Updated: Aug 9, 2019
You need these in your life, trust me.
When I started exploring Keto, I was pretty resistant to making substitute foods. Fake pizzas, fake taco shells, even fake pasta all seemed completely sacrilegious to me, particularly as a chef. My pasta is fresh and luxurious, my pizzas are knock-your-socks off good. How on earth could I replace those with anything other than the traditional, regional recipes I’ve been making my whole life?
A few weeks ago, my sister-in-law came to visit us on the farm. She was the one who inspired us to start Keto in the first place. She needed a reboot and I was just the chef to volunteer to cook while she was here. She and my family begged me to make the pizza crust substitute that everyone was raving about. I caved. I did a bit of research and found several Fathead Dough recipes that weren't dependent on a microwave (we don’t have one) and started the process of figuring out the best way to modify them to fit our needs. Much to my delight, I found the dough to be very easy to make and incredibly delicious. There were a few parts of the taste profile I would later change but now I was sufficiently inspired to do so. I made the changes and it was even more awesome.
Last week I had a serious craving for Chicken Parmesan but, alas, could not make the breaded version so, instead, we baked chicken breast in our favorite (cough) jarred red sauce, dumped a bunch of whole fat mozzarella on it and viola! Completely satisfying. However, for me, garlic bread was missing. Not that I really needed it, but I was missing the texture of crunchy bread and buttery taste of the garlic melted over the top.
I thought back to the pizza crust and wondered if I could modify it even further to get that crunchy texture I was looking for. What I ended up with was pretty successful and just perfect to sop up all that gloriously cheesy sauce from the Chicken Parmesan.
Below is my twist on a super-simple, taste-loaded garlic breadstick.
For the dough
1 cups of full fat Mozzarella cheese (shredded)
1/2 cup of provolone (shredded)
2 tbsp of cream cheese (regular, not whipped)
3/4 cup of fine almond flour (this is the one I love and have on hand always)
2 tsp of nutritional yeast (I add this for a more traditional "bread" flavor)
1 tbsp fresh oregano (finely chopped)
1 clove of garlic (grated)
1 large egg (beaten)
For the topping
1/2 cup parmesan cheese (finely grated)
1 clove of garlic (grated)
1 tsbp butter (softened)
Sea salt (for sprinkling)
1. Combine the shredded mozzarella and provolone cheeses in a double boiler along with the cream cheese. If you don't have a double boiler, use a glass dish nestled inside a pot of water. The steam from the boiling water will help melt the cheese. Be careful though; the glass dish will be hot!
2. Stir the cheese mixture until it's well mixed and melted. You're looking for stretchy cheese, not liquid so this won't take too long.
3. In a separate bowl, mix the almond flour, nutritional yeast, fand grated garlic until well incorporated.
4. Once the cheese is well mixed, add to the almond flour mixture. I find that the cheese cools rather quickly so I use my hands from the start but, if the cheese is still too hot, use a silicon spatula to mix together. Once it cools to the touch, use your hands to knead the dough until everything is well incorporated.
5. Knead in the beaten egg until well incorporated. The dough will start out very wet and then will become somewhat sticky.
6. Place a piece on parchment on a 12x8" sheet pan.
7. Spread the dough evenly over the entire sheet. If the dough becomes sticky, use a little EVOO on your hands to help easily smooth it out. You're looking for about 3-4mm of thickness (about the thickness of 2 quarters).
8. Using a fork, poke holes all over the dough. This will prevent too much bubbling.
9. Bake in the oven for 8 minutes. It will start to look lightly toasted.
10. While the dough is in the over, in a small saucepan melt the butter on very low heat. Add the grated garlic.
11. Pull the dough out of the oven and bast the butter garlic mixture all over. Sprinkle the remaining parmesan cheese all over.
12. Bake in the oven for another 8 minutes until the cheese is bubbly.
13. Take the sheet out of the oven and let garlic "bread" cool for about 5 minutes. It will look like a nice big golden brown flatbread. Sprinkle with sea salt.
14. Gently move the garlic flatbread to a cutting board and cut into strips. I cut them into 1x4" strips so that they would be handy for presentation and dinner but it's totally up to you.