..but otherwise, not really essential. At least, that’s the way I see it most of the time these days. But some foods aren’t really the same without some sort of base to hold the good stuff.
I do miss baking pizza and all the creative topping variations. I’d been meaning to try this crust idea for a while.
You’ll never believe what the crust is made with – steamed and drained mashed cauliflower (a low carber fakin’ favorite, one of the few “faux foods” I use), shredded mozzarella cheese, dried herbs, and egg, mixed and pre-baked on parchment paper, then topped and baked again. I used pans this time; next time I will try the tips for baking on ceramic tiles, which was my preferred method for pizza crusts and breads (not sure where the baking tiles are stored anymore!). While the crust isn’t exactly like wheat dough crust (less crunch and slightly less sturdy), it works well enough, and no one would know there was cauliflower in it (Guy and Gabriel couldn’t guess), unless you tell.
My crust was a tiny bit soft, because I might not have drained my cauliflower quite enough and I used a ball of mozzarella cheese I grated myself (great kid job, but my kid was outside playing still), which has somewhat more moisture than pre-grated mozzarella in a bag. I also might have spread the mixture a bit too thin on the parchment; next time I’ll spread it thicker. So we ate our pizza with a fork to avoid mishaps, though we probably could have picked it up if we were careful.
I doubled the crust recipe and pre-baked two crusts. One pizza I topped with my favorite New Basics pizza sauce recipe (with smashed roasted garlic added), mild Italian sausage (squeezed out of the casing, crumbled before and during cooking), caramelized onions, halved kalamata olives, capers, oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, and of course, grated mozzerella cheese. The other pizza was just topped with pizza sauce, sausage, and grated mozzarella cheese.
Just like with Meatza! (baked ground meat crust), the dominant flavor is the tomato pizza sauce and the toppings, not the crust, which mostly serves to hold the toppings (Pizza crust, bread, crackers: a transportation vehicle than enables eating messy foods with hands instead of utensils).
Tastes pretty much like regular pizza, though the crunch at the crust edge is not pronounced as it is with wheat pizza bread dough. A noble sacrifice in search of normal blood glucose levels and better nutrition, yes? I made a double batch of the crust mixture and baked two pizzas, four slices each. We each had two slices. But these two slices were very filling with a side salad. Had that been regular pizza, all of us would still have been hungry for more (& I would have had a very high post meal BG with conventional pizza dough). This crust increases veggie, protein, and micro-nutrient intake, too, without all that insulin-raising starch.