowered the baking temperature to 375 degrees F.  For the record, it came out awesome!  For those of you that may be wondering, this was a crust you could pick up and eat with your hands easily which is exactly what I did.  I only needed my fork to pick up the toppings that fell off onto my plate.  The dough was a little more sticky than the plain flax dough and not as springy when I was spreading it out on the pan -- if yours is too moist, add another tablespoon or so of grated cheese to dry it up a bit.  Well, now I have a dilemma -- I like this crust as much, if not a little more than the plain flax I usually make -- but that isn't such a bad problem to have now, is it?  :-)  I snapped a few photos below for you to see as well as my recipe. This one is for you, Nora!!!  Enjoy!  

Almond/Flax/Parmesan Herb Pizza Crust
Makes 1 10-inch round pizza


Dry Ingredients
1/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup golden flax seed meal (organic golden flax has a milder taste than brown)
2/3 teaspoon baking powder (aluminum free)
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder 
Dash cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste (decrease salt if using saltier cheeses and toppings)
Few grinds of freshly ground black pepper
4 - 5 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, finely grated

Wet Ingredients
1 egg (or 1/4 cup egg substitute such as Egg Beaters)
1 tablespoon olive oil (a little more, if desired)
1 to 2 tablespoons water  (start by adding 1 tablespoon)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Mix dry ingredients together; add wet ingredients and mix well.

Let the dough sit for about 5 minutes to thicken. Spread dough on a lightly oiled large round pizza pan or on a cookie sheet with greased parchment paper (I used Reynolds non-stick foil, lightly brushed with olive oil and pressed the dough out with a rubber spatula so it wouldn't stick).  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through (check it after 15 minutes and take out if it looks and feels done).  Add sauce, cheese, pre-cooked toppings and place back into the oven for 5-10 minutes to melt the cheese.  If desired, run under the broiler for a few minutes to lightly brown the toppings and make the cheese bubbly (be careful not to burn it).

Here is the crust fresh out of the oven


puppetcook said...

Dear Gorumet Girl, you may want to sit down because I am going to suggest something radical. Comfortable? Good.

Here's the deal, most GF and grain free breads are disappointingly dense, and once you give up wheat you don't want to eat as much so getting all the way through a sandwich can be a task. I think part of the problem is that we keep trying to make conventional loaves in imitation of the yeast breads of yesteryear. This must be just habit on our parts, because the results are so often brick-like and not as palateable as we'd hoped.
(Why I have seen very few examples of grain-free yeast breads is a mystery to me, but there is probably a rational explanation of this somewhere. I am not against yeast, I am against wheat primarily.)
Anyways, I've tried your flaxseed crust and this thin crispy crust on another fine blog - - and now enjoy the world of pizza again. But your flaxseed crust, which you said rightly reminds you of Boboli storebought, I think would be an excellent candidate for sandwich bread conversion. I propose to spread this out and bake it to desired done-ness, then roller-cut it into sandwich-sized squares and go to town.
What I am saying is that if we abandon the loaf pan and go the flatbread route, we're actually working with the poperties of our ingredients and not against them. It is easier for the bread to rise laid out flat because it is not also pushing against the four sides of the pan as it pushes up. I hypothesize that this is the reason GF loaves are so dense. The bread is pushing against itself.
But in the flatbread scenario, the bread is free to rise straight up without the interference of the pan or the pressure of the dough mass itself. Which as you know is substantial and heavy.
So this is my theory, and I hope it inspires you like you've been inspiring us. I intend to try it later next week when I have some free time and will report back. I am pretty sure that this is a viable path for more acceptable bread. I don't care if it looks like bread or cuts like bread, I just want it to FEEL like bread, and hold together for sandwiches, burgers and dogs.
So consider this new (yet so old as to be biblical) approach to bread as you go forward. And THANK YOU for the awesome blog.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Thanks so much puppetcook! I agree with you completely -- I may just give that a try too -- by baking the flaxseed pizza crust in a rectanglar shape and cutting it into sandwich size squares for bread. It does have more of the consistency of bread. If you try it before I do, please let me know how it turns out and what you think! If it is good, the recipe could easily be increased to the size of a full cookie sheet and cut into squares. Thanks for your kind comments and I'm glad you are enjoying my blog! :-)

Kare said...

Gourmet Girl,

Thank you! I tried this recipe as hamburger buns - they were really really could totally hold them in your hands - although the buns did crumble a bit...

