It’s a dichotomy in America today – is pizza healthy?
The government seems to think so, counting it as a power-packed grain/dairy/vegetable combo on school lunch menus. Most nutrition writers see it as a white flour nemesis at best or a trifecta of pure inflammatory grain/dairy/processed meats evil at worst.
Is there such a thing as healthy pizza crust – and can it be gluten-free to boot?
This isn’t an oxymoron, I promise.
It’s the hope that you CAN make a whole grain (nearly) gluten-free pizza crust with no corn, no rice, no yeast, and no xanthan gum or other gums.
In fact, we’ll walk through two different versions in this post, one that I’ve made many times and another that I’m still experimenting with (and you can, too!).
Buckwheat Gluten-Free Pizza Crust
I’m not going to lie – this one is hearty. But interesting!
I adapted the recipe from the Nourishing Meals cookbook, and the same one is also on their blog here. My version soaks the whole grain flour overnight for maximum digestibility and adds flavor the original just needed, plus the baking method yields a much more crispy crust.
The result is an incredibly stable, pick-up-able (that’s a word, promise) pizza crust that won’t set your gluten sensors off (nor likely any other allergen issues). It’s 100% freshly ground buckwheat flour with the exception of a tiny half cup of tapioca flour (debatable whether that has to count as a refined grain since tapioca isn’t a grain but a tuber). The flavor is strong but melds well with spicy oregano-infused sauce and a variety of savory toppings.
Warning: This is serious here – do NOT even bother with this recipe if you don’t have a grain mill. Freshly ground buckwheat does not compare to the buckwheat flour you buy in the store, which is usually speckled with black dots. If it looks peppered, stay away! It’s not what you want!
With freshly milled flour, however, buckwheat is not bitter at all but has a deep, rich flavor. Recognizable but not quite quantifiable. I have no idea how to describe it.
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Freshly ground buckwheat makes this gluten-free pizza dough recipe unique and delicious.
If feeding a family, just double it! One batch makes a cast iron griddle (just barely) + skillet; two batches will cover the griddle twice and skillet once. Remove pizza no. 1 to a plate and simply keep going, or make pizza #2 after dinner just for leftovers. It makes a good gluten-free school lunch!
- To soak, start the night before and grind the buckwheat. Mix the apple cider vinegar into the water and stir together with the buckwheat flour in the bowl of a stand mixer if you have one.
- As you stir, if the consistency is kind of like a stringy, sticky tile grout, that’s perfect.
- The next day, whenever you’re ready to start baking the pizza crust, preheat the oven to 375F.
- Sprinkle all the dry ingredients over the dough-batter and use a KitchenAid stand mixer or similar (regular paddle) to mix everything thoroughly.
- While the mixer is running, pour in the olive oil.
- Over medium heat, place two large cast iron skillets or one 10-inch skillet and a cast iron griddle. Preheat those for about 2 minutes and add your favorite fat, coating the surface thoroughly.
- Use a spatula to spread the dough-batter as thinly as possible on both surfaces. Wet the spatula to prevent sticking and work quickly – the heat is on, literally!
- Cook the bottom of the crust over the stovetop for 1-2 minutes (peek at the bottom to make sure it’s not browning if you worry you moved too slowly spreading it out).
- Place the cast iron directly into the preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes. If the pans/griddle don’t fit next to each other on the same rack, arrange to the very top and bottom, then bake 5 minutes and switch, then 5 minutes more.
- Remove from the oven, add toppings, and broil on high for 2-3 minutes to melt the cheese. The second pizza may broil more quickly than the first, and watch closely during the third minute so your cheese doesn’t burn.
Optional baking method without cast iron:
- Preheat the oven to 425F with 2 baking stones IN.
- Grease the pre-heated stones with your favorite fat, spread the dough-batter evenly over the stone with a spatula and as thinly as possible (wet it to decrease sticking).
- Bake 8-10 minutes until the crust makes a “tap” sound when you tap the center.
- Top with desired toppings then bake 8-10 minutes more.
- This recipe will cover about 1 1/2 Pampered Chef baking stones.
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100% Whole Grain Gluten-Free Pizza Attempt
Adapted from Simply Quinoa.
My husband emphatically pronounced this one the winner over the buckwheat pizza crust, even though he’s happily eaten the buckwheat crust many times over the years including make-your-own pizzas at a First Communion party many years ago.
It’s just that there’s pizza that’s good, and then there’s GOOD, healthy pizza. We all agree that the not-quite-100%-whole-grain super crispy crust gluten-free recipe I shared before is the BEST, though, but for 100% whole grain, this one really turned out well.Print
- 1 c. warm water, 100-110F
- 2 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast (I like the SAF brand)*
- 1-2 tsp. maple syrup
- 1/2 c. brown rice flour (70g)
- scant 1/2 c. teff flour (55g)
- 1/4 c. millet flour (25g)
- 1/4 c. raw buckwheat flour (30g)
- 1/3 c. quinoa flour (35g)
- 1 tsp. Real Salt
- 1/2 tsp. psyllium husk
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
- Heat the water (or use warm tap water). You know it’s about 100F if it feels warmer than your body temp, but not at all painful to leave your finger in for more than 5-10 seconds.
- Combine the warm water, yeast, and maple syrup in the measuring cup and allow to “proof” for 5-10 minutes. (That means you should see bubbles.)
- In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, whisk all the flours and dry ingredients together.
- Pour the bubbly yeast mixture and the in and stir or mix on low until uniform. The dough-batter, as is the norm for gluten-free pizza dough, will be more like tile grout or too-thick pancake batter than dough.
- Allow to rise for 1 hour.
- After 40 minutes of the rise time, preheat the oven to 425F with a baking stone IN.
- Grease the stone with your favorite fat and use a spatula to spread the dough-batter as thinly as possible. Use water on the spatula to help prevent sticking; this recipe is VERY sticky and a bit hard to work with (not kid-friendly, unfortunately, although the mixing would be a great kid-job).
- Bake 15 minutes until just browning on the edges.
- Top with desired toppings, then bake another 8-12 minutes until cheese is browned OR bake 8 minutes, then broil the toppings on high 2-3 minutes to brown the cheese.
- The yeast is just over one packet; I’m sure a packet would be fine if that’s what you have.
See? Pretty crispy too! That’s hard to find in gluten-free crusts in general, but especially whole grain recipes. Hooray!
Remember that the second recipe is imperfect, maybe a little less stable than the first, a work in progress.