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Authentic Paleo Pizza

February 24, 2021
At a Glance

Summary

This Paleo pizza crust, made with the perfect blend of almond flour and tapioca starch, is crisp outside and chewy inside. You won’t believe the truly authentic taste!

Categories

Prep / Cook Time

20 minutes plus 45 minutes to rise / 15 minutes

Rating

 5/5 (49 votes)
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Authentic Paleo Pizza

This Paleo pizza crust tastes just like the real thing, but is made without gluten, grains, or dairy. It’s the perfect primal canvas for all your favorite toppings!

Overhead image of Paleo pizza with pepperoni, dairy free cheese, onions, and fresh basil

What’s different about this gluten free pizza

Cauliflower and other veggie-based crusts are great, but sometimes you need something a little closer to classic pizza to satisfy your cravings. This Paleo pizza dough bakes up into a gorgeous pie with just the right amount of crunch around the edges.

The middle of the pie is more chewy than crispy, but holds its own well enough to not sag under the weight of whatever toppings you choose. You’ll just need two Paleo-style flours to make this Paleo pizza crust, and it will fool your friends with how close it tastes to traditional pizza.

Dough for Paleo pizza unshaped, shaped, baked and topped

How we achieve that traditional pizza crust chew and flavor

Almond and tapioca flours work together to mimic all-purpose flour for this recipe, and yeast gives the dough that characteristic pizza crust flavor. Instead of sugar, honey is mixed with the yeast to get the process started.

Olive oil provides a hint of richness and the egg, coupled with the tapioca flour, gives the dough plenty of elasticity, so it’s easy to work with. The dough only requires one forty-five minute rise, making it a viable option for weeknight dinners.

Once the dough has risen, it’s easy to pat out by hand on a piece of parchment—no rolling pin necessary. Preheat a baking sheet (use the back to give the pizza more room), brush the dough with a little olive oil, and pop the crust in the oven.

Overhead image of Paleo pizza slices

Which pizza toppings are Paleo?

After baking for eight minutes, the partially-baked pizza is ready for toppings. The photos above are taken by Becky of A Calculated Whisk (she developed this recipe for me).

Above, you can see that Becky used marinara sauce, pepperoni, thinly sliced red onion, and dollops of cashew ricotta. The red onion and basil leaves look like they were added after baking, so they’re still raw.

Since I’ve started Paleo baking, the rules seem to have changed a bit and some dairy seems to be allowed. If you eat traditional cow’s milk dairy, just use your favorite cheese or other pizza toppings. Anything you might use for a traditional gluten free pizza crust will work just as well here. 

Overhead image of parbaked paleo pizza crust with raw toppings

I’ve used everything from store-bought dairy free cheese, like Miyoko’s Kitchen brand dairy free mozzarella-style cheese, to my own homemade version. In the how-to video in this post and in the image above, the shredded cheese is one I made using using Nora Cook’s recipe for shreddable vegan mozzarella cheese.

If you’d like to make Nora Cook’s or Miyoko’s homemade vegan cheese, you’ll need something called kappa carrageenan. It’s a vegan gelling agent that is used frequently to make nondairy cheese, and it’s relatively easy to order online.

Kappa carrageenan doesn’t add any taste or odor to the homemade vegan cheese, and it does an amazing job of creating a cohesive texture for your homemade cheese. I’d like to try using it in place of xanthan or guar gum in gluten free baking.

After adding toppings, the pizza goes back into the oven for five more minutes. Once out of the oven, you can add a handful of fresh basil leaves and a few grinds of black pepper before slicing and serving.

A slice of Paleo pizza with a bite taken

Ingredients and substitutions

Since this a Paleo recipe, it’s already necessarily dairy-free, gluten-free and even grain-free. There are a few additional potential allergens, though.

Almond flour

If you can’t have nuts, then I don’t recommend making this recipe. Try our recipe for dairy-free cauliflower pizza

If you simply can’t have almonds, I think the recipe would work with blanched, finely ground hazelnut flour. Be sure that whatever nut flour you’re using, it’s not a nut “meal,” which is made with nuts that still have their skins, and are coarsely ground.

Egg

Since there’s only one egg in this recipe, you should be able to replace it with a “chia egg” (1 tablespoon ground white chia seeds + 1 tablespoon lukewarm water, mixed and allowed to gel).

