Let's have a (gluten free & vegan) pizza party!
Many times, I have joked about Zach's typical response when I tell him I'm making something for dinner that is a little too super-healthy-veggie-forward for his taste. He - without fail - in the most casual and nonchalant tone, suggests, "I could just pick up a pizza" ...
I have tried so many versions of gluten free, vegan, and corn-free pizzas. There were pizzas made primarily with starches, yeasted doughs and whole grain, yeast-free variations. I've also tried many restaurants' take on pizza, most of which use a previously-frozen, par-baked crust. I've tried the soaked-and-blended grain pizzas, the pizzas made from layering two brown rice wraps with sauce between them to stick together, and the cauliflower crust pizzas. Every single time, I am full of hope that it will be the pizza that we both with love! Many have been pretty good, and I actually really love cauliflower-crusted pizzas and a variation using Jeff and Zoe's awesome gluten free dough.
I started experimenting, though, because I wanted a pizza crust of my own. One that was gluten free, without dairy, eggs, or corn, and that used easy-to-find, healthy ingredients. I also wanted a pizza that didn't, at first glance, look like a gluten-free pizza. Do you know what I mean? I wanted a pizza you could pick up a slice of easily, not requiring a knife and fork to eat it unless you really wanted to (my grandmother always uses a knife and fork, even for tacos!)
I'm happy to say that this is an easy, healthy, very tasty gluten free and vegan pizza! Top with whatever you desire. I love to use sautéed mushrooms, fresh tomatoes, sliced olives, and peppers. Sometimes I add chopped greens, like spinach, or sautéed zucchini. I almost always serve pizza with pesto and chili flakes on the side, because both only add to the deliciousness. I enjoy this pizza on it's own but occasionally I'll use a vegan cheese or chevre, because while I have a terrible intolerance to most dairy products I do sometimes have goat's cheese without issue. Zach, on the other hand, prefers traditional mozzarella. Choose whatever you like!
So, why not have yourself a little pizza party? A quick hour to let the dough rest and rise, and you'll be all set to go! Have fun, experiment with toppings, and be sure to let me know how it goes!
Gluten free & Vegan Pizza Dough (gluten free, vegan, nut free)
this recipe makes enough for 2 small (6 slice) pizzas. It can easily be doubled or tripled to serve more. It also works well, if serving a crowd, to bake tray-style. If doing so, follow the same directions for using parchment paper, flouring paper with brown rice flour, and using wet fingers to spread the dough out.
2 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 c warm water
2 1/2 tbsp ground flaxseeds
1 1/2 tbsp psyllium seed husk
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
3/4 c (105 g) brown rice flour
1/4 c (30 g) arrowroot starch
1/4 c (30 g) tapioca starch
1 1/2 tsp quick-rise active yeast
1/2 c warm water
1 tbsp honey (or maple or agave for vegan)
1 tbsp avocado oil (or coconut oil)
Whisk chia seeds into 1/2 c warm water and set aside.
Whisk preferred liquid sweetener into 1/2 c warm water until dissolved, and then whisk in yeast. Set aside as you prepare the dry ingredients. Ideally, the yeast will feast on the sweet water for about 5 minutes.
In a large bowl, whisk together ground flaxseed, psyllium seed husk, sea salt, xanthan gum, brown rice flour and arrowroot and tapioca starches. Add the soaked chia seed mixture, the yeast mixture, and the avocado oil to the dry ingredients. Using a spatula, stir well until fully combined and no dry pockets of flour remain. Use the spatula form the dough into a ball in the bowl, and cover with a tea towel for 1 hour. The dough will expand and rise as it sits.
Cooking direction for pizza follow below.
Veggie Pizza (gluten free, vegan option, nut free)
Here are a few suggestions for a veggie-loaded pizza. Choose your favourite toppings!
1/2 c preferred tomato sauce (I chose to use a store-bought organic basil & tomato sauce)
1 c cremini mushrooms, sliced
handful kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
asparagus, chopped into 1" pieces
1/4 of a small white onion, sliced thin
chevre or mozzarella (optional), or your favourite non-dairy cheese
fresh parsley, for serving
kale pesto, for serving
chili flakes, for serving
Preheat oven to 500 F.
If using mushrooms and asparagus, quickly sauté over high heat. I find that without this step, the mushrooms aren't cooked through when the pizza is ready.
Line a baking tray(s) with parchment paper, and then dust with extra brown rice flour. Divide rested dough by half (each half will make one small pizza, or you could instead make a tray pizza using the full amount of dough), and with wet fingers, gently push from the centre out to create a thin crust.
Lightly brush crust with avocado oil, and bake without toppings for 10 minutes.
Remove from oven, spread tomato sauce and then layer toppings of choice. Finish with cheese, if using. Return to oven, rotating sheets to ensure even cooking. Bake for an additional 8-10 minutes, watching closely towards the end.
Add fresh herbs, pesto, and chili flakes if you like, and serve!
I would love to hear from you! Please leave a comment below.