Long before I ever married my husband, I knew his favorite food was pizza. This was a point of some contention early on in our relationship: whenever I’d ask him what he wanted for dinner, he’d respond with the p-word. He could literally eat pizza for weeks on end. Now, don’t get me wrong, I like pizza myself. I’m just one of those people who can’t stand to eat the same thing, day after day. And to make matters worse, pizza always had to come from somewhere else because I couldn’t cook it myself to save my life. We’d either have to buy frozen or order from a local pizza joint. I even tried Trader Joe’s dough and managed to ruin that somehow. My pizzas were terrible.
It came as no surprise that one of the first things I figured out how to make low-carb was a pita pizza using Joseph’s Bakery pitas. That hit the spot somewhat; we’d eat it for lunch fairly frequently. Sooner or later though, we wanted the real thing. We tried to figure out what commercial pizzas we could eat a few slices of here and there, and cheated a couple of times with delivery. Then one day I got a wild hair up my ass and decided that I just needed to suck it up and make my own pizza crust. I mean, my failures were primarily based on how my former pizza attempts failed to rise with yeast and all that complicated jazz. I got it in my head to make a thin cracker-like pizza crust, similar to my favorite Papa John’s thin crust pizzas.
Spoiler alert: this is not Papa John’s pizza. It’s totally better.
The crust is firm and stable enough to hold heavy toppings. It crisps up wonderfully, and still has a certain heft to it that I’ve come to realize is characteristic of almond flour. Moreover, because of its mix of fatty components, it’s incredibly filling. My husband and I could each happily put away a medium-sized Domino’s pizza. This pizza is roughly the same size (12″ diameter), and I’m stuffed off of half. Actually, I only ate 3 pieces tonight and relinquished my 4th to him. So you know that went over well.
for the crust,
- 1 and 1/3c almond flour
- 1/3c grated parmesan cheese
- 1/3c golden flaxmeal
- 2 eggs
- 1.5T oil (canola oil is pictured, but I prefer olive oil… I was just out today)
- garlic powder to taste (I use around a teaspoon)
- Italian seasoning to taste (I use about a tablespoon)
toppings I use,
- 2c shredded mozzarella
- 2 servings pepperoni (around 28 pieces)
- 4 strips of bacon
- more Italian seasoning
Preheat your oven to 350.
Mix all ingredients well. I feel like a real pro because I finally have a reason to use the dough hook on my KitchenAid. You could also do this by hand or by using a spoon, if you are not fortunate enough to have a stand mixer with a dough hook.
If you’re using a stand mixer, let that shit mix away while you cook your bacon. And here’s an easy tip for chopped bacon – use your kitchen shears to cut the raw bacon as you drop it into the skillet. Makes perfect-sized pieces and you don’t have to deal with trying to saw through the bacon with a knife.
Or you don’t have to put bacon on your pizza, but why on earth wouldn’t you?
When your dough is fully incorporated, it will look like this:
Isn’t it beautiful?
At this point, you want to lay your dough ball on a sheet of parchment paper and start rolling it out. You can use a rolling pin, or you can pat it out with your hands. A neat trick I discovered is to lay the parchment paper on top of a round cookie sheet – I have a 12″ sheet, so I just use that as a guide for how big my pizza should be. It’s kind of a pain in the ass to mash the dough down flat, and you need to be careful to make sure it’s roughly the same thickness throughout, if you want it to bake evenly. Usually I just pat my dough down with my hands, starting in the center and sort of rolling my fingers to push the dough outward as I work at it. It leaves little finger ridges in my crust, but that doesn’t impact its baking or anything. Just make sure you don’t leave gigantic pits of doom and you’ll be fine.
Don’t worry about getting your edges too perfect. I just try to make sure they’re not super raggedly.
Once oven is heated to 350, carefully slide your parchment paper / pizza crust creation straight onto the rack. Let it bake for 15 minutes. It will come out looking like this:
Ooooh… look how lovely those browned edges are!
At this point, poke a bit at the center of the crust. It should be firm. You might want to let it set to cool off and finish hardening up for a few moments while you assemble your toppings.
Oh yeah, your bacon should be done by now. Make sure you drain that on some paper towels so it’s not super greasy.
I know a lot of really strict ketopians don’t eat tomato sauce on their pizzas, because tomatoes are pretty damn carby. I don’t care for alfredo sauce pizzas, or pesto pizzas, or any of that weird shit. A pizza’s got to have marinara sauce. I swear by Great Value Pizza Sauce (the Wal-Mart brand). It’s 4g net carbs per 1/4c. I use 1 cup on top of this pizza, which comes out to 2g of net carbs from sauce per slice. I’m down with that.
Sauce up your crust, and then top with whatever else you want to put on it. I choose my bacon and some pepperoni, and two cups of mozzarella cheese.
Make sure you reserve a handful of the cheese to sprinkle on top of the meat. That’s what makes it look like a legit pizza, all melty and stuff. I layer my cheese, pepperoni, bacon, and then sprinkle the reserved cheese as well as some more Italian seasoning on top.
Throw your pizza back in the oven until the cheese melts. At that point, crack the oven door and pop the temperature up to “broil.” You want to broil your pizza while watching it VERY attentively in order to get those telltale brown spots on the mozz. And there’s a fine balance between beautiful browning cheese and a burnt hot mess.
Doesn’t that look delicious? Use your pizza roller or chef’s knife to slice it into 8 equal pieces. Your crust should be quite firm and very easy to cut. This is actually the easiest pizza I’ve ever sliced into.
As you can tell, the crust is quite thin and quite crispy. It holds its shape really, really well. I haven’t had any problem with the pieces crumbling when I pick them up, and the toppings are pretty heavy. The garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and parmesan cheese give it a wonderful flavor while the flaxmeal and almond flour make it solid and crunchy.
And can we talk about the nutrition here? The crust itself only has 2g net carbs per slice, while packing a walloping 16g of fat and 9g of protein. There’s no wonder it fills you up while leaving you satisfied with a smaller serving!
And just for comparison’s sake, here’s the exact pizza I baked, toppings and all: 347cal, 4g net carbs, 28g fat, and 19g of protein per slice.
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