Speculative Pizza – Lowered Carb

Pizza! I hadn’t had it in so long; it’s really not a “good” carb, what with the large amounts of white flour involved in making it. Switching to whole grain flour would help (and I’ve done that) but there’s still great gobs of the stuff in real pizza. But it turns out there’s a reasonable “cheat”.

My eye was caught by something called Crazy Crust Pizza, and I gave it a try, using whole spelt flour but otherwise following the recipe. It was… edible. The crust was stodgy but limp, and tasted of egg. However, it was successful enough for me to want to try to figure out how to improve it.

The big problem is that it still tastes a little of egg. Possibly I could use 2 egg whites instead of a whole egg but I would want to have a plan for the yolks in order to do that. However, with whole grain flour and maybe the use of yeast to raise it, as well as pre-cooking it before baking, better results can be had. The yeast makes it a little more bread-like than the baking powder, but I’m not sure enough to justify having to wait for it to rise. I will probably make this both ways, depending on how pressed for time I am.

I really like that very low-sided cast iron griddle/pan seen below. It is the perfect thing for baking pan breads and patties of various sorts and now I don’t know how I did without it for so long.

I made 2 pizzas, and when the first base was ready, I put it on a pizza pan to bake. The second one stayed right on the cast iron griddle and that worked just as well.

To measure the flour, put 1 tablespoon of high gluten flour into your measuring cup, and add the spelt flour to 1/2 cup. 

The baked crust is a little soft and crumbly compared to real pizza dough, in addition to that slight flavour of egg, but it really isn’t bad and makes pizza possible for me.

An entire pizza counts as a little more than 40% of my 100 net carb daily allotment, which is entirely workable with a bit of planning. Hurray!

Per small pizza – serves 1 or 2
10 minutes prep time for the crust
up to 1 1/2 hours rising time if using yeast
15 minutes final prep time
20 minutes to bake and rest

Above, the pre-cooked crust about ready to have sauce and other toppings applied and to be baked; below, two finished pizzas. 

Finished pizzas

Make the Crust:
7 tablespoons whole spelt flour
1 tablespoon wheat gluten
1/2 teaspoon fast-acting yeast OR 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 small egg 
1/3 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons mild vegetable oil

If using yeast, mix the dry ingredients except the yeast in a small bowl. Heat the milk until just warm to the touch and sprinkle in the yeast. Let it rest for 10 minutes. Break the egg into the dry ingredients and add the milk; whisk until smooth. Cover the bowl and leave in warm spot for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until noticeably risen.

If using baking powder, mix it in with the dry ingredients. Break in the egg, add the milk and whisk until smooth. This should be cooked immediately.

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Scrape in the batter and smooth it out into as neat and flat a circle as you can. Cook gently until it is just about set (dry looking) on top. Sprinkle with the fried onions (see below) then transfer to a pizza pan. (Or, if you have a flat cast iron griddle, it can be put right in the oven to finish baking. 

Top & Bake:
1 small onion
1 teaspoon mild vegetable oil
1/2 cup thick tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon rubbed oregano
1/4 cup chopped pepperoni, summer sausage, OR ham, etc.
OR sliced vegetables such as mushrooms, zucchini, peppers, tomatoes, etc. 
1/2 cup grated mozzarella or other cheese

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

Peel and slice the onion, and cook it until soft in the vegetable oil, in a skillet. You may wish to partially cook other vegetables you are using as toppings as well.

When the crust has been transferred to the pizza pan, spread the tomato sauce over it and sprinkle with the oregano. Finish with slices or small pieces of meat and vegetables, and top with the grated cheese.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until the cheese is lightly browned and bubbling. Let rest for 5 minutes before cutting and serving.

Last year at this time I made Asparagus with Chervil-Chive Butter.  Yyyyyeah, things are late this year! 

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