In the comments to this post, you can see that others have had success replacing the egg with a “flax egg.” Generally, I don’t like flax eggs unless they’re made by boiling flax seeds and extracting the gel. That method eliminates most of the flavor of the flax seeds, which is strong.

Tapioca starch/flour

Tapioca starch (also called tapioca flour) is essential to the success of this recipe. It’s the bulk of the flour used in the recipe, and it provides stretch that almond flour simply can’t.

There is no Paleo replacement for tapioca starch. If you aren’t Paleo but you’d like to make this recipe without tapioca starch, try using superfine sweet white rice flour (also called “glutinous” rice flour, made from short grain white rice) in its place.

Yeast

You can’t make this recipe without any yeast. It calls for instant yeast, which is also called breadmaker or rapid-rise yeast.

If you would like to replace the instant yeast with active dry yeast, multiply the number of grams of instant yeast by 1.25. Here, that means 6 grams x 1.25, or 7.5 grams.

I recommend just using 8 grams of active dry yeast. It has a thicker coating around the grains, so you’ll need to soak it in the water in the recipe first. Once it’s bubbling, proceed with the recipe and add the yeast and water when the instructions call for adding the water alone.


Paleo pizza two slices on white plate one with bite taken

This Paleo pizza crust tastes just like the real thing, but is made without gluten, grains, or dairy. It’s the perfect primal canvas for all your favorite toppings!

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 1 12-inch pizza crust

Ingredients

1 cup (120 g) finely ground, blanched almond flour

1 ¾ cups (210 g) tapioca starch/flour, plus more for dusting

2 teaspoons (6 g) instant yeast

½ teaspoon kosher salt

⅓ cup (2 2/3 fluid ounces) warm water

3 tablespoons (42 g) extra virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing

1 tablespoon (21 g) honey

1 egg (50 g, weighed out of shell) at room temperature, beaten

Pizza toppings, as desired

Directions

  • In a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer, place the almond flour, tapioca starch, and instant yeast. Whisk to combine well with a separate, handheld whisk. Add the salt, and whisk again to combine. Add the water, olive oil, honey, and egg, and mix until a sticky batter forms. If you’re using a stand mixer, mix until a uniform batter forms with the paddle attachment and the mixer on medium-high speed. Otherwise, switch to a spatula or wooden spoon, and mix until a uniform, but shaggy, dough forms.

  • Dust your hands with a little tapioca flour and press the dough into a ball, kneading it a bit to get any floury bits mixed in. Return the ball of dough to the bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, and set it in a warm place for about 45 minutes or until the dough swells to about 150% of its original size. Place a pizza stone or large, overturned rimmed baking sheet in the oven and preheat your oven to 375°F.

  • Place a large sheet of parchment paper on a flat surface, and, with lightly tapioca floured hands, transfer the ball of dough to the parchment. Pat the dough out into a circle about 12 inches in diameter, pushing out toward the edges to form a puffy rim of crust.

  • Drizzle the top of the raw dough with olive oil and brush or spread it with clean hands evenly across the top of the crust, including the edges. Pierce the top of the dough (excluding the crust) with the tines of a fork.

  • Carefully transfer the parchment with the dough onto the pizza stone or sheet pan and bake for 8 minutes or until the pizza dough is set and just beginning to brown.

  • Remove the dough from the oven and add your desired toppings. Return to the oven and for about 5 minutes more or until your toppings are melted and/or bubbling and the edges of the pizza are golden brown.

  • If desired, set the oven to broil and broil the pizza for up to two minutes until browned. Remove from the oven, slice, and serve hot.

  • Original recipe posted on the blog in 2017. Recipe and original images by Becky Winkler of A Calculated Whisk. Video and some photos new; recipe method simplified but otherwise unchanged.

Love,
Nicole

  • Esther
    April 5, 2021 at 12:11 AM

    Can I use cassava flour instead of tapioca starch?

    • Nicole Hunn
      April 5, 2021 at 7:44 AM

      No, you can’t, Esther. Cassava flour is the whole root, and behaves very differently.

  • Erin
    March 22, 2021 at 9:03 PM

    This was fantastic! Loved the crust, definitely satisfied my pizza craving.

  • Luann
    March 13, 2021 at 9:44 PM

    I’m looking for the original recipe for the grain free pizza crust from a calculated whisk that you had posted. It has been changed and it does not work well at all and I need the original recipe back. How would I find that?