I took a few pics

Thanks again for this wonderful adaptation!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Kare -- Thanks -- so glad you liked it -- I checked out your blog and saw that you had made the pizza too. So glad you enjoyed it! Your pictures looked yummy! ;-)

Kare said...

Ah, thanks..

Your blog has been very inspirational - I love the way you write about the food you prepare. I've always liked to prepare food, but have never felt great at it. Your beautiful recipes have given me a lot of confidence!

Wheat free living has been an eye-opener on so many levels.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Thanks so much Kare! :-)

Anonymous said...

Lovved this turned out great. Because I do not eat eggs I used 1tbsp of chia seeds mixed with 1/4 c water to make an egg substitute and turned out great. I too will use this as a replacement bread for sandwiches.

Thanks so much I am so excited. I will prob try to spread this as thin as possible and try to make a cracker consistency and cook longer for my kids since I stopped buying store bought for them

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Thanks! I am so glad you enjoyed it and I bet it will make great crackers too -- hope your kids enjoy them! :-)

Anonymous said...

choThank you for this recipe. We enjoyed it! I feel indebted to you and every one else who is willing to jump in there and not only create these "new recipes"
but to also share them with others. My husband just told me to tell you It was GOOD. Really Good.
So you go girl! We are watching, waiting and thankful.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Thanks so much "anonymous" -- I am so happy you enjoyed the pizza crust and you are more than welcome. I am happy to share my successes (and occasionally, my failures) so others can enjoy them too or learn from my mistakes. I am thrilled that your husband enjoyed the pizza -- tell him thank you for me. Knowing that nice people like you are enjoying it makes it all worthwhile! Thanks so much for the kind words! :-)

Anonymous said...

Tried this recipe tonight and loved it. Thanks for sharing your love for cooking. It has helped me stay wheat free and happy!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Thanks so much Anonymous! I'm so glad you enjoyed it, and it is my pleasure sharing recipes for others to enjoy too! :-)

Anonymous said...

I made this last night; very tasty!! Will definitely make it again as both a sandwich bread and pizza crust. I am watching my carb intake due my sugar levels being a little wacky; have always loved flax seed and now I am entering the world of almond flour...who knew there were so many awesome recipes out there that are healthy, tasty and low-carb?? Thanks for the recipe!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Thanks, Anonymous! So glad you liked it. I bet it would be delicious as a sandwich bread too. You could omit the herbs if you wanted a more plain bread (like for peanut butter, etc.). I hope this helps you with your blood sugars -- I bet it will! Thanks for letting me know you enjoyed it! :-)

SJH said...

I'm curious -- are you adding cheese to this for flavor or to help hold it together?

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi SJH -- both for flavor and as part of the binder. Hope that helps! :-)

Anonymous said...

I made this tonight for dinner. Amazing! Thank you :)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Thanks so much! I am so happy you enjoyed it -- thanks for letting me know! :-)

Stephanie R. said...

Have you tried to freeze the crust after the first baking and before you put your toppings on?

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi there "Unknown"! No, I have not tried freezing it before adding toppings. I have always wanted to do that though. I need to make an extra one next time I make pizza so I can test how it does to pull it back out of the freezer and see how well it thaws and reheats/cooks. If you try it, let me know. Wow, that would be such a timesaver, too if it works well -- you could make it in advance and it would almost be as convenient as buying a Boboli crust! :-)

hlc said...

Thanks so much for this great recipe! The one thing my husband has been missing since we went wheat/grain free is pizza. Tried this tonight and doubled it to make it more of a pizza shop size. Topped with turkey italian sausge, onions, jalapenos and mushrooms plus mozzarella. We loved it!

Sara said...

Love this recipe and I've come back to it so many times! I'm on the 21DSD now and here I am again, printing off your recipe and making my grocery list. Just wanted to say thank you!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Thanks so much Sara! I am so happy you are enjoying the pizza crust and good luck on your 21DSD! :-)

Laura said...

Love your recipes, but I have a question. Is there anyway to make a grain-free bread WITH yeast? I ask this because the flavor of yeast is something that I at least LOVE and I miss that in the GF breads. Hope you can help!! Thanks, Laura

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Laura,

While I have never tried adding yeast to grain free bread, if you are simply adding it for flavor, it wouldn't hurt to try. For example, if I were going to add it to this particular pizza crust recipe, the first time I might just add 1/2 packet of yeast into the dough as you are mixing it together. If you try it, let me know what you think. I may experiment a bit with it in the future. :-)