Friday, June 7, 2013

Gluten-free Vegan Pizza Crust (vegan, gluten-free)



I did it (jumping up and down)! I created a gluten-free, vegan pizza crust that I really love...and I have been searching for over a year. I have really missed pizza since going gluten free. I found my inspiration from the new Daiya frozen pizzas and was surprised that I really liked the crust. (Yes, I tried one—but don't worry, I'm not advocating eating frozen pizza, I just like to see what is on the market for vegan and gluten free folks...this is a far too processed to eat on a regular basis). The issues I found with their crust recipe is that it contains live yeast, which my body dislikes greatly, and xanthan gum, which I personally feel is worth skipping when there are less questionable ingredients like chia and flax to create a binder. So, I went to work and created something that is very similar, yet fresher and no doubt healthier. Not only do I love the flavor (savory and nutty), it is easily held in the hands for all the fun of eating without a fork, no crumbling. I enjoy a crunchy crust, so I pre-bake the crust, but you can skip that step if you like a softer crust. 

Makes crust for one large, thin crust pizza.

COMBINE the following dry ingredients in a medium bowl with a whisk:

2 c brown rice flour
1/2 c potato flour
1/2 c potato starch (or more potato flour if you don't have this on hand)
1 Tbsp tapioca flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking powder (aluminum free)
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
1 Tbsp raw cane sugar (totally optional, in fact I left it out today)

WHIP rice milk and chia together in a food processor or 'bullet' style blender about 30 seconds:

3/4 cup + 3 Tbsp rice milk
1 tsp ground chia seed (I grind it with a mortar and pestle)

POUR rice/chia mixture in with dry ingredients and add:

4 Tbsp olive oil

MIX well, work with hands until dough forms together in a ball, like this:


If the dough seems dry, and another tablespoon of rice milk, it should do the trick. The dough will be somewhat crumbly, but should stick together well if you try to use the dough ball to pick up the crumbs.

Then, place the dough on a non-stick cookie sheet, and use the hands to press the dough out onto the pan. If you don't have a non-stick pan or your non-stick pan is well-used, line the pan with baking parchment before pressing crust into pan for easy removal after baking.


Now you are ready to pre-bake the crust! Place in the preheated 450 degree F oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and add your favorite sauce and toppings, or try my Thai Curry Pizza. The pizza in this photo series was simple, I was craving cheese pizza, so I made a sauce made from fire-roasted tomatoes, garlic powder, Italian spice blend and topped it with Daiya mozzarella shreds. You don't have to put a cheese substitute on your pizza (processed food isn't great for you...even the vegan stuff), you can make a vegan 'cheese' sauce (link coming soon), sprinkle with nutritional yeast, or just eat your toppings naked!

Once you have dressed your pizza up the way you like it, return it to the oven and bake for another 15-20 minutes, depending on how crispy you like your crust. I like mine to look like this, so I went for 20 minutes:


If you used a non-stick cookie sheet, the pizza should slide right off onto your cutting surface...mindful of the heat. Don't cut it in the pan...you will ruin your pan! :)



Now slice and enjoy...YUM!!!


*gluten-free, soy-free.




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