In The Kitchen: GF Vegan Pizza Crust

· by delijan · Read in about 5 min · (960 words) ·

I love pizza. For years I’ve made regular (wheat) pizza dough from scratch without any problems. It was easy and we had home-made pizza fairly regularly.

Since going gluten free, anything even vaguely bread related has been quite a challenge for me. But, once I got the flat bread figured out, I was pretty sure I could make pizza crust. Finally!

Here’s my setup.

Pizza Dough Setup

Equipment

stand mixer with dough hook

2 9-inch cake pans, pizza pans or cookie sheet

Ingredients

2 cups flat bread flour mixture (click on the link for the mix recipe)

2-14 teaspoon active dry yeast

1 teaspoon sugar

12 cup warm water

12 teaspoon salt

12 teaspoon italian seasoning

12 teaspoon dry oregano

14 teaspoon onion powder

14 teaspoon garlic powder

3 tablespoons olive oil

corn meal

rice flour

Method

The first thing you should always do, when working with active yeast, is proof it, to make sure it works before you mix it into a batch of dough.

First, mix the sugar into the warm water, stirring until it dissolves. Then whisk in the yeast with a fork. Set the mixture aside for 10 minutes. It should foam up and look like this.

Proofing Yeast

If you don’t get foam, the yeast is dead. You will need to replace it before proceeding.

If the yeast is fine, put the flour mixture into the bowl of the mixer. Add in the seasonings.

Spices Added to Flours

Whisk the mixture to incorporate the seasonings.

Use a little bit of the oil, with a pastry brush and coat the pans. Then add a couple of tablespoons of the corn meal.

Preparing the Baking Pan

Shake the pans around to distribute the corn meal, dump out any that doesn’t stick to the pan. Set the pans aside.

Add the oil to the yeast mixture. Stir briefly then pour over the flour mix.

Adding Wed Ingredients to Flours

Mix everything together with a fork.

Wed Ingredients Mixed Into Flours

When you can’t mix it any more, put the bowl on the mixer and mix it on medium-low speed for about 5 minutes, or until the mixture is cohesive and there is no flour stuck to the sides of the bowl. Scrape the bowl with a spatula as necessary.

Mixed Pizza Dough

The dough is done when you can roll it all into a ball that stays together, like this.

Completed Pizza Dough

Start preheating the oven to 350 degrees. Make sure the rack is in the middle of the oven.

Turn the dough out onto a rice flour dusted surface. I like to use a large silpat for this because the dough will not stick to the surface. It also makes it easier to clean up the mess when I’m done.

Knead the dough a few times, then roll it into a fat log. Divide the dough in half.

Dividing Dough

Set one half aside.

Using your hands, roll the first half into a ball. Flatten it out until it is approximately the size of the pan. If the dough cracks, just push it back together. Place the dough in the bottom of the pan. The pan on the left, below, has the flattened dough.

Shaping the Crust

Continue working the dough to the edges of the pan. If you are adding a lot of toppings, you may want to form an edge on the crust, like the one on the right above.

When you are happy with the shape and size of the crust, repeat with the other half of the dough in the second pan.

Place the pans in the oven, on a rack in the center and bake for 10 minutes.

When it is done, it should be firm and have a slight amount of browning.

Baked Pizza Crust

I actually baked mine for 13-14 minutes. It was slightly too much.

At this point, the crusts are done. They are a bit fragile, so if you wish to freeze them for later, I recommend you put a piece of cardboard under them in the freezer so they don’t crack.

To make a pizza with the crusts at this point, add whatever toppings you wish. Switch the oven to broil and put the pizzas back into the oven on a rack in the upper half. Watch closely! All you’re doing is heating the toppings and melting the cheese. Remove the pizza when the toppings are done.

Yield: 4 2-slice servings.

Notes

You need to prebake GF pizza crusts. If you don’t, the toppings will just make it too soggy while it’s baking.

These will freeze, but they are more fragile than wheat crusts, so putting something stiff (like a piece of cardboard) under them helps.

Since the crust is already baked when you add toppings, it works best if the toppings are precooked. Then you’re just broiling it to melt the cheese That makes for a quick dinner!

You can actually make this any size or shape. I used the cake pans for portion control. If you wanted, you could make smaller, individual serving sized circles, or you could make a bigger rectangle on a cookie sheet. Adjust your baking time accordingly.

Conclusion

We had this for dinner last night. The toppings were home made pizza sauce, home made mozzarella, sauteed mushrooms, red onion and green peppers, SoyStation mozzarella shreds and it was topped with home made spinach-basil pesto. It was really good!

Pizza Closeup

The cheese would have been brown and bubbly if my broiler worked. Instead, I had to continue baking it at 350 degrees until the cheese melted. That works, but the broiler works better! The crust was crispy and tasted good.

Next time, however, I may try adding some baking powder to the mix to see if I can get a thicker, puffier crust. I actually prefer a soft, thick crust that is more bread-like. Not that this wasn’t really good! I would eat this again any time!

Enjoy!