Tuesday, November 13, 2012

It's Pizza Night (Almond/Flax/Parmesan Herb Pizza Crust)

This evening I was in the mood for pizza.  Usually I make my grain free pizza crust for myself and a separate regular wheat crust for hubby (he is not wheat/grain free).  Tonight I decided there was no reason to continue making two different kinds of crusts unless he really did not like my crust after trying it.  We both prefer different toppings so I made a double batch of my Almond Flax Pizza Crust that made a larger cookie sheet sized pizza with "his and hers" halves.  He had his Kalamata olives, artichokes and turkey pepperoni on his half and I had mushrooms, onions and red and yellow peppers on mine.  It turned out great...but the best part of all is he looked at me and said "this is really good" -- and he picked it up and ate it just like he usually does his regular wheat riddled crust.  So, effective immediately, I don't have to make 2 different kinds of crusts every time we have pizza now!  He asked how long it took to make the crust and I told him about 5 minutes to mix the ingredients in a bowl and another few minutes to spread it out in the pan with a rubber spatula before baking it.  Most of the cooking is done before putting the toppings on and during the 20 minutes or so it takes to bake the crust, I precook any raw toppings since it only goes back into the oven for 5 to 10 minutes after you place the toppings on top.

While I have made a cauliflower crust before (and posted it)...it was so tedious to make and you definitely needed a fork and knife -- there was NO picking that pizza up (not in my lifetime, anyway).  I also have made an herbed flax Parmesan crust that I like a lot too...but when one of my readers asked me to make a crust that wasn't all flax,  I tried out a combination of almond flour, golden flax meal, Parmesan cheese and herbs and spices and created my "Almond/Flax/Parmesan Herb Pizza Crust".  It has turned out to be my "new favorite" pizza crust!  Now that I know hubby likes it too, this will definitely become my go to crust for both of us.  I am going to include the recipe for the larger pizza crust below (which is essentially a double batch of the recipe that normally makes a thin crust 10" round pizza).  This doubled crust recipe will make a thin crust cookie sheet sized rectangular pizza.  The trick to handling this crust easily is that I use non-stick foil sprayed well with olive oil and then I plop the dough ball in the center of the pan and using a rubber spatula (also sprayed with olive oil), I begin pressing it out from the center towards the edges until it is uniform thickness and the shape that I want it.  Your dough will be a bit sticky, but it should be sort of firm, not wet and mushy.  If you need to thicken it a bit more, add a little more finely grated Parmesan cheese until the dough can be pressed out nicely into the pan.  I reduced the amount of water by a few teaspoons when I doubled this recipe.  Below are a few pictures as well as the recipe for the larger pizza crust (you could also make 2 separate 10" round pizza crusts instead of the larger crust if you preferred).  Enjoy!

My half
His half

Almond/Flax/Parmesan Herb Pizza Crust
Makes 2 10-inch round pizzas OR 1 large rectangular cookie sheet sized pizza 


Dry Ingredients
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup golden flax seed meal (organic golden flax has a milder taste than brown)
1-1/3 teaspoons baking powder (aluminum free)
2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder 
Couple dashes cayenne pepper, optional
1/4 teaspoon sea salt, optional
Few grinds of freshly ground black pepper
8 - 10 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, finely grated (powdered)

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

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a medium bowl, 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 rectangular cookie sheet (or pizza pan) on greased parchment paper (I use Reynolds non-stick foil, lightly brushed or sprayed with olive oil.  Place ball of dough in the center of the pan and begin pressing the dough outward with a lightly oiled rubber spatula (so it doesn't stick).  Bake for about 20 minutes or until cooked through and dry/lightly crisp feeling to the touch (check the crust 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).  

***NoteThe amount of water in the recipe above has been reduced when I doubled the original recipe (I found that it worked better for spreading the dough over a larger surface area). 



Anonymous said...

I'm curious what your thoughts are on using a pizza stone for thi?
I have enjoyed your recipes. Thank you

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

I am not really sure about that Cathy -- the "dough" is not like regular pizza dough and I oil my pan well before "spreading it out". If you decided to try it, why not just do a very small little piece (like the size of a big cookie) and see how it turns out before you possibly mess up your pizza stone and your entire pizza (just in case it doesn't work)? Let me know how it turns out if you decide to try that -- it may just surprise me and work! :-)

Vivian said...

