One of the most difficult aspects of a keto/low-carb diet for me is: pizza. It there is real pizza in the room, it will call to me like the ring calls to Frodo in Lord of the Rings. Previously, I made a baseline pizza crust that was pretty damned good and worked extremely well as a starting point, but I knew it could be made better. After tons of feedback, trial and error, and discovery of ingredients, I’ve come to the next iteration of this pizza crust and let me say this: it’s effing good.
Still not perfect, but holy great balls of fire is it freakin’ good.
So what’s different?
One of the major changes to the crust is the replacement oif coconut flour and addition of lupin flour. I’m not exactly sure how I wasn’t aware of lupin flour until I made the the amazing keto pasta, but it has been a game changer for baked goods. However, it’s not a replacement for the other nut flours – this bean flour can best be described as ‘winner of the best supporting actor’ award when added to recipes. In just the right proportions, it adds great fluffiness, the right amount of water absorption, and nullifies some of the other nut flour flavors.
The other major change is the addition of gelatin. Yes, you read that correctly: gelatin. I was struggling with maintaining moisture in the dough and making it nice and soft. On a complete whim, I decided to add konjac powder – and it worked shockingly well. However, considering konjac powder (glucomannan powder) is not as readily available, I tried it with gelatin and it worked just as well, it not better. Key lesson: don’t skip the gelatin. otherwise, your crust will be rather dry and will have the consistency of day old fresh bread rather than the crunchy suppleness of a good pizza crust.
Seems like a lot of stuff…
Compared to a traditional pizza dough, yes, it’s a few more ingredients. However, we aren’t jumping through a bunch of hoops to make something that tastes meh (I’m looking at you cauliflower crust pizza). We merely need to bloom our yeast, throw our ingredients into a food processor, then lay out the dough to rise. Once we make it, trust me: it’s absolutely worth the wait.
Can I substitute for coconut flour?
Do not substitute a thing. I hate to say it, but this recipe is akin to a perfectly tuned piano. I know it’s not perfect and as a community, I think we can come together and improve on it. However, replacing flours will throw off all the proportions of water, oil, salt, rise time, etc. If you’re allergic to almond flour, I hate to say it, but this recipe is not viable for you. I hope to make a nut free version someday, but we need to figure out what this one requires first!
Wheat gluten? Seriously?
Yes, wheat gluten. If you choose not to eat wheat gluten due to how your body reacts to it, allergies, etc, more power to you. I’ve tried to use xanthan gum, but it simply does not work. Maybe once we have the perfect recipe we can start tweaking it to replace the gluten, but as of this point in time, I haven’t been able to find a substitute.
Before you tell me that wheat gluten is bad for me: sure, it might be, but different bodies react different. BUT, the alternative is me eating an entire ‘real’ pizza that will wreck my diet and me feel like complete crap afterwards due to the carb overload, to which I will subsequently kick myself for eating the entire pizza and sliding back on my goals. This is the replacement for that. Given the choice between eating an entire ‘real’ pizza (with gluten) or a low carb version (with gluten), I’ll take the low-carb keto pizza every time and not feel guilty for it in the slightest.
That pizza looks small…
This entire pizza might look small, but don’t be fooled – it serves two. It’s so high in fiber and protein that it will fill you up and keep you full for a long long time. How do I know? Because I ate an entire pizza and didn’t eat for a day – and I eat a lot. I find it best to make two smaller pizzas out of the dough – one for now, another for later. Half a pizza per person – trust me.
Why not make half the recipe for 1 personal pizza?
The reason we make the entire recipe and split it into two is because of the yeast. The entire dough only requires 1/4 tsp of yeast (1g). One of the problems with the previous baseline recipe is that it was too ‘yeasty’ – but it’s not easy to get 1/8 tsp or 1/2 a gram of yeast. So, we double it and split it into two. Also – who doesn’t like more pizza?
Can this be frozen?
Abso-freakin-lutely. This works really well frozen! You can put toppings on it before or after and it will work. Of course, it will take a bit longer to cook, so simply keep an eye on it to prevent it from burning!
Does the dough need to rise?
Yes! Allowing the dough to rest allows the yeast to do it’s thing leading to the best keto pizza dough. The rising time will depend on the yeast your are using but while using instant yeast, I found the best rise came from 3 hours of allowing it to rest in 80-85 degrees Fahrenheit. I know that’s a long time to wait, but I think it’s worth it. I haven’t tried letting it rise longer, but it’s possible it might work even better!
What’s the key to the crust?
There are a few keys to the crust: the first is to make sure you use gelatin. This will keep the crust moist, but also chewy. You also want to make sure you make your almond flour as fine as possible to make the texture less grainy. The third tip is to make the crust by shaping it with your finger tips instead of rolling it out. If you leave the crust flat or fold it over, it will burn and make you very very sad.