    • Nicole Hunn
      March 14, 2021 at 10:04 AM

      Luann, nothing of consequence has been changed. I’ve replaced it with this slightly modified order of ingredients, and the use of instant yeast in place of active dry yeast. If you’d like to use active dry yeast, multiply the amount, in grams, by 1.25 and proof it in the water before adding it. There is literally no other difference.

  • John Maxeiner
    March 3, 2021 at 4:56 PM

    Do you have any recipes for gluten free sub roll dough?

    • Nicole Hunn
      March 3, 2021 at 6:45 PM

      I have a recipe for French bread, and a recipe for copycat “Subway” style rolls. Please use the search function!

  • Sandra
    March 1, 2021 at 9:51 AM

    Can you freeze this dough? At what point in the recipe would be the right place to put it in the freezer?

    • Nicole Hunn
      March 1, 2021 at 9:56 AM

      I don’t ever recommend freezing raw yeast dough, Sandra, since it could kill the yeast, but you wouldn’t know until it was too late. After the first shaping and baking, before you add the toppings, you could cool the pizza crust completely (on a wire rack, as soon as it comes out of the oven), wrap it tightly and then freeze it. Then, defrost it at room temperature before using it, and proceed with the recipe as written.

  • Sandy
    February 28, 2021 at 7:34 PM

    I’m so excited! I literally said this morning, “I wonder if GFOAS has a pizza dough recipe?” and then I get your email with this recipe! We are making pizza this week! Thank you, Nicole, for sharing your knowledge.

    • Nicole Hunn
      March 1, 2021 at 9:51 AM

      Oh my gosh, Sandy, that’s like asking if there are fish in the ocean! 🤣 I have a million pizza recipes on the site. So glad the timing of this one was spot on for you. :)

  • Lela
    February 28, 2021 at 12:21 PM

    Could you use 1 pack of Instant Yeast which I believe is 2.25 t. or would that be too much yeast?

    • Nicole Hunn
      February 28, 2021 at 1:01 PM

      I really recommend measuring by weight, Lela!

  • JoAnna
    February 28, 2021 at 11:26 AM

    Wondering if I can sub arrowroot for tapioca flour? Thank you! JoAnna

    • Nicole Hunn
      February 28, 2021 at 1:02 PM

      No, you can’t, JoAnna. Please see the Ingredients and substitutions section.

  • Jules
    February 26, 2021 at 7:48 AM

    Thanks Nicole for the yeast-free GF soda bread recipe, fantastic! I have been searching for a yeast-free bread because my partner,as well as being coeliac, has yeast intolerance! If you have any more yeast-free recipes would love to hear them, thanks again!

    • Nicole Hunn
      February 26, 2021 at 8:40 AM

      Please use the search function to see other yeast free recipes, Jules. I have a number of them!

  • Tasia
    February 25, 2021 at 7:27 PM

    Did you just change this recipe? I swear when I made it like 7 days ago, this said to mix the yeast in the water first, and let it grow for 5 minutes. Its breaking my brain.

    • Nicole Hunn
      February 26, 2021 at 8:39 AM

      Yes, Tasia, if you see the final note in the recipe instructions, it indicates that I altered the method to simply it. There is no need to proof the yeast unless you’re not using instant yeast. The notes cover that, too.

  • Caroline
    February 24, 2021 at 3:27 PM

    What are the carbohydrates for this pizza all your recipes are great but being diabetic and dealing with celiac I need to know the carbs. Thank you

    • Nicole Hunn
      February 24, 2021 at 4:27 PM

      I don’t have that information available to me without seeking it out, just as you would, Caroline. I recommend that you input the recipe ingredients into an online nutrition calculator.

  • Mare Masterson
    April 18, 2017 at 4:45 PM

    Closer to being able to make this. Nightshades have been reintroduced, so far successfully! In 28 days I will try to reintroduce nuts. I will definitely have to do the vegan cheese though.

  • Sharon Kilkeary
    April 17, 2017 at 8:15 PM

    Thanks Nicole. Made for dinner tonite with the instant yeast as in your notes & video. Topped with garlic olive oil, ricotta, sweet sausage , artichokes & mozzarella. Delicious!! Best GF crust yet!! I have 2 of your books & planning on ordering the rest. Appreciate all of your efforts & thanks for all of the freebie recipes. Best out there ❤️

    • Nicole Hunn
      April 18, 2017 at 8:15 AM

      Thank you so much for the kind words, Sharon! That pizza sounds amazing. And thank you for your support of the cookbooks as well. That means so much.

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