Baking with Almond Flour | Pizza Crust
Gluten Free Pizza Crust with Almond Flour
There are so many different things you can bake using almond flour, and I must say that pizza crust has become my all-time favorite. Gluten-free cooking is always better when using almond flour and exploring ways to make the gluten-free dough at home was well worth the investment of time and experimentation.
Gluten free cooking and baking with almond flour is not very hard and can even be enjoyable. In our blog series, Baking with Almond Flour, I have found through a little trial and error, that there many different healthy foods you can easily make using almond flour. Almond flour is great for gluten-free cooking, paleo recipes, heart-healthy pizza recipes, and for anyone that may be seeking a flour replacement.
When I get that craving for pizza, I have chosen to eat wheat-free pizza crust for the past two years. So many times I have been on the hunt to find a local pizza place that has the best wheat-free pizza crust. To my dismay, even the best pizza restaurants that also carry gluten-free pizza have a wheat-free crust that is hard to chew and super thin. To be honest, if it weren't for the cheese on these pizzas, I probably would have given up eating pizza altogether.
So when my exploration of how I could make pizza crust using almond flour began, I'll admit that my hopes were not high and I was almost got a little scared to give it the taste test. The pizza crust on any pizza is one of the most important parts of what makes a good pizza. To my pleasant surprise, even my first attempt turned out much better than any of the gluten-free pizzas I have had from a restaurant or pizza parlor.
The other thing I found surprising is that by making this no wheat pizza crust by baking with almond flour opened up the door to so many different heart healthy pizza recipes. When working with almond flour one of the big differences is that you will not use yeast. Leaving out yeast, of course, alters the texture of the gluten-free dough since there is no yeast to deposit carbon dioxide bubbles in the dough; however, you can adjust the mixture by adding more baking powder to the recipe. If you prefer a thinner crust and are less interested in the air and fluff, then you can work with less baking powder. You will find in some of these recipes we are adding a full tablespoon of baking powder.
With my experiments of making no wheat pizza crust and gluten-free dough, I came up with three recipes that will give you slightly different results so that you can enjoy the pizza crust that satisfies your preferences of flavor, texture, and density of the crust. When working with almond flour in general and making heart-healthy pizza recipes or any gluten-free cooking, almond flour is denser due to the nature of almonds. It is slightly denser than coconut flour and with that comes some pros and cons.
The advantages are related to the health benefits that accompany using almond flour when baking. You immediately reap all the benefits of the nutritional value of almonds, and you also are left feeling satiated more quickly due to the higher density of this flour. Almond flour has a rich flavor and adds so much to any baked goods when practicing gluten-free cooking. It also works very well for those that are trying to follow a paleo diet or diabetic-friendly diet as it increases the amount of protein and healthy fats as well as reduces the number of carbohydrates you would typically find in similar recipes. It makes sense that when you use almond flour in your gluten-free cooking or baking you most likely are creating better variations of recipes for your overall health.
Of course, as with any food you always want to monitor portion control because it is not always about what you are eating, but sometimes it’s about how much you are eating. Even when you are making heart-healthy pizza recipes if you eat the entire pizza, even the no wheat pizza crust will leave you not feeling so good. Trust me; I have made this mistake because the recipes I have been exploring are so yummy, it makes portion control imperative. So it is a myth that gluten-free cooking or gluten-free dough loses its flavor. I have found that in many cases whether I am using almond flour for baking sweet or savory foods, the almond flour adds more flavor.
Below you will find a few different heart healthy pizza recipes that are no wheat pizza crust varieties. What makes these heart-healthy pizza recipes are not just the gluten-free dough we are working with, but also the choice of toppings. The Veggie Almond Flour Pizza is the recipe that tends to be slightly denser and recommended to be made with a thinner crust. The Gluten Free Margarita Pizza has a lighter gluten-free dough and will keep you satiated but is not heavy. The Tangy & Spicy Gluten-Free Pizza is also on the lighter side; however, it has a slightly different taste since we are using buckwheat flour in the combination of ingredients. In all cases, you are enjoying a pizza crust that is denser than a traditional pizza crust even though it is thinner, unlike a deep dish pizza crust.
When it comes to flavor, all three of these heart-healthy pizza recipes are very different, and you can always do a combination of the toppings in one recipe with the crust of a different recipe. I paired the pizza crust recipe with the toppings I thought would match best with the flavor of the no wheat pizza crust. I also want to add, do not be fooled like I was when I first heard about buckwheat flour. I immediately was confused since I thought it contained wheat. Buckwheat flour is the perfect flour to use when making wheat-free pizza crust because there is no wheat in this flour. It is made from buckwheat groats, and it just happens to have the word wheat in its name which is what makes things confusing. Buckwheat groats are used quite often in gluten-free cooking as well as by those that follow a raw food or vegan diet. They are also used in gluten-free pancakes and waffles, and also for making a variety of granolas and health bars.
Buckwheat flour, in my opinion, is best when combined with a heavier flour like almond flour or coconut flour. It adds depth to the flavor and lessens the density of almond flour. I found that when baking with almond flour for foods like pancakes, waffles, pizza crust, cookies, and cakes you want to compliment the almond flour with another lighter flour like buckwheat flour, tapioca flour, arrowroot flour, or another favorite which is coconut flour.
There are a variety of reasons why someone will start to bake with almond flour instead of using any of the other flours. The primary reasons I see have to do with gluten sensitivities or intolerance, weight loss, or for health reasons. If the reason is due to gluten intolerance or sensitivity, you may find that there are many alternative flour options to choose from. However, the gluten-free all-purpose flour we find on grocery store shelves is mostly a combination of different types of flours like potato starch, whole grain, white sorghum flour, tapioca flour, and fava bean flour. Although these are great options for avoiding gluten they are also still high in starch and carbohydrates.
I love combining my gluten-free options using almond flour or coconut flour because of all the additional nutritional benefits as well as the healthy fats that reduce the carbohydrate count. This is also why you find those who are attempting weight loss or following a paleo diet will also lean toward almond flour or coconut flour versus some of these alternative flour options. Starch turns into sugar, and so do high carbohydrates. When we overdo it, not only are we left hungry but if we are not burning those calories, it turns into fat. Many people have started to follow a paleo diet and aren't we always looking for options that minimize sugars and carbohydrates? Almond flour is a great solution; It can be slightly tricky to work with which is why we have started this blog series so that you can learn from my mistakes and find solutions on how to make delicious variations of some of your favorites foods using almond flour versus traditional flour. Do not hesitate to try the amazing recipes below for no wheat pizza crust. These recipes are also heart-healthy pizza recipes due to the combination of the pizza crust ingredients as well as the toppings of choice.Written by Lisa Saremi
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