Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Gluten Free, Grain Free Pizza

Walt and I are having wonderful success on South Beach.  I'm down 28 lbs., Walt has lost 33!  The problem is, it restricts grain, and we're bread people.  Walt was missing pizza.  (I could do without pizza, since I almost always had a tummy-ache afterwards).  To satisfy our bread cravings, I looked for grain-free breads and found a recipe for Socca, a flatbread from France that uses garbanzo bean flour instead of wheat flour.  I had my doubts, but went to Woodman's, bought some Bob's Red Mill Garbanzo Bean Flour and gave it a try.
The method is entirely different from wheat crust - no yeast (!) and it's made from a watery batter.  Hint: Wipe up any spills, it dries like concrete!

Equal parts garbanzo bean flour and water plus salt, seasonings and olive oil are whisked together.  It's poured into two screaming hot skillets and baked for 20 minutes. That baked crust is very different.  Different can be yummy, too.

The toppings must be fully cooked before adding to the crust, because it's topped and then put under the broiler only long enough to melt the cheese.  I microwave the veggies with a little water in a covered dish. My pepperoni pizza below has Pastorelli brand sauce, thinly sliced onions, red bell pepper, turkey pepperoni and reduced fat cheese.

My Margherita pizza has my own white garlic cheese sauce, grape tomatoes, fresh basil leaves and reduced fat cheese.

The white garlic sauce is very easy to make from cream cheese, minced garlic, cottage cheese and parmesan cheese. Just whizz them together in a mini food processor (or stir in a bowl).

For the Crust
makes 2 10" crusts

1 1/2 cups garbanzo bean flour
1 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon + 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning blend
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
extra olive oil for the skillets

Whisk together.  Set aside while heating oven and skillets.

If your broiler is at the top of your oven, place one oven rack at the uppermost slot. Another rack should be on the middle slot. Place two 10" cast iron skillets in oven on the middle slot.  Preheat oven to 450F.  When oven and skillets are hot, remove and add 1 tablespoon olive oil to each skillet.  Swirl to coat bottom of skillets.

Add half of batter to each skillet.  Swirl to coat evenly - kinda like making a crepe. Put skillets back in oven and bake 20 minutes.

For the Toppings
While crusts are baking, slice and cook any toppings (except the cheese, natch).  I microwave sliced onion until limp; sweet peppers until just tender.  Pepperoni is already fully cooked, but if I make sausage pizza, I cook it thoroughly then drain very well on paper towels.

For the Red Sauce
We like canned Pastorelli pizza sauce or Sweet Baby Ray's barbeque sauce. 

White Garlic Cheese Sauce
2 Tablespoons cream cheese
2 Tablespoons cottage cheese
2 Tablespoons parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon minced garlic

Whizz together in mini food processor or stir together until the cottage cheese is smooth.

Doctoring the Crust
When the crusts are done, remove from the oven and wrap a towel around the skillet handles to remind you that they're screaming hot.  Turn the oven off and the broiler on High. 

Spread crusts with a small amount of sauce - 2 tablespoons or less.  Add pre-cooked toppings and cheese.  Sprinkle with additional Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, whatever you like.  I like Lawry's Seasoned Salt.  Place under broiler until cheese melts.  Let it brown as much as you enjoy.

Remove from broiler onto sturdy cooling racks (or your stove grates).  Using a thin metal spatula, loosen crust and slide out onto a cutting board.  Let rest a couple minutes before slicing.

Serve with cold beer or soda.
Unexpected Bonus 1 - NO more Pizza tummy-aches for me!
Unexpected Bonus 2 - cast iron skillets get very well seasoned!
What do you do when you have lots of leftover sauce?  Using two tablespoons per pizza, the 16 oz. can of sauce goes a long way.  It will go bad in the fridge before I can use it all. So I froze it in an ice cube tray from the dollar store,  popped out the frozen cubes and put them in a zip top bag. On Pizza
Night, I pull out a couple of cubes and zap them in the microwave to thaw.  Each cube is about 1 1/2 tablespoons sauce.

What do you put on your pizza?

1 comment:

  1. Great idea to freeze leftover sauce in an ice cube tray. I shared this blog post with some friends b/c we're all going through a grain-free weightloss journey together. Thanks for sharing!


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