Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Tapioca Pizza Crust (AIP)

*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means that when you purchase an item your price stays the same, but I make a small commission to help run my blog. See more information here.*

Are you ready for pizza night?! I LOVE PIZZA!!! It's up there with ice cream as one of my most favorite foods on the face of the earth. Pizza is also one of the trickiest pies to make AIP. No joke. The crust, the tomato sauce, the cheese. Nope, nope, nopes! But I refused to give up! I refused to be defeated. Creativity in the kitchen is kinda my new thing after all. 

Everyone has their own idea of the perfect pizza. Luckily, this recipe is pretty adaptable. Make sure to read through all the notes and suggestions and ideas. I tried to make this one as flexible as possible. If you don't see something different mentioned, it's because I haven't tried it yet! Make sure to do your own experiments and report back to me so I can share with others! Pizza is so highly individual, just like AIP! That's how we make it all work.

To me, the perfect crust is slightly crispy on the outside and chewy and delicious on the inside. This is hard to replicate on AIP, but like I said, I'm not a quitter. I absolutely loved the Domestic Man's Grain-Free Flatbread (AIP-friendly!), and originally I used it to make my pizza crust. But it wasn't the perfect pizza crust just yet. So I used that recipe and did some more tweaking. And then I discovered Grazed and Enthused's Rosemary & Proscuitto Stromboli (yep, AIP too!). Such a gorgeous and beautiful stromboli (genius recipe, I'm telling you). She actually used the crust and made it gooey in order to make a cheese-like texture. So the idea was born. I had to combine the two to create a crisp and chewy crust that also had a gooey, cheesy texture. And I finally nailed it. (But for all you thin-crust diehards out there, I've included that variation also.)

Now this one really just requires a little bit of thinking outside the box. Luckily, there are lots of Nomato Sauce and Fauxmato Marinara recipes for you to choose from if you like a classic pie. I also thought through lots of variations, and I've included some fun ones also. Scroll down for these options!

Yeah, okay, so dairy is out. Who cares? If the rest of the toppings taste like a million bucks, we already got the ooey, gooey texture in the crust. If you're dying for a little bit of the cheesy taste, then nutritional yeast is a nice little add on. There's also Zucchini Cheese now, and lemme tell ya, it melts like a charm over pizza toppings. I've also included a few other ideas to keep the pizza moist. Besides, add extra sauce or a dipping sauce, and who needs the cheese?

It's definitely time to go cook up a pie. This has been one of the funnest recipe developments I've worked on. Who says no to eating lots of pizza??

Tapioca Pizza Crust
1 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp Collagen Protein (or gelatin)
½ cup coconut milk
2 tbsp hot water

Place a 10-inch cast iron skillet in the oven and preheat the oven to 500°F. 

While the oven is preheating, combine the tapioca flour, sea salt, oregano, and rosemary in a medium bowl. 

Pour the coconut milk into a small bowl and add the gelatin, mixing thoroughly. Add the hot water to the coconut mixture and mix again. 

Add the olive oil and the coconut milk mixture to the bowl of dry ingredients, and stir until it starts to form a stiff dough. If there are too many dry pieces, keep mixing (by hand if necessary) until it all comes together. The dough should be a stiff ball that is slightly moist and barely sticky to the touch. 

If your dough is too runny, add tapioca flour in 1 tbsp increments until it firms. If the dough is too stiff or dry, add hot water in 1 tbsp increments until its mostly smooth and firm. 

Once the oven is fully preheated, carefully remove the cast iron skillet from the oven. Coat the skillet with a thin layer of olive oil or coconut oil. 

For THICK/CHEWY CRUST: Carefully press the dough into the pan, keeping the thickness around a ¼ inch or thicker. Place the crust in the oven for 3 minutes. Remove and top with sauce of choice (see below for suggestions). Top with toppings of choice (see below for suggestions). Cook on the middle rack for 8-12 minutes or until the crust is lightly crispy on the outside but still gives slightly when touched. The inside should be chewy and the parts covered by sauce should be slightly gooey (like cheese!). 

For THIN/CRISPY CRUST: Use a bigger pan (or less dough) and press the dough out until its less than ¼ inch. Place in the oven and cook 5 minutes. Top with sauce and toppings of choice (see below for suggestions and ideas). Cook on the bottom rack 8-12 minutes or until the crust is crispy. Don't overcook or the crust can turn very cracker-like.

Don't worry if the dough starts to melt or spread when it hits the hot pan. Just do your best to press the dough out, using a light coating of tapioca flour or olive oil on your hands if necessary. Be very cautious of the sides of the skillet; they are HOT!

*Sauce Suggestions
  • Nutritional Yeast (1 tbsp)
  • Zucchini Cheese
  • I also like to include toppings like sliced zucchini or sauteed mushrooms and onions which helping give a moist, cheesy feel to the pizza
*Coconut-free Option: Instead of coconut milk, use ¼ cup cold water to bloom the gelatin and then add ¼ cup hot water. Do not add the extra tablespoons of hot water unless the dough is too dry. This dough may not be as gooey under the sauce as the coconut-version but the consistency of the crust is still pretty tasty.

Pizza Ideas:
Hawaiian BBQ Pizza: Pulled pork with BBQ sauce, sauteed onions, summer squash, kale, spinach, and nutritional yeast.
Mexican Pizza: Restaurant-style salsa with chicken breast strips, sauteed onions, zucchini, summer squash, mushrooms, nutritional yeast.
White Pizza: Garlic Aioli Sauce (and dipping sauce!) with kale, artichokes, chicken sausage, and nutritional yeast.

Olive tapenade sauce with leftover chicken, spinach, squash, and bacon.

Artichoke spinach dip for the sauce (recipe in development) with ground veal, kale, sliced zucchini, and zucchini cheese!