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A-pusher: You know that begging strip commercial?

Me: Um… Maybe?

A-pusher: How I picture you: “Yum yum yum yum yum…..  It’s chocolate!!!!  And pizza”

Me: Hahahahaha

I think it’s well known that I really like pizza (and chocolate).  So…recently I made another pizza.  This time with a low carb/gluten free crust.  No, I’m not jumping onto the bandwagon of low carb/gluten free.  Yes, it is a bandwagon.  I tried it because I had to get rid of some cauliflower and I found this recipe that uses cauliflower (among other things) for the crust.

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I swapped out the skim mozz for a 6-cheese Italian cheeses blend because it’s what I had and the parm for a 5-cheese blend, also because it’s what I had on hand.  It takes a little while to prepare since you have to grate and parcook the cauliflower and then parbake the crust.  But the overall result wasn’t bad.  One pizza was topped with store bought tomato sauce, green bell, onions, garlic, grape tomatoes, mushrooms, and ham.  The other was topped with fresh tomatoes, green bell, onions, lots of garlic (I had to get rid of it), and the rest of the ham (yusssss! finally got rid of all the ham!!).

When the pizza is still quite hot, you can taste the cauliflower.  It’s not unpleasant, unless you don’t like cauliflower.  In which case, you probably shouldn’t be cooking with it.  As the pizza cools, the taste becomes fainter.  The texture is…soft.  I wasn’t expecting it to crisp up or anything but I don’t think I was expecting it to be quite as soft as it was.  The crust did hold up though.  There was some problem with sticking on the first pizza as I used foil instead of parchment.  But you were generally able to peel the foil away and still have a pizza slice.  The second pizza I used foil again but sprayed canola oil on the foil.  That one was much easier retrieve the pizza off the foil.

Overall, I’d say it’s a pretty decent way to use up cauliflower in a hurry.  It also made the calorie count much lower than a normal pizza.  So…I might have eaten a whole pizza in one sitting.  I may have regretted that after because low cal or not, it was still a lot of food.  And yes, I know that any pizza is a personal pizza if you try hard and believe in yourself.

But it was still a lot of food.

Sid ❤️ pizza #sidvid

A video posted by Sid (@myregalbeagle) on

My A-pushing friend says that’s totally me with pizza.

I disagree.  I think if I were that dog, I would have eaten the pizza already and not just be holding a slice in my mouth.  Also, I hope Sid gets to eat all the food he has to hold in his mouth after the photo/video has been taken.

So, I went and made more pizza recently.  It’s a big surprise, I know.  It was mostly because I’m still trying out crust recipes.  This time, I did a no-knead whole wheat dough.  I came across this recipe from Handle the Heat and decided to give it a try because I have a lot of whole wheat flour.

I used normal whole wheat flour, not white as they did, and I let the dough rise for about 24 hours at room temp before dividing it and storing in the fridge for about another day.  From said pizza dough, I made one transfer pizza, as in one you have to transfer with a peel but isn’t really quite in any style (e.g. NY) that you could define it as such, and one pan pizza.

Working with the whole wheat dough is easier than the white flour dough. It’s still pretty wet and sticky but not like the white flour dough. All the bran in the dough make it easier to handle I guess. It felt a little bit like play doh, actually.

Jarred pizza sauce, 6 cheese blend, green bell, onion, mushrooms, hot Italian sausage

Jarred pizza sauce, 6 cheese blend, green bell, onion, mushrooms, hot Italian sausage

The normal pizza was pretty good.  There’s a nice char at the edges, the crust is light and fluffy as yeast risen crusts are, but it is lacking the chew and the crispness of a more refined flour.  The bran might have made the dough easier to handle, but it also gets in the way of gluten formation.  So just like whole wheat breads are softer and don’t crisp in the toaster as much as a white bread does, the same goes with whole wheat pizza crust.  It tasted pretty good though.

Pizza was baked using the preheat stone (550degF), turn on broiler method.  Pizza was in the oven for about 12min.  I used parchment again for easy transfer.

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The second pizza was more of an experiment on pizza techniques and not dough.  I really like Neapolitan style pizza, thin crust pizzas, NY style pizzas (ok, basically all pizzas) but sometimes I want a giant, fatty slice of pizza with lots of toppings.  You can’t really do that with thin crust pizza and it’s hard to do that with any kind of pizza you have to transfer because of the potential for a bunch of your toppings to go flying during transfer.  And then immediately char and smoke.  And then causing you to frantically turn on all the fans and blow smoke away from your smoke detector.  Unless you enjoy the ear piercing shriek the smoke detector gives off.  I don’t particularly.

Anyway, I was looking at my cast iron skillet one time and decided that I could probably make a pan pizza in it.  A quick search let me to the Serious Eats post about pan pizzas in cast iron skillets.  Sold.  The author was an editor for Cook’s Illustrated magazine, which is published by America’s Test Kitchen, which tests recipes to death.  He does a whole bunch of tests so I don’t have to.  Yay!

If you’re going to go with a whole wheat crust, I definitely recommend pan pizzas over a transfer pizza of any style.  The lightly fried crust helps give a whole wheat crust some crispness that is otherwise hard to develop.  Texture wasn’t bad.  Again, it’s softer and lacks the same amount of chew because of the bran in the flour.  I think it was better than the transfer pizza because of the light frying though.

The pan pizza was baked at 550degF in my cast iron skillet for about 15min.  Same toppings as the first pizza.

I’ll be trying all of this again with a white flour next time.  I think I’ll also try varying ratios of white:whole wheat flour.  But I think I might always make one transfer and one pan pizza from now on, as I always make two pizzas at a time.  Otherwise I don’t think it was worth turning on the oven.  But anyway, the one pan, one transfer saves time.  I can let the pan pizza bake while waiting for the stone to preheat and then slide the transfer pizza in after taking the pan pizza out.