Gluten gets a lot of publicity these days, a lot of it not good. Today is not the day that I get into all that mess; there’s plenty of information out there if you’re really interested. But suffice it to say, we’ve decided to try and cut back a little bit.
We’re certainly not gluten-free, but we’ve been making more of an effort to make substitutions with some things, whether it’s a gluten-free flour, sourdough, or other alternatives.
Since we make pizza on a semi-regular basis, crust was an obvious place to experiment. Though I have to hand it to whoever first came up with the idea for making a gluten-free pizza crust out of cauliflower. Probably wouldn’t have been my first choice, but it works. So if you’re looking for a good gluten-free pizza crust recipe, or just looking to change things up on occasion, here you go.
I’ll start with a warning: this recipe is a bit messy. Probably no more or less messy than making a dough and kneading it; just a different kind of messy. I ended up with little bits of pulverized cauliflower everywhere. Kept finding that stuff for days…
Anyway. The recipe and process are quite simple, and you end up with a surprisingly good base for your toppings. A lot of recipes call for microwaving the cauliflower before chopping; I don’t like using the microwave unnecessarily. But you can if you want to.
Start with one head of cauliflower. On the mediumish side is best; if you have a really big one, maybe just use half. I used orange cauliflower, which is why mine looks funny.
Cut into manageable chunks, and toss it in a food processor until it’s more or less cauliflower dust, or at least small pieces. Dump this into a saucepan with about an inch of boiling water and cook for a couple minutes, stirring, until tender.
Using a square of cheesecloth, strain. Let it cool and squeeze out as much water as you can – you don’t want a soggy crust.
Now dump this into a large bowl, and add two eggs, 1/2 cup your favorite shredded cheese, a sprinkling of salt and pepper, and maybe some dried herbs. Mix well. Squeeze some in your fist – it should hold together without crumbling apart. Add another egg if you need to.
Plop this mess onto a sheet pan covered in parchment paper and flatten into a circle. Or a triangle, if that’s how you like your pizza. Somewhere between 1/4 and 1/2 inch is about right. If it’s too thin, it has a higher chance of breakage since there’s no gluten holding things together (which is why we’re doing this in the first place, right?). Too thick and it might not cook through.
Bake for 10-15 minutes at 400 F. It should just start to get nice and golden on top. And for those wanting to skip right to the toppings, you definitely need to bake the crust first, or you’ll just end up with a pepperoni, mushroom, and cauliflower mush.
Remove from the oven, top with your favorite goodies, then pop it back in the oven for another 8-10 minutes.
This first attempt turned out pretty well. Not quite the same feel as your standard flour crust, but not so different that it turned anyone off. Definitely repeat-worthy.
- 1 medium head cauliflower, cut into florets (you'll want somewhere in the neighborhood of 3-4 cups after it gets out of the food processor)
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
- Salt and pepper
- Dried oregano, thyme and/or parsley
- In a food processor, pulverize the cauliflower.
- Add this to a pot with about an inch of boiling water, and cook, stirring occasionally, until it's tender.
- Strain through cheesecloth, let cool, and squeeze out as much water as possible.
- In a large bowl, combine the cauliflower and the rest of the ingredients. Mix well. The "dough" should be sticky but loose, or loose but sticky. Whichever way you want to look at it.
- Spread onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, and flatten with your hand. The crust should end up about 1/4 - 1/2" thick.
- Bake at 400 F for 10-15 minutes, or until the crust has golden patches on top.
- Remove from the oven, add your favorite toppings, then bake for an additional 8-10 minutes.
kristin @ going country says
Pizza has been the biggest thing y gluten-averse husband has missed. Unfortunately, cauliflower is his most-hated food. Fortunately, he’s gotten into sourdough lately and has figured out how to make good pizza crust with the sourdough (plus a little gluten-free flour mix to make it the right consistency), so pizza has returned to our house. Hooray.
I didn’t think it really tasted like cauliflower at all (at least with all the toppings on it), which is a good thing. A house without pizza is a sad house indeed 🙂