Author Topic: Low-Carb Pizza Crust (Hand-Tossed) #15d  (Read 1349 times)

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Offline MarkDouma

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  • Location: Grand Rapids, MI
  • My goal: a low-carb yeast-risen pizza dough
Low-Carb Pizza Crust (Hand-Tossed) #15d
« on: March 02, 2019, 09:00:31 PM »
First off, apologies if this is a rather lengthy post(s), as this has been several months in the making.

I went low-carb in 2013 and don't plan on going back, so I've been looking for a way to add pizza back to my diet. Having worked at Pizza Hut for about 6 years during high school and college, I probably have a more narrow view of what constitutes "pizza" than most low-carb people: pizza is a yeast-risen, and has a bread-like crumb. In other words, Fathead doughs (crust is basically all mozz cheese), or anything that uses a lot of eggs for structure is not really pizza.

TMB has the right idea, and I've been working on an adaption of a bread recipe (I know, pizza's not bread ;)) I found on reddit that's probably somewhat similar to his recipes. The following recipe is still a work-in-progress, and I'm hoping to be able to eliminate any non-essential ingredients that may prove hard-to-get. It does use some more "exotic" flour ingredients, though some may end up being cheaper than almond flour.

The recipe as stated made about a 13 oz, 9 inch pie (was hard to stretch it out much larger than that).

Pizza Crust (Low-Carb, Hand-Tossed) #15d
6 Tbsp finely ground golden flaxseed meal*(flour)23.33%42 g
6 Tbsp oat fiber*(flour)23.33%42 g
cup + 2 tsp vital wheat gluten*(flour)42.22%76 g
2 Tbsp wheat bran(flour)5.56%10 g
1 Tbsp raw wheat germ(flour)5.56%10 g
1/8 tsp Xanthan gum*0.21%0.4 g
1 tsp Diamond Crystal Kosher salt*1.56%2.8 g
1 tsp Splenda (Sucralose)0.31%0.6 g
1 tsp pizza crust yeast*2.88%5.2 g
160 g water88.9%160 g
tsp honey*2.92%5.3 g
1 tsp olive oil*3.75%6.8 g
Yield:200.5%361 g
Tot. Flour:100%180 g

*denotes an essential ingredient.

I don't know if anyone wants to try this as is, or wait until I can simplify it further, though if you have any questions about substitutions or alternatives, just ask.

Regarding the ingredients: make sure you get golden flaxseed meal, not regular (brown) flaxseed meal. Golden flaxseed has a much more mellow, nuttier taste than brown. I prefer to buy the seeds in bulk and then grind them myself in a blender. The finer the grind you can get, the better, as the seed shells in a coarse grind can slice through gluten. Bob's Red Mill brand is very coarse, but it will work, just not as well as a finer grind. Golden flaxseed meal is somewhat lower in carbs than almond flour, slightly fewer calories, and can be a bit cheaper.

Oat fiber is basically pure insoluble fiber which just adds bulk to the dough with no calories. It has a fairly bland neutral taste that's kind of a cross between cardboard and plain cheerios. It's also extremely filling and helps lessen the glycemic impact of whatever other carbs you are eating. You'll probably need to buy this online.

Vital wheat gluten is the main ingredient in the flours. Yeah, if any other members saw our VWG at 42%, they'd probably think we're nuts ;D, but it's what gives it the bread-like taste and main structure for holding gasses.

Wheat bran isn't required, though I'm not sure yet about the raw wheat germ. Raw wheat germ (not toasted wheat germ) contains glutathione, which may help make the VWG less elastic, meaning it can be stretched out easier without snapping back. Since these are a source of carbs (6 g net carbs), if I can eliminate them without sacrificing taste and/or dough workability, I think I'll probably do that, though more testing is needed.

Xanthan gum is essential I think. While it is very expensive, a whole bag will last you years, just store it in your freezer in an airtight container. Xanthan gum helps work with the vital wheat gluten to trap the gases of fermentation. You can try without it, but you probably won't get as good of a rise.

Regarding salt: 1 tsp Diamond Crystal Kosher salt = about 5/8 tsp Morton Coarse Kosher salt = about tsp table salt.

