Love pizza? Keto or gluten-free diet? Or just too many calories to indulge? Cauliflower, fathead, egg "crusts" brutally harshing your pizza vibe?
I tried them all, and... ugh. That's not pizza!
Please: Allow me to rescue you with a pure pizza experience.
Note: You can also create this pizza upside down for a more traditional look. Instructions are here. The only real difference aside from the final appearance is that toppings get cooked a little more as they are right next to the heat and insulated by the cheese above.
This is a radically different pizza approach that replaces traditional bread and bread-ish crusts with a crust of mozzarella that provides both incredible flavor and the physical structure required for a slice of pizza to act like... a slice of pizza. It is easy to make and It. Tastes. Awesome. Just like pizza. How is that possible? Because there's nothing in it that shouldn't be in a pizza.
Toppings? You bet. You can use any topping you like (I had mushrooms here) or no topping if you're a purist. Of course, keep an eye on the nutrients in your toppings; the nutrient info I provide below is for a pizza with 1/8th cup mushrooms, just as shown here.
There's a cool side-effect, too. You know how with a traditional pizza, you take a bite, the cheese stretches in a hunk, then pulls away way too much cheese, leaving a sauce-only area on the slice? That's not a happy moment. Well, with the approach outlined here, that doesn't happen. Every bite is exactly what you bit off, and you control how much sauce, or not, goes with it by dipping. This is because the bottom of each slice is cooked enough to make sure that the Mozzarella doesn't fall apart. If you cook a traditional pizza with crust that way, in order to get the cheese cooked well enough, the crust will be overcooked. Severely. So this is a real win for consistency and taste.
So here's how to make one:
Mozzarella: 1 and 3/4th cups for 8" pizza
Canned, cooked mushrooms: 1/8th cup
Parmesan: 2 tablespoons
Garlic powder: 1/4th teaspoon
Italian seasoning: 1/8th teaspoon
Red pepper flakes: 1/8th teaspoon (optional)
Toppings: optional, to taste, usual amounts
You'll also need:
1) An 8" frying pan with a glass lid
2) Some kind of quality spray cooking oil
3) Pizza shears (yay!) or rolling cutter
4) A surprisingly small amount of marinara sauce, or other sauce, your call
Begin by spraying a non-stick pan liberally with oil. This is required so that the pizza will easily come out of the pan later. Not kidding. Spray!
Add the mozzarella to the pan, spread it out evenly, shake / add parmesan across top of mozzarella, sprinkle garlic powder and Italian seasoning over the two cheeses, add your preferred topping(s), if any, then cover the pan with its glass lid.
You must be able to see the pizza as it cooks, because the moment it is ready and awesome turns into the moment is is not awesome and overcooked in about 30 seconds. So you have to keep your eyes on the process. Once you get a feel for how fast the pizza cooks on your stove, you can just set a timer to remind you to start looking about a minute before it reaches its optimum state. So here we go:
Turn heat to medium, and cook until you see the edges of the pizza begin to significantly brown as shown in the image above (this usually takes about 5-8 minutes for most stovetops), remove the pan from the stove, remove lid, let sit and cool undisturbed for five minutes. This lets the cheese set up, it is a very important step.
After cooling, the pizza should move when you gently shake the pan. If not, use more spray oil next time... for this effort, you can use a spatula to carefully loosen it, but this is to be avoided if possible.
Slide off onto your serving dish, let cool for another few minutes (2-5) before cutting. To cut into traditional slices, pizza shears are highly recommended, otherwise, try a rolling pizza cutter (but shears are better, believe me.)
While the pizza is undergoing this final cooling step, if you want your dipping sauce to be warm, it should be heated so that it will be ready at the end of this step. I just microwave the marinara, takes only seconds because very little is required.
Serve with a desired sauce / dip, such as marinara, garlic butter, ranch, hot sauce, etc. Watch out for carbs here. Marinara, for instance, is relatively high. But you don't need a lot. An entire 8" mushroom pizza, including 2 tablespoons of marinara which I have found is more than enough when dipping every bite of every slice, works out to:
9.8g net carbs, (10.5g - .8g fiber)
The mushrooms are about .3 carbs in total; subtract for no mushrooms.
For am 8" pizza cut into 8 slices (as per tradition), the numbers per slice are:
1.22g net carbs
For one slice, the mushrooms account for .037 carbs... so for a pizza without, subtract that per slice.
Remember to account for the nutrient values for other toppings if you use them.
Once it's served, you'll be able to pick up the slices just as you would a regular pizza. You can even fold them traditionally! Much of the flavor of a pizza comes from the browned mozzarella, and the bottom of this pizza brings that to your taste buds with bells on. Dip the slice into the sauce of your choice, close your eyes, and bite into that puppy. Surprise! Tastes just like pizza. Because it is pizza.
You can also scale up the recipe for larger pizzas; the process is just the same. Here are some common scaling factors:
10": increase 8" ingredients by 1.5 times
12": increase 8" ingredients by 2.25 times
14": increase 8" ingredients by 3 times
16": increase 8" ingredients by 4 times
...and of course, use the appropriate size pan.
* Image composition done with my free iToolBox application.