Instructions are for 8 servings. Please modify as needed.
In a small bowl, mix together the sugar, yeast, and hot water. Set aside, uncovered, to activate the yeast.
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the almond flour, whey protein isolate, and baking powder. Set aside.
In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, stir together and melt the mozzarella and cream cheese. Remove from heat. Add the melted cheese mixture to the almond flour mixture, and stir to combine. Add the eggs and yeast mixture. Using a wooden spoon or your hands, mix the dough until smooth. Cover the dough, and set aside in a warm place to rise for 30 to 35 minutes. The dough will be very wet.
Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Coat a 14″ (35 cm), non-stick, deep-dish pizza pan with olive oil.
Pour the dough into the prepared pan. Coat your hands with olive oil and smooth the dough to the edges and at least ½” (1 cm) up the sides of the pan. The dough should not be more than ¼” (0.5 cm) thick across the bottom of the pan. Keep your hands covered in oil to prevent the dough from sticking to your hands.
Dollop small spoonfuls of tomato paste onto the crust, and spread gently over the dough. Sprinkle the Italian seasoning evenly over the tomato paste. Top with the sausage, pepperoni, bell peppers, onions, and mozzarella cheese.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes on the middle rack, or until the top, is bubbly and browned. Remove from oven and let sit for at least 10 minutes before serving.
Refrigerate leftovers for up to 5 days or freeze the baked pizza slices wrapped in freezer paper for up to 3 months.
You might want to sauté the onions and bell peppers in butter before using them as toppings, but you don’t have to.
Notes about pans
For this recipe, using different pans will yield different results. This recipe provides instructions for using a 14″ (35 cm) deep dish pizza pan.
You can use a 10″ (25 cm) by 15″ (38 cm) baking dish, cast-iron skillet, or a combination of smaller deep dish pizza pans such as two 9” pans. To determine which size pan to use, consider how thick you want the crust to be
Dark coated metal pans work best. Glass or ceramic pans do not conduct heat as well. If you use glass or ceramic, then you will need to extend the cooking time.
Should you use tomato paste or tomato sauce?
This recipe uses a thin layer of tomato paste instead of tomato sauce or pizza sauce.
Tomato paste is thicker and has far less moisture which allows the crust to bake more evenly. Using tomato sauce can make the crust soggy unless you prebake the crust for 10-12 minutes before adding toppings.
Using the best baking powder
Yes, 4 tbsp of baking powder is the correct measurement. The yeast and the baking powder are what cause the crust to rise like a true deep dish pizza.
Be sure to use baking powder that is aluminum-free. If your baking powder has aluminum in it, the crust will have an undesirable metallic taste.
Also, check the baking powder for sodium. Some brands have more than 60 mg of sodium per serving, which yields a salty crust. Ideally, look for brands with 50 to 60 mg of sodium per serving.
Should I really use sugar in this recipe?
Yes! The small amount of sugar is needed to activate the yeast. A small packet from a coffee shop is really all you need