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!
My Dance with Fancy Flours
I’ve often said over the years that I don’t like the “fancy flours” that gluten-free and grain-free baking 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 “fancy 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 this winter, 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 (here is an option on Amazon) 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 Iknow 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. With the ability to grind chickpeas into flour, a whole new world of recipes has opened up to me! Let me know in the comments if you have a favorite recipe with chickpea flour, m’kay? Thanks!
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. Has anyone made chickpea flour with a high-powered blender?
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.
The last time 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.
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Whether you are cutting grains or 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.
- 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 (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).
*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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