Chickpea pizza crust is gluten-free, vegan, easy to mix up and handle, and receives literal cheers from the dinner table when I serve it up. Don’t wait to give this extra filling, high protein pizza crust a try!
Pizza night is every Sunday, much to my children’s delight. In fact, if we eat anything else, even everyone’s favorite homemade hamburger helper recipe, they feel deprived.
I’ve been using at least a half dozen different pizza crust recipes this year and trying new gluten-free crust recipes all the time, it seems. As fun as it is, I need a standby – and I also need to quit heating the oven to 500 degrees on 90-degree summer days!
Since we’ve been “gluten-light” for the past 4 years or so, I haven’t done much with yeasted pizza dough. Some recipes really make you miss “the real thing” while others receive cheering from the table, literally.
This is one of those.
Grain-free, super high protein and filling, easy to mix up and handle AND you only have to broil the cheese for a few minutes, so it doesn’t heat up the house (as much). I’m sure you could use this recipe with cast iron on the grill, too!
How to Make Chickpea Flour
I’ve often said over the years that I don’t like the special flours that gluten-free and grain-free elimination diet recipes require. I didn’t want to invest in expensive flours, often 3-4 for one recipe, and then find out I hated them.
Now that we’re so far into the GF journey, I do find that I have a lot of these alternative flours on hand, but I’m still pretty cheap about it. If I can grind something in my Mockmill or my Nutrimill, I’m going to do it. (Here’s my Nutrimill review and my Mockmill review, by the way.)
Chickpea flour was a new frontier for me, and although it definitely pushed the limits of “I can grind it,” I’m really happy to have the inexpensive option of grinding my own rather than purchasing.
You CAN purchase chickpea flour if you need to, although this recipe was only tested with home-ground flour, and I have no idea if there will be a difference in absorbency. Be ready to adjust the liquid quantity if using purchased flour.
The Mockmill can handle chickpeas and I know that the Nutrimill can too – although just barely. One got super-duper stuck in the opening and my husband had to almost break the $200+ machine to get it out, but we made it through alive and well!
The Mockmill is so much easier to take apart and fix if something gets jammed.
If you don’t have a grain mill, you can use a high powered blender or a food processer to make chickpea flour. Always start with dried beans (not canned) in small amounts until you get a feel for how much your processor or blender can handle at one time. Be sure to cover the opening on the processor so the flour doesn’t start wafting out.
With the ability to grind chickpeas into flour, a whole new world of recipes has opened up to me! In general, you can substitute 3/4 c. of chickpea flour for 1 c. of white flour, but absorbency may vary so you may need to play around with adding extra flour or extra liquids depending on the recipe.
Note: If you do have a grain mill of any kind, be sure to read the instruction booklet to see if it can handle large beans like this. The Nutrimill, a very powerful mill, takes some babysitting – I usually find that I have to change the settings from fine to coarse and poke the beans in to keep them moving, and it takes about 5 minutes to get a few cups through.
This is perfect if you’ve just been told you need a GF diet, if you have a friend or family member eating GF and you’d like to cook for them, or if you’re just curious what it’s all about!
Whatever Happened to Soaking?
Back when we were a whole wheat family, I wrote extensively on the benefits (and controversy) of soaking grains. When switching to grain-free, most of the need for soaking disappears, and many gluten-free recipes don’t include a soak, so you have to adapt a lot.
Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. But with legumes, I really did wonder about their digestibility if completely unsoaked. So let’s soak them! Soaking legumes is pretty important and very easy…are you ready for this recipe yet? We’ll be soaking the dough this time, and not the whole chickpeas.
The Chickpea Pizza Crust in Pictures
The batter is easy to mix up by hand.
You might get a bubble when it starts going. No biggie!
Just like pancakes, ready to flip.
Mmmmm, crispy on top after the flip!
This is a different pan, a well-oiled Xtrema. Not enough oil, and…
Disaster! This is a pan that didn’t have enough grease…at all…
Back to the good parts – Topping it is as easy as pie…pun intended.
Making lots of little pizzas means everyone can have what they want on top. Just stick these under the broiler on a sheet pan or baking stone for 1-3 minutes to crisp up the toppings and melt the cheese.
One of the first times I made this crust, soaked, we went on a family bike ride on a Sunday afternoon that ran a little longer than we expected.
Walking in the door at 6:30 p.m. is a horrible feeling when you ‘re the cook for a family with young children, and I can’t tell you how thankful I was that this batter was all mixed up and I only had to throw it on the stovetop for a few minutes! We were eating before 7:00, which is seriously a record for me. Hooray!
One of our most recent pizza endeavors was this zucchini crust from My Humble Kitchen – an amazing way to get EIGHT cups of zucchini used up! But…lots of time with the oven set to 550F, so I need to freeze some zukes for mid-winter to use that one again.
Making Chickpea Pizza Crust – The High Protein Pizza Crust OptionPrint
Whether you are cutting grains, needing a plant-based protein boost in your vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, or simply not wanting to heat up the house, this crust fits the bill.
- Mix all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl. You’ll end up with a very lumpy batter (not a stretchy dough, don’t worry!).
- Cover and allow to rest overnight on the countertop. (Note: Best soaking practice is to leave out the salt and incorporate it the following day.) You should find that by the next day, the lumps have all worked themselves out, which is handy. If you find yourself short on time you can skip this step.
- When ready to make the pizzas, heat 1-2 cast iron skillets over medium heat for at least 5 minutes to get the cooking surface nice and hot.
- Prepare all your toppings for efficiency.
- Preheat your broiler to high (or low, see below).
- Add a little oil of your choice (I usually use refined coconut oil (use the code STEWARDSHIP for 10% off at that site!)).
- Pour a thin layer (about 2/3-1 cup) evenly into the skillet, tilting it if necessary or using the back of a ladle to spread out the batter to the edges. Thinner crusts are tastier and crispier, in my opinion, although harder to pick up with your hands.
- Cook 1-2 minutes until browned on the bottom – it will bubble on the top a lot like pancakes when it’s ready to flip.
- Flip and cook 1-2 minutes more. For extra crispy crust, flip two more times to really brown it without burning.
- Remove the crust to a baking stone or cookie sheet. (You can get another one going in the skillet at this point.) If you have a lot of cast iron skillets or are making a smaller batch, you could certainly top and broil right in the skillet.
- Top with sauce, toppings and cheese of your choice.
- Broil 1-3 minutes on high to melt the cheese. (OR you can broil for about 5-7 minutes on low, which keeps the crust crusty and gives you a little more time to cycle the pizzas through and not burn your cheese because you’re distracted by the other crusts. Your call!) I actually prefer 5 minutes on low and then 1 minute on high to really brown the cheese nicely.
For our family to have leftovers, we double this recipe and make lots of pizzas! I get two skillets going at once.
To grind your own chickpeas, 2 1/2 cups of chickpeas makes a bit more than 4 cups of flour, so that’s what you’ll need for a double recipe (freeze any leftover flour).
Skip the soaking if you’re short on time. You’ll still get a yummy, high protein pizza crust.
You might want to enlist an assembly line to help top the pizzas. Things can move pretty fast and it’s easy to get behind, especially if you’re juggling two skillets!
To be successful at flipping the pizzas, you should (a) have a good metal spatula and (b) make sure your skillet is heated evenly and pre-seasoned well.
Makes 3 or 4 10” pizza crusts.
Adapted from Healing Cuisine by Elise.
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