I like the idea of trying this with a pizza stone. Perhaps rolling the dough between two pieces of greased parchment paper and putting that on the pre-heated stone to bake would give a good result and still protect the stone?

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Vivian -- that just might work! Either way, I would not spread this dough directly on my pizza stone until I did a small "test sample" first -- otherwise you could end up with a big mess on your hands! The parchment paper might just work though! Let me know if you try it. I would love to be able to use my pizza stone -- when I used to make regular pizza dough -- I always dusted my stone with cornmeal to keep it from sticking...I can't do that though with all the carbs in it.

Unknown said...

My husband and I cooked your cauliflower crust pizza last night. We give you HUGH thumbs up.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Glad you both enjoyed it Kathleen! If you want to make one you can actually pick up and eat, this one is a good one to try too (Almond/Flax/Parmesan Herb Pizza Crust). :-)

Amanda Hicks said...

I used a pizza stone for this, but I kept the dough on the parchment paper on the pizza stone during the 20 minute pre-cook. After that 20 minutes, I slid the dough off the parchment paper, directly on to the pizza stone, added my toppings, and finished the 5-10 minute back from there. It worked GREAT!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

I will have to try that Amanda -- never thought of putting it on the stone with the parchment paper first! Great idea! :-)

Michelle said...

I cooked this in the oven. I made it for myself so I cut all ingreds. in half. Made a spinach pizza. In a 10 inch round. It came out Soo good. Of course the 1st time is always tricky. I think I didn't spread it enough so it came out as a thicker crust. I would add more vegs next time...which is tomorrow. Now I have a pound of mozzarella cheese and a big bag of spinach. So maybe.... pizza week?

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

LOL Michelle -- pizza week sounds like a great idea to me!!! I will probably make pizza some time this week too! I like to spread mine out thin so it is a thin crust. After you make it the first time, you can experiment with how thin/thick you like it, etc. The biggest tip I have is to try and make sure your toppings aren't wet or soggy so your crust stays firm. Pizza week -- hmmm, I may have to try that too some day! :-)

Anonymous said...

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! This was the best thing ever!Absolutely loved it!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Dear Anonymous -- I wish you could see how big the smile on my face is right now....I am SO glad you enjoyed the pizza crust -- once I mastered a pizza crust that I liked -- it was the moment I knew that everything was going to be okay -- I knew that I was going to be able to do this (Wheat Belly) -- as silly as it sounds -- it made all the difference in the world to be able to have something as simple as pizza (and actually LIKE it). :-)

Anonymous said...

i tried this on a greased cookie sheet and was shocked at how edible it turned out!

it was surprisingly good. so much better than the egg-based crust. This creates a real pizza - slices you can pick up....instead of a "pizza casserole" that you scoop up with a spoon.

Lessons learned for next time I make this - spread it THIN THIN. I need to figure out how to make this recipe fill up an entire cookie sheet. Because the recipe is so dense, if the crust is too thick it's just "too heavy" to eat. Maybe I'll try a greased rolling pin(?)

Second is to cook it a bit longer.

The parts that were thin and "crunchy" were really good. I might make this again...cook it longer and break it up into "crackers"

Anyhow, we actually liked this crust as much as a typical wheat-based crust.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Anonymous! So glad you enjoyed it. I always make my crust thin -- about 1/4" thick. It's the crispiest that way, which I prefer. The easiest way I have found to spread it thin without making a mess is to use parchment paper (I buy it in rolls like foil/saran from Costco usually). I lightly spray one side of the parchment with olive oil and place it oil side down on the dough and use any object with a flat edge -- a small box or bottle, etc. and swipe the dough the direction you want it to spread on your pan. I have used a double batch of dough and done it on a large cookie sheet/tray. It turns out perfect and evenly thin and you carefully peel the top of the parchment paper off the top and bake it. So glad you liked the crust! :-)