Pizza crust yeast is basically instant yeast with the addition of L-Cysteine, which, like the glutathione in raw wheat germ, may help to make the gluten less elastic (meaning it can be stretched out easier). I'm not sure yet whether the tiny amount in the yeast will actually make a difference with the large amount of gluten we have, and I hope to do more testing to find out.

While we're using tsp of honey which has 4 g of carbs (sugar), it's being used as the primary source of food for the yeast, with the intention being that by the time the dough is ready to bake, very little of it will remain.

Mixing Procedure
  • Measure out the first 9 (dry) ingredients. For best results, weigh the flaxseed meal, oat fiber, and vital wheat gluten (those 3 volume equiv. are approximates). Since many of these ingredients should be stored under refrigeration (flaxseed meal, vital wheat gluten, wheat bran, wheat germ, xanthan gum), we'll need to mix them, then place them in an airtight container and allow them to sit out at room temperature for an hour or more. (Zapping them in the microwave isn't the same, I've tried it). If you don't let them warm up, you'll end up needing to use more water for the dough to come together, which means you'll have a pizza that's done on the outside and still raw in the middle.
  • Heat the water till it's about 120F, then measure out the honey and dissolve it in the warm water.
  • Pour the water+honey mixture into the bowl of your stand mixer, and then dump the dry goods in. I usually just do this by hand, and stir with a spoon to allow things to hydrate. The dough should form a ball fairly quickly. If it's too dry, and there is still dry flour that can't be incorporated, add a tsp of water at a time, and try to incorporate it.
  • After the flour is hydrated and you have a cohesive dough ball, install the dough hook, and add the olive oil.
  • Mix in the stand mixer for 10 to 15 minutes to allow gluten to be developed.

I still haven't worked out the best times for this yet, but the example pictures I'll show are from a 24 hour CF (which may have been too long). I basically balled the dough after mixing, oiled it, and placed in a container in the fridge.

I took it out a day later, and let it warm somewhat to room temperature before trying to shape it. Since the dough contains so much gluten, I had to open it up and shape it in stages. I placed it on parchment paper, formed the small circle, placed it on top of an electric heating pad set on low, covered it, and allowed it to rest. As it warmed and started to proof somewhat, I was able to work it out larger.

I still haven't worked out the best method for this. As many who've try low-carb doughs or gluten-free doughs know, the high hydration rate (80% and above) can make it tough to be able to bake the pizza without needing to doing a par-bake first.

In my particular case, I was cooking the pizza directly on the bottom of an overturned 15" cast iron pan preheated to 450F. In the pictures you can see I did do a 4 minute par-bake at 450F with ⅔ of the sauce, which I don't think was necessary, or may have been a little bit too long. I then took it out, added the rest of the sauce, topped it, and returned it to the oven for about 9 minutes. It seemed a little bit too dry, but was still the best hand-tossed specimen so far.

Nutrition Info
I've adjusted this by removing the carbs from the honey, assuming they've all been consumed by the yeast. The info for the whole pizza (12.7 oz) is as follows:

Total Fat27g
Total Carbohydrate77g
Dietary Fiber60g
Net Carbs17g

« Last Edit: March 03, 2019, 04:37:59 PM by MarkDouma »

Offline MarkDouma

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  • Location: Grand Rapids, MI
  • My goal: a low-carb yeast-risen pizza dough
Re: Pizza Crust (Low-Carb, Hand-Tossed) #15d
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2019, 09:02:42 PM »
More pics

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Pizza Crust (Low-Carb, Hand-Tossed) #15d
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2019, 09:09:29 PM »
I'm curious about the use of honey. I've always thought that honey was antimicrobial, but I guess that could depend on the degree of processing. I wonder how much remains unfermented after 24 hours.

Offline TMB

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  • My mission: Low Carb Pizza that taste great!
Re: Low-Carb Pizza Crust (Hand-Tossed) #15d
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2019, 12:25:28 PM »
Looks very good and willing to give this one a go!!   :chef:

And you are correct, low carb dough is hard to bake without pre-baking. Although I find if going about 400 instead of 350 it goes a lot better.   

My cracker cust has gotten pretty good and going to try it in my UNNI this weekend if the weather holds off
« Last Edit: May 21, 2019, 12:35:03 PM by TMB »
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