I’ve done extremely well on my new diet. Even with the few missteps, things have gone very well so far – and I’ve been fairly satisfied with the food.
The one thing I’ve missed the most, however, is pizza.
Pizza is a staple in my household. It’s not unusual to have different varieties four times a week. I love cooking pizza, experimenting with different combinations and flavors to create the perfect taste on a thin, crispy crust.
Sometimes, I would cheat on the crust. I’d buy Tony’s cheese pizzas on sale, then cover them in real cheese and toppings. It was delish!
Well, on the new diet, I pretty well new I’d have to give up these quick “crusts.” I have to eliminate yeast, gluten, wheat and cow dairy. Trying to find anything prepackaged that meets these specifications is impossible.
I’ve tried Bob’s Red Mill Pizza Crust – minus the yeast packet. They weren’t bad, but didn’t give me the crispy crust I love.
I tried a few recipes from various websites. One included brown rice flour. That crust turned out a little too gritty – and it didn’t hold together well at all. I don’t have almond meal, so I substituted rice flour. Not a good idea. Brown rice flour especially is just different – drier and grittier – and doesn’t work as a substitute in recipes.
I’m a great cook, but a mediocre baker. I have a few baked goods I make extremely well, but experimenting with flours and additives isn’t my thing. Moving into gluten-free, wheat-free, yeast-free territory makes it even more difficult.
Well today, I got a hankering for pizza. If I didn’t find a recipe, I was going to throw something together – taste be damned. I decided to go about my search a little different this time, hoping for better results. I tried searching for biscuit pizza crust.
Though I adore thin and crispy crusts, I’ve used drop biscuit recipes in the past for pizza crusts when I wanted something a little thicker. I wondered how different the recipes would be from my favorite drop biscuit recipes.
After combing through scores of recipes, I came across a really simple one from Yammie’s Noshery. It was easy to make it gluten free, and doesn’t include yeast.
So I put on the first disc of the fourth season of Covert Affairs, coated my hands with flour and got down to business.
A few notes:
I changed this recipe to fit my diet and tastes. Well, I can’t help myself. I never make a recipe exactly the same way it’s written. Here are some changes I made to the Yammie’s recipe:
- Instead of regular buttermilk, I used lemon and unsweetened vanilla almond milk.
- For flour, I used Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Baking Flour.
- I also added Xantham Gum, recommended by Bob’s Red Mill to help hold the flour together.
- I added my own blend of spices. Fresh is always better.
- I baked the crust a bit before adding the toppings. For whatever reason if I don’t bake it for at least five minutes before I put the toppings on, the crust doesn’t seem to get done.
- Next time, I might add a touch of sugar. Though sugar is quite restricted on my diet, I think it would balance out the spices in this recipe. I will also add a little cornmeal to the bottom of the crust.
- I didn’t roll out the recipe. I just kneaded the dough a bit, then put it on a greased pizza pan. I pushed it to the edges with my fingers and knuckles, adding some olive oil on top to keep the dough from sticking too badly to my fingers.
- 2 cups Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Baking Flour
- 1 teaspoon Xantham Gum
- 1 teaspoon iodized sea salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary
- 1 teaspoon fresh Greek oregano
- Several fresh cilantro leaves
- 4 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 4 tablespoons butter or vegan butter alternative
- 3/4 cup of almond buttermilk (unsweetened vanilla almond milk with a dash of fresh lemon juice)
- Mix together all dry ingredients.
- Chop fine and add the fresh rosemary, oregano and cilantro.
- Chop the butter into tiny blocks.
- Cut butter into dry ingredients. It will be a bit bumpy.
- Add the almond buttermilk. Stir until you get a stiff mixture. If you need it, add a touch more buttermilk or water so the dough holds together – but be careful not to make it too wet.
- Kneed the dough slightly.
- Put onto a pizza pan and spread it out to the edges.
- Coat with a little olive oil.
- Place in a 400 degree oven and bake 5-10 minutes, or until the crust is just starting to get dry on top.
- Remove the pizza and add toppings.
- Place back in oven until toppings are heated through and cheese is nicely melted. You might want to heat up the toppings in a skillet first, so you can focus on the cheese. Sometimes the cheese will get brown while you wait for the rest to get warm.