Gluten free pizza crust

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I have been gluten free for over 11 years, and I am happy to say that gluten free pizza has improved exponentially since then. There are lots of options for frozen pizzas, pizza crust mixes, and even gluten free options at pizza restaurants. If you have Celiac Disease, you do need to be wary of cross contamination, which is especially prevalent in restaurants that use flour for other menu items. This makes some pizza joints unsafe if you are sensitive to gluten.

There is also an issue with some of the ingredients in the crust. A premade crust can be filled with added sugars, canola oil, and preservatives. Aside from that, they are made with gluten free grain substitutes like rice flour. These flours can trigger reactions in people sensitive to grains, and the high glycemic index can cause blood sugar spikes.

My husband and I have a unique combination of sensitivities: I can’t do gluten, and he does not tolerate rice. It makes finding a pizza we can share difficult! I have been playing around with almond flour and tapioca starch lately, and I’m pleased with the results.

According to the recipe, you can use this dough to make various treats, I have made pizza and calzones so far. The crust does not have the same flavor as a gluten-filled crust, but holds up well with hearty toppings. It gets crispy enough that you can hold it and don’t need a fork, yet it’s still soft on the inside.

This is a really simple recipe to follow, and you only need 2 kinds of flour that are readily available at most stores:

Almond flour:
Just as you would guess from the name, this flour is made from ground up almonds. It is low in carbs/starch, has a decent amount of fiber, and is high in protein and fat.

Tapioca flour:
Made from cassava, a root originally from Brazil, this starch gives the crust its light, dough-y quality. It is free of fat and protein, and very high in carbohydrates. It’s very light, and will fly around your kitchen when you stir it in if you’re not careful!

Because it uses these flours, this pizza crust is considered “paleo”. I hate putting labels on foods and trying to manipulate ingredients to fit into a certain trends. This recipe is an example of how blindly following labels could get you in trouble; while the tapioca is made from a root vegetable and not a grain, it is still high in starchy carbs and low in nutrients. Just because you CAN eat it doesn’t mean you should all the time. And I believe the same is true with almond flour. You just don’t get the same nutrients from processed and ground foods (no matter how healthy they are to begin with) as you would with the whole food. But for a treat, as pizza should be, I think this dough is perfect. The combination of almond and tapioca flour balance out the glycemic index, and help keep your blood sugar stable.
Pizza was never intended to be healthy, and I think I would classify this as a neutral food–neither good or bad. You can certainly hide some veggies in your pizza, in fact I highly encourage it! Spinach in particular is so easy to blend into the sauce, your kids will never notice.

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Enough chatter, here’s the recipe! Here’s the original post from EatSomethingDelicious.
Ingredients:
1 cup almond flour
2 cups tapioca flour or tapioca starch
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs
1-2 tbs water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix together dry ingredients, then push to the sides of the bowl making a little indentation in the flour mixture. Add eggs into indentation, and mix with fork or pastry blender, adding water a little a time as needed. You will have to use your hands at some point to completely mix, and don’t go crazy with adding too much water!
Put some tapioca flour on a piece of parchment paper, then roll out the dough into a pizza crust. If the rolling pin is sticking to the dough, you can sprinkle a little more flour on top. Brush a little oil on top, and bake for 10-15 minutes without toppings, depending how crispy you like your crust. Add toppings, and and bake for another 5 minutes, or until toppings are hot/melted.

You can make a simple pizza sauce out of tomato sauce, olive oil, and salt/pepper/oregano/basil/garlic/onion powder. I find it best to go easy on the sauce to keep the crust crispy, and pour extra sauce right on top of the pizza just before you eat it. My favorite toppings are sautéed peppers and onions, steak, shredded cheese, and feta cheese with the above sauce. Yum!

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I used this dough to make calzones today, and they were delicious but real ugly! I cooked up some ground beef and onions, and then sautéed a bunch of spinach–it cooks down to almost nothing. I found the best success thinly rolling out the dough, putting my toppings on one half, then folding over and sealing it up. This dough is not very moldable, so I keep a small container of water nearby; brush some water on the edges before folding for best results, and sprinkle water on the dough if you need to patch any areas while rolling. I ended up cutting the parchment paper just around each calzone and placing that on the baking sheet instead of trying to peel the dough and risk tearing it. Bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees.

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I hope you love this recipe, let me know how your pizza turns out!