There have been many food items that don’t fit into the paleo lifestyle that I rarely even miss anymore. Things like traditional pasta, soda, and sugary breakfast cereals used to be a regular part of my diet, but rarely do I give them a second thought anymore. But, there have been a handful of things that I have missed dearly and have attempted over and over to recreate in paleo-hack form. Pizza crust is one of those. I’ve tried a flax seed crust, cauliflower crust and a few others over the last year. All got the job done, but there weren’t any that made my taste buds dance with glee. That was, until I stumbled across Zenbelly’s incredible NY Style Paleo Pizza Crust. This is not a substitute for the people who like a thick and fluffy crust. But for those folks, like me, who enjoy a thin crust, this is the best I’ve had thus far. It does require some planning because it uses traditional yeast, meaning it needs about 60-90 minutes to rise. I have experimented with Rapid-Rise Yeast and didn’t get the same results as the active dry yeast. What was really great about this recipe is that I finally was able to finish a bag of Tapioca Flour that I had had sitting around for months. It was an impulse buy that I had never really found any significant uses for. I’ve made this recipe 4 times now (in about 3 weeks!) and had to finally go and buy a new bag today because “Pizza Night” has now become a weekly tradition at my house!
Zenbelly’s NY Style Pizza Crust
1 tablespoon gluten-free yeast
1 tablespoon raw honey
1/4 cup warm water (should feel warm on the inside of your wrist, but not burn)
3/4 cup almond flour
3/4 cup tapioca starch
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon olive oil (or other melted fat if you’re opposed to heating olive oil)
1 tablespoon egg whites (less than one egg)
1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
and of course your favorite toppings!
In the warmed bowl of your stand mixer (or alternately, the bowl you’ll be using with hand-held beaters), combine the yeast, honey, and warm water and whisk to combine. Let sit for a good 5 minutes. It will get foamy and active.
In a small bowl, combine olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and egg white.
In a medium bowl, whisk to combine the almond flour, tapioca starch, and sea salt.
Once the yeast is foamy, add the wet and dry ingredients to the bowl and mix on medium high for 30 seconds, scraping down the bowl once to make sure it’s all incorporated.
Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula again to gather the dough together. It will NOT look like the dough you remember, it is much wetter. Use the spatula to get it into as much of a ball as possible.
Cover the bowl with a tea towel and set in a warm (but not hot) place. Allow it to sit for 75-90 minutes. I know, it’s torture.
After 75 minutes, check the dough to see if it’s risen. It won’t rise as dramatically as a conventional dough would, but it will have changed, and gotten aerated, and a bit larger. (see above pics). If this has happened, Turn your oven on to 500 and if using a pizza stone, place it in the oven to to heat up while the oven warms.
Lightly oil a sheet of parchment paper and turn the dough out onto it. It will likely be a bit stuck to the bottom of the bowl, just scrape it out as best as you can.
With oiled hands, gently flatten out the pizza dough into a 9-10″ circle. It will be aerated, so might want to leave empty spaces.
Carefully transfer the parchment with the dough onto the pizza stone or sheet pan.
Bake at 500 in the lower 1/3 of your oven for 6-8 minutes, or until it’s starting to brown at the edges.
Add desired toppings and cook for 2-3 minutes more. Allow to cool for a minute before slicing.