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Ultimate low-carb cauliflower pizza dough

I spent all weekend perfecting my recipe for low-carb pizza... and now I am ready to share my results with my PandaWhale friends!

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Stashed in: #lifehacks, @troutgirl, Pizza!, Good Eats!, Home Sweet Home!, health, Nutrition!, Vegetables!, Yum, Recipes!, Thank You!, Food, Food, Food Hacks, Cauliflower!, Paleo, Learn to cook., @geege4

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Nice IMAGE.  ;)

Slow your roll, girl! I was writing my notes down!!!

Well before your notes we have to note it looks delicious!

I also note you started this project a year ago:

Please note that we are grateful for Joyce's sojourn; we appreciate - we LAUD - your efforts.  Srsly.

Joyce, have you tried using a ricer?

(I am inspired to make a cauliflower flatbread with embedded herbs and such.)

Awww, that's kind of you Geege!I have not used a ricer. I don't make mashed potatoes, which are the main thing they seem to be extra good for. Plus I loves me my stick blender!!!

Yeah a ricer seems redundant if one has a stick blender. 

So I started with this guy's pretty standard recipe:

and ended up with this beauty:

Nothing wrong with that, but I have a couple of technical points to add:

* I don't own one, but I have reason to believe you'd get even better results if you pre-heated a pizza stone in the oven to use instead of using a baking sheet. Or pre-heat a heavy baking sheet and use that.

* I only had to microwave my riced cauliflower 4 minutes, not 8.

* After many episodes of _Diners, Drive-ins and Dives_ I have learned that the key to a commercial-tasting product is a little bit of granulated garlic. Even if you also use fresh garlic on the pizza, a little of the dried stuff in the crust gives you a "not made at home" touch that's hard to describe.

* The crust is not the time to bust out your fancy fior di latte or bocconcini. You actually want the LOW MOISTURE part-skim stuff that they sell in blocks in the refrigerator case -- or even the shredded stuff (I can't believe I just said that!). If you can't find it, use Monterey Jack or some other neutral cheese that melts well. Fancy cheese for the topping is fine, in the photo above I used some full-fat full-moisture fior di latte on top of the pizza.

* As soon as the pizza comes out of the oven, take it off the cookie sheet -- still with the parchment paper backing -- and put it on a wire rack to cool.

So the only problem with the recipe above is that I hate hate hate ricing cauliflower. It seriously sucks, and I believe is a major barrier to people eating more cauliflower. The minute your cauliflower curds hit the Cuisinart blade, they transform into something like wet tiny Styrofoam crumbs that get everywhere and make you have to wash everything they touch extra-carefully -- and washing a Cuisinart is never fun anyway. Plus for some reason no matter how careful you are not to overfill the food processor bowl, there's always one or two florets that don't get properly minced and then you have to fish them out -- ugh!

My alternative method is even easier -- if you can boil water you can do it -- and gives better results in my opinion because you start with PUREED cauliflower. Pizza crust is made of dough. Which is more like dough, riced cauliflower or pureed cauliflower? If I asked you to make a dough starting either with rice or mashed potatoes, which would you choose? I rest my case! The only caveat is that you MUST have a stick or immersion blender. No substitutes will do.

So you begin by cutting up your cauliflower ANY OLD WAY as long as you get rid of the leaves and the hard part of the core. You want to just cut it in half and core it? Be my guest. Put the cauliflower in a pot with water, bring to a boil, and simmer until you can just stick a fork easily in the biggest part. You can't really overcook it, so don't stress. Drain the cauliflower, and then whip out the stick blender and puree that bad boy as much as you like.

From there follow the recipe as above: squeeze out the water, mix in the egg and cheese and seasonings, bake, top, bake again. My pureed cauliflower was a little bigger than the one I riced, so I made a rectangular pizza and topped it with sausage as well as tomato. The texture was smoother and more like pizza dough, and basically the thing was delicious! Go forth and enjoy your super-low-carb giant healthy pizzas, friends!!!

After trying both, I found that your method leads to a much crisper crust than the original ricing recipe.

I definitely prefer pizza made with your method. 

The hardest part of this recipe is squeezing the water out of the pureed cauliflower inside a dish towel or several thicknesses of cheesecloth. The cloth gets wet, you can't see what's going on very well, and little bits of your puree keep escaping. Luckily the untrammeled delights of capitalism have provided an answer via Amazon: a nut milk bag that costs less than $7. For those who don't know because they are not certified lunatics, this is a strong nylon mesh bag specifically designed to help you make your own almond milk at home -- or separate any liquid from a pulp. It takes the squeezing from about 20 minutes to maybe 5.

20 minutes of squeezing sounds painful. 5 minutes of squeezing sounds doable. 

Even if you assiduously squeeze the water out of the cauliflower, the bottom of the crust does not become crispy -- probably because of the parchment, which is so water-resistant it's often used to make containers for steamed foods. Next set of experiments will focus on increasing the crispiness of what amounts to a cauliflower pancake, if anyone wants to help. Things to try:

* Baking on an oiled cookie sheet without parchment. Might require smaller crusts.

* Baking with parchment till top is brown, then flipping it over and peeling off the parchment before topping and second baking.

* Using convection setting rather than regular baking.

* Reheating on a frying pan or griddle.

Reheating on a frying pan works well. Getting the crust crisp makes it super delicious!

I could not tell this was a cauliflower crust. It was so good!

Baking on an oiled cookie sheet did not work well.

Flipping over worked pretty well! Make sure to cool the crust ON THE PARCHMENT on a wire rack; then heat the baking sheet, flip the crust upside down on it, and peel the parchment off what is now the top.

Yeah, flipping over created your best crust yet!

Working on this now. I steamed a whole cauliflower. To remove the water I put it in a colander and pressed a glass bowl into it. It didn't take too long to get it dry.  Now to put in on a very hot stone.  I'll report back....

I did not achieve a crisp crust but MAN it tastes and smells like a real  pizza!  A really *good* pizza! My crust might have been too thick. I didn't use parchment so there was no flipping it.

The granulated garlic is the tasty touch. Thank you for sharing!


Geege it looks great! Granulated garlic for the win!

Not sure why your crust didn't crisp. Maybe you're right that it was too thick. 

Joyce might know. 

Yay Geege!!! Looks great anyway :)

It took Joyce a few tries to get her crust to crisp. Maybe Geege you need to make more. :)

Oh I shall! Turning my friends on to the pizza, too.  It will be a CRAZE.  Thanks again!

PS I would even eat the unbaked crust material as a side.

I will be making this for Christmas, following the weeks for trail and error you all have put yourselves through. a new write up with the best method (thin and flipped crust, pressed with nut milk press, emulsified cauliflower, pizza stone instead of sheet) is in order.

Nathaniel, that sounds wonderful. Good luck!

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