A couple of months ago – deep into making my Paleo diet more varied – I was trying out different ways to make pizza dough. By ‘varied’ I of course meant that it needed to include my favourite foods. One of those is pizza. I have posted the recipes for dough I’ve made with Kamut flour and Spelt flour. Both were rather good in my opinion, considering that I don’t own a stone oven to cook my pizza in (one continues to dream) and of course I am not a pizzaiola (one does not have that particular ambition!).
Then of course I went to Rome and completely ruined my palate. By ‘ruined’ I mean that I tasted so much good food and pizza in particular (and coffee! and sweets! and and!) that I came back wanting to burn down my kitchen and its silly (not Italian) ingredients and completely abandon my low carb lifestyle. But life must go on, and if you’re intent on following a low carb diet most of the time, like I do.. there are some alternatives. I prefer to keep carbs mostly for the weekend, when my concentration, focus and stamina can be momentarily subdued.
I have to admit that this was not a crust that I enjoyed a lot, but I will post it anyway as it might work for some. I kept it as plain as possible since the mission was to judge texture and taste in its pure form, but if you think you might enjoy it feel free to add herbs and maybe grated cheese to the crust. I suggest oregano, rosemary and grated Parmesan. Basic recipe is as follows:
– 2 cups almond meal / flour
– 2 eggs, beaten
– 2 teaspoons olive oil
– 1 teaspoon salt
Switch on your oven to 250 degrees and let it heat up well. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl until you can form a dough. Note that this will feel nothing like your ordinary pizza dough, it will be sticky and less smooth. Fear not. Lay parchment paper (carta forno) on an oven /pizza dish and place your dough on top. Smooth it out gently with your hands (I do not suggest a rolling pin in this case) to desired thickness; ideally achieving a thin crust in a sort of round shape.
If you don’t fancy touching the dough with your hands, you can achieve this with the use of a second piece of parchment placed on top of the ball of dough, roll out by pushing gently with your fingertips from the centre along to the edges until you achieve the desired shape and thickness.
Pierce your crust at intervals with a fork and bake the dough without toppings for a few minutes (about 4-5 minutes), until it just starts to brown at the edges. At this point it will be much easier to flip over. Cook for a further few minutes on the other side (about 2-3 minutes). Remove from the oven and place your toppings on the least cooked side. When it goes back into the oven it will only need a further few minutes until the cheese melts.
The verdict : as I said, this was not my favourite kind of pizza crust; it felt crumbly and too nutty for my tastes. It almost felt like I was mixing savoury with sweet in an awkward way. If I try this again I will definitely add some herbs into the crust to change the balance. The recipe above will make a small pizza, however it is extremely filling; I only managed to eat half in one sitting. Also – almonds are very good for you!