QuiSaBa (Quinoa-Salba-Barley) Pizza Dough

Pizza is notoriously bad for diabetics. The "pizza effect" shoots up blood sugar levels, and they stay that way for an extended period of time. This dough, which is the result of a lot of experimentation, does not do this. Basically the idea was to make a dough from (some of) the sort of ingredients that people might have used 1000 to 2000 years ago before refined luxury flours, etc.

The dough, therefore, is not like the usual pizza, because there is no wheat in it and thence it is very low in gluten. (Gluten is the elastic stuff that lets regular pizza dough be stretched out and rise into a chewy, light bread—this dough is more dense and flaky. Note, thoughm that barley is considered a gluten grain.) Instead of wheat flour, the dough uses ground whole grains—barley, quinoa and salba—that are high in fibre and much higher in nutrients than wheat. The salba fibre is what helps this stick together. You can also leave out the salba for a slightly different dough that's a bit lighter but less easy to hold together. You can get these grains at your 'health food' store. The salba especially is high in protein and calcium, and the barley and salba have magnesium, which is supposed to be good for diabetes. The high fibre content means that you should have a glass of water with this.


Preheat oven to very high heat (I set mine to 500 F). (This recipe has also worked grilling the dough on a barbecue.)

Grind 1/8 to 1/4cup barley flakes into a fine-ish flour and set aside for dusting the board. To grind the barley, I use a Sumeet, but you could also use a clean coffee grinder, etc.

Grind a further 2/3 cup of barley flakes into a fine-ish flour (you want a floury feel between your fingers, with grits about corn meal size too) and empty into a glass or plastic mixing bowl.

Grind 2/3 cup of quinoa flakes and empty near all of it into the mixing bowl, saving a bit in your grinder.

Add 2 tbsp of salba to the grinder and grind until finely powdered—this mix will get a bit oily and cakey when ground; the bit of quinoa remaining in the grinder keeps this from really sticking up the grinder. Empty into mixing bowl.

Add to mixing bowl salt to taste and 4-5 tsp double action baking powder.

Thoroughly mix with wooden spoon, pressing salba clumps against side of bowl to break up.

Boil two cups of water.

Slowly add 1/2 cup boiling water to mixing bowl, stirring all the time. Midway through, add 2 tbsp olive oil.

Add further 1/4 to 1/2 cup boiling water, to get somewhat wet dough.

The next set of steps is key. The dough as it stands is too wet, but a dryer dough is hard to roll. So what you are going to do is 'dry' out the dough whilst rolling it, by incorporating some of the barley flour. You are also going to add some layers, which can rise a little bit. Do this while the dough is still warm and soft.

Shape dough into a neat ball, sealing up cracks and edges.

Dust the board with some of the reserved barley flour. Press the all of dough into the barley flour coated board, flattening out bottom, then flip over to dust other side, so you end up with a squat disk.

Roll the dough out to a 12" circle, about 1/8" thick. Then fold the dough in half, and then quarter; then scrunch it into a ball, pinching/sealing up the folds (the latter is is to prevent cracks around the edge the next time you roll it out).

Repeat the last two steps, two or three times more, finishing with your dough rolled out into a 12" circle, about 1/8" thick.

Gently lift the dough around the edges and then toward centre, to unstick from the board. Lightly oil a heavy pizza pan or cookie sheet, and slide the dough from the board into this.

Add your toppings. Bake in the oven until toppings are browned to taste and dough is browned around edges.

Some suggested toppings

This dough is quite rustic and nutty in flavour (quinoa has a kind poppy-seedy taste), much lest of a blank than white flour pizza dough. So robust ingredients are good.