I went to Whole Foods right before I started showing symptoms of COVID-19, and while the entire store was pretty bare, I noticed that there was not a single frozen pizza left in the store. While I understand this – everyone was in panic mode, freezer food will last forever and is easy – this is still a little eye opening to me. Homemade pizza is so easy to make if you are willing to spend a little time in the kitchen. I skipped the frozen food aisle and went and grabbed a head of cauliflower and some non-dairy cheese.
Gluten free cauliflower crust is an interesting thing to make. Store bought cauliflower crust is typically yeast risen, which is what gives it the airy, crunch texture that you miss in gluten free foods. This recipe *IS NOT* yeast risen, so go into this with an open mind, and I think you will be pretty impressed with the results.
Start buy cleaning and removing the stem of the cauliflower. Then, break off chunks of the cauliflower and crumble it. Once crumbled, steam it. You can either use a steamer basket over a pot of boiling water, or if you are like me and do not have a steamer basket, you can put the cauliflower in a skillet with just enough water to dampen the bottom of the pan, put the lid on it, and leave it alone for about 10 minutes (checking on it to make sure you do not burn your cauliflower).
Once the cauliflower is soft, set it aside to allow it cool slightly. Once it is cool enough to touch, use blender or food processor to puree cauliflower. You want to make sure you have full pureed the cauliflower and there are no chunks left.
Next, you are going to put puree into the center a clean, thin rag. This is the fun part – twist the edges to create a tight “bag” around the puree. Then keep twisting the edges hard so you create pressure on the puree. Once super tight around the ball of puree, squeeze out as much of the water from the cauliflower as possible. It is important to squeeze out as much water as you can so your crust is not soggy. If you feel like you are not making progress, open the “bag”, fluff the puree, and then squeeze it in the “bag” again.
Once you are satisfied with the amount of water you removed from the puree, put it into a mixing bowl. Add one egg, approximately 1/2 cup dairy free cheese, approximately 1 cup gluten free flour of your choice (I used tiger nut flour) salt, pepper, paprika, and a lot of oregano. Then mix until everything is uniform. You are looking for a soft, lightly sticky dough consistency – if you have not reached this consistency, add a little more flour, and if it becomes too dry, you can always add a little bit of water.
Once you have reached the proper dough like consistency, you are going to press dough into pan of choice, lined with parchment paper, to you desired pizza crust thickness. I would recommend going a little thinner than normal crust to ensure it cooks through and there is no doughy spots or a doughy center.
Bake the crust at 350F for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Then flip the crust over and bake another 10 minutes, or until golden brown. The flipping process if a little difficult, so take your time, use the parchment paper you lined the pan with, and if you break the crust, don’t worry about it! You can always arrange the crust back together. It will still taste great.
Once both sides are golden brown, you can top as you please. I topped mine with a simple tomato sauce, dairy free cheese, garlic sausage, and cherry tomatoes. Put the pizza back in the over for approximately 10 minutes, or until your toppings are browning and the cheese is melted.
If you make this recipe, I would love to see your pictures, know what you topped the pizza with, and see how yours turned out. The recipe might sound intimidating, but it is not as difficult as you would think. With this crust, you can ditch the frozen pizza with the crazy preservatives and weird thickening ingredients, and instead eat something with real ingredients that you made yourself.
Stay safe, stay health, and remember, you are not alone in this craziness that we are living through. 🙂