My quest to find bread and dough substitutes continues and when you start delving into this realm, the possibilities are endless. You are only limited by your imagination and I am discovering new ways all the time. The boundaries of bread are definitely being pushed, mostly by Vegetables.
Of course there are plenty of gluten-free bread/pizza base products available, however these products generally contain a cocktail of ingredients such as Xanthum Gum, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose or the dreaded Corn Starch which help the bread to retain a soft texture and nice attractive look. They are usually also high in sugar and fat to make them tastier. When it comes to a pizza base, nothing and absolutely nothing substituted is ever truly going to ‘taste’ like the classic traditional Italian, melt in your mouth dough consistency they have been masters of for decades. But it doesn’t hurt to try something new in the kitchen and experiment just to see what you can create. And in the case of a Broccoli Base Pizza, it won’t hurt your waistline either, you can eat as much as you want without the guilt factor. Win. (Unless it’s loaded with cheese of course).
Perhaps we should refer to this as something other than a pizza as am sure this concept would seem completely unethical to any fans of a great pizza, which would have to be the majority of us. I’ve decided on a Broccoli ‘Flammkuchen’ – a German name which is the translation of the French ‘Tarte Flambee’. Fancy I know but it in generic terms basically just means pizza made of very thinly rolled bread dough, cooked in a wood-fired oven, traditionally topped with Creme Fraiche, thinly sliced onions and bacon.
I sampled my first Flammkuchen in Switzerland recently after my musical European friends dismissed my plight of eating no-dough as a bit of a no-go. They weren’t wrong, it was incredibly delicious, as was the accompanying crisp white wine.
You can put whatever toppings you like on this, up to you. In this recipe I have substituted Creme Fraiche with a Blanched Almond, Tahini and Garlic spread, then topped with Caramelised Onions cooked in Organic Coconut Oil. So, no-gluten and no-dairy and you could eliminate the coconut sugar from the onions and it would be no-sugar as well, but they wouldn’t caramelise nicely. Some might say ‘no-fun’ either but it tastes good and is good for you. You’ve saved yourself a few high carbs and calories and earned yourself a nice glass or two of Cab Sav to go with it 🙂
Broccoli Flammkuchen: *
1 Head of Broccoli
3 Tbs Ground Almonds
1 Tbs Sesame Seeds
1) Break Broccoli into florets, whizz them all up in a food processor till in tiny bits (do this in batches)
2) Place in a steamer or in the microwave and steam for five minutes, let cool
3) Put steamed broccoli in a tea towel, gather the sides up, scrunch into a ball and squeeze out all the moisture
4) Put in a bowl and mix together with almonds, sesame seeds and egg till well combined
5) Place a piece of baking paper on top of a pizza tray or stone and mould the mix out with your hands to flatten so it resembles a pizza base like this:
6) Bake in 180 C oven for fifteen minutes
7) Remove from oven and spread with almond paste and caramelised onions (recipe below) or whatever toppings you like.
8) Bake for another 15 minutes
Almond, Tahini and Garlic Paste:*
1 Cup of Blanched Almonds
2 Cloves Garlic
1/4 Cup of Olive Oil
1 Tbs Tahini
Juice of one Lemon
Dash of Paprika
Salt and Pepper
1) Place all ingredients in a food processor and grind up to a paste
Caramelised Onions: (Quick Version)
1 Red Onion, cut in to quarters lengthwise and then into slithers
1 Tbs Coconut Oil
1 Tbs Coconut Sugar (or Brown Sugar)
Splash of Water
1) Melt coconut oil over medium heat, then add onions and let sizzle for a few minutes
2) Add sugar and water, fry gently stirring often till the onions start to soften and get a bit syrupy, about 15 minutes or so.
Here is the inspiration for the pizza base (where you will find many other great recipes and restaurant reviews by the very talented Not Quite Nigella) originally made with Cauliflower Low Carb Gluten Free Cauliflower Base Pizza
I wanted to see if it also worked with Broccoli after making the Cauliflower version. It’s a different texture but still tasty.
The recipe for the Almond Paste is originally from here Eat Drink Paleo another wonderful site full of excellent recipes and nutritional information.