Monday, November 26, 2012
Cauliflower Pizza Crust
How is it I wonder, that I am the very last person on the planet to hear about cauliflower pizza crust? Well okay, maybe not the very last, but still. When my friend Eleanore asked me if I'd tried it yet, I went straight to Google and checked it out, only to find a bazillion recipes for the stuff, and even better, no two recipes quite alike. And as luck would have it, I just happened to have a lonely little cauliflower in the fridge at that very moment, which I was planning to use for dinner, but had no idea what to do with. Wee Ha! Another excuse for a Random Pizza Night!
A little side trip here: Did you know that Rick and I used to own a pizza shop in Seattle? It was called Honeymoon Pizza, and it was wildly popular. I was the Pizza Queen, since I created most of the recipes, and because I was an absolute blur of pizza making speed and efficiency on any given busy Friday night. Amazingly, after eating pizza 6 nights a week for 8 years, we still love pizza, and to this day we'll grab any excuse to try a new version of one of the best foods in the world.
So here's my first crack at cauliflower pizza crust. It was really good. Better than really good. Worth immortalizing just as it is, although I intend to mess with it just a little bit more. Try this out, or wait for the update, which will be coming soon, because we will certainly need another pizza night in the very near future.
Cauliflower Pizza Crust
5T ground flax seed mixed with 1 cup water
about 5 cups grated cauliflower
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1T dried basil
1T dried oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp salt
Preheat the oven to 425º, and prepare a baking sheet either with oil, parchment, or a non-stick baking liner.
Mix the flax seed and water first, and let that sit for about 15 minutes while you play with the cauliflower. Grate the cauliflower by hand, or better yet, in a food processor with a grater blade, which handles the job in no time, and spares your delicate knuckles too. Once the cauliflower is grated, heat it in a dry skillet for about 5 minutes to remove some of the moisture, and to begin the cooking process. You should notice that the smell of the cauliflower changes from sort of "skunky" to a more mellow mashed potato-y aroma.
Mix the cauliflower, flax/water, and all other ingredients in a large bowl, and adjust the seasonings to your liking.
Spread the batter evenly on the prepared baking sheet, making the edges a little bit thicker than the center. Bake the crust for about 30 minutes, until it browns and firms up, and the edges start to crisp.
Remove crust from the oven and add you sauce, toppings, and cheese. I used sauce from a jar, mushrooms, red bell peppers, black olives, tamari sunflower seeds, half a bag of Daiya mozzarella, and a sprinkle of herbs.
Bake 10 minutes more, then cut it up and dig in. This makes kind of a soft crust, and all but the edges are most easily eaten with a fork. My mission on the next run through is to make it less moist, and more sturdy and crispy. I think I know just what to do. Meanwhile, there's nothing wrong with this version. The flavor is amazing, and three of us ate up this whole big pie in one sitting. Yep, we still love pizza.
Update - 11-27-12
I made this again last night, with a few small changes, and it was perfect! Here's what I did:
1. Mix the ground flax seeds with only 1/2 cup of water.
2. Use corn flour instead of rice flour.
3. Make small round pizzas instead of one big pan full. Ours were about 6 inches, and they were pick-up-able and crispy-chewy. Just delish!