In the past, pizza in this space has been a gateway to growth. It welcomed this blog when I started to self host. It’s a way to welcome new habits. It’s casual yet such a treat. So let’s say that this pizza is a celebration of a successful plant-based main. I’ve been making curries and some “throw-together” meals using different pastas and they’ve been great, but they don’t challenge me too heavily because they’re well within my repertoire, but this–a gluten free crust (another successful GF baked good!) with a topping of just the right sauces and herbs–is and accomplishment. The crust is perfect!
Food is a form of expression and I don’t want to create limitations around something that brings so much pleasure. That’s what makes this pizza so appealing. Pizza dough is like the holy grail of gluten-free cuisine. Recipes are hard to find, and the majority turn out dense, chewy crusts, while others rely on nutritionally vapid starches and gums. This pizza combines all the joys of the plant kingdom with flours rich in nutrients. If you’re down with cheese, sprinkle away, if you’re not, load it up with veg and use this creamy white bean spread and/or tomato sauce. The best part is that this crust is kind of like a no-knead bread. It doesn’t require tons of hands on care, just timing and an eye toward moisture levels.
The crust was built from the mindful guidance of the talent over at Bojon Goumet. Definitely click that link if you want the reason behind why it all works in terms of moisture and pliancy. I actually didn’t have the sweet white rice flour, thinking the word sweet was just a descriptive word for “white” so I ended up subbing almond flour and the result was good. The toppings here are mine, with a nod toward Laura at The First Mess (I cannot wait to get her cookbook!) The toppings are customizeable. As a whole, this pizza is legit! It was easy to roll out and didn’t require any magic tricks to make other than an investment in flours that have some nutritional value. It strikes the perfect balance between crispiness and pliability and tastes so fresh right out of the oven. It made my night. It might have been even better the next day when I reheated it in the oven.
Making this isn’t labor-intensive, but it does take time, as anything with yeast in it kind of does. I started the dough in the morning while making breakfast and getting myself together. I punched it down 45 mins later and then went for a jog in the park (half-marathon in about 2 weeks!). When I got in after a couple of hours I rolled it out and shaped it, let it rise for about 20 mins, par baked it for 3 mins, topped it, then baked it for 10 mins. I don’t think of it as waiting for the dough to be ready so much as the dough waiting for me.
Before I let you go:
- Can we talk about the Jeong Kwan episode on Season 3 of Chef’s Table?!
- Look what happens to your body when you move it through hiking!
- I was touched by this beautiful piece about when things (but really people) go missing.
- While I’ve had quite enough of traveling to Mexico City for work, my favorite chef down there is doing amazing new things!
Okay that’s it for now. Be well and thanks as always for being with me as I experiment in the kitchen! xo
GLUTEN FREE CREAMY WHITE BEAN PIZZA W/ CARAMELIZED ONIONS
Adapted closely from the Bojon Gourmet
For the dough:
- 1 cup warm water (more as needed)
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1 packet active dry yeast
- 3/4 cup GF oat flour (you can grind this yourself from rolled oats, the ration is 1:1)
- 1/2 cup sweet white rice flour (mochiko) (this can be replaced with almond flour, but you should use the sweet rice if you can)
- 1/2 cup millet flour (or white rice flour)
- 6 tablespoons brown rice flour (or 6 tablespoons sorghum flour) (more as needed)
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 2 T tapioca flour
- 3 T ground chia seed (or groun flax seeds) (or 1 teaspoon xanthan gum)
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed
For the Creamy White Bean Sauce:
- ¾ cup cooked white beans (like cannellini or navy beans)
- 2 tablespoons water
- juice of half a lemon
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional)
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, peeled (or more)
- ¼ teaspoon olive oil
- sea salt & ground black pepper to taste
For the Caramelized Onions and Toppings:
- 1 medium white onion
- 1 red pepper chopped
- 1 handful baby kale
- 1 tablespoons red pepper flakes
- 1 cup button mushrooms
For the dough:
Place the warm water and sugar in a large bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over the top and let it sit 10 minutes to dissolve. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, whisk together the oat, sweet rice, millet, and brown rice flours with the cornstarch, tapioca flour, chia seed, and salt. When the yeast has dissolved, dump in the flour mixture and the olive oil, and stir vigorously until the dough is smooth and comes away from the sides of the bowl, adding a tablespoon or two more brown rice flour if the dough is too wet, or a tablespoon of two more water if it is too dry. Cover the bowl with a large plate or plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place until nearly doubled in size, about 45 minutes. (If you’re not ready to bake yet, just press the air out of the dough and let it sit until you’re ready.)
Meanwhile, position a rack in the lower third of the oven, place a baking stone on the rack if you’ve got one, and preheat to 500ºF for at least 30 minutes to get the stone really hot. If you don’t have one, place and inverted baking sheet in the oven or a round pan without edges in the oven for a minute or two before you’re ready to bake.
Shape the crusts:
Drizzle two sheets of parchment paper with half a tablespoon olive oil each. Divide the dough in half and form each half into rough balls. Place each ball in the center of the oiled parchment, drizzle the tops with another half tablespoon each of olive oil, and begin pressing one dough ball into a 10-11″ round using the pads of your fingers. Use a cupping motion with your hands to smooth the edges and form a slight lip around the edge of the dough. Repeat with the second round of dough.
Rub the tops of the crusts with a little more oil and let rise until slightly puffed and spongy, 10-20 minutes.
Par bake the dough:
Trim the edges of the parchment so that they are 1″ wider than the crust. Slide the first crust, parchment and all, onto the hot baking stone (or baking sheet/round) in the oven. Par bake the crust until the top is dry but still pale, 3 minutes. Use tongs or oven mits to grasp the parchment and pull the whole thing out, then transfer to your work surface. Repeat the parbaking with the second crust.
The crust is now ready to top and bake. The final bake usually takes around 5 minutes, sometimes a little more, until the crust is golden on the bottom and edges.
Store the crust:
If not using right away, let cool completely, then wrap airtight and store at room temperature for up to 1 day, refrigerated for up to a few days, or frozen for up to a month or two. Bring back to room temperature before topping and baking.
For the Creamy White Bean Sauce:
In an upright blender or using a hand held blender combine the white beans, water, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, garlic, oil, salt, and pepper. Blend the mixture on high until completely smooth. The consistency should be similar to that of a creamy salad dressing: thick, but drips off of a spoon. Set aside.
For the Caramelized Onions:
Heat a little olive oil over medium-low heat in a large cast-iron skillet or saucepan, and spread the onions in a single layer evenly across the pan. Let the onions sizzle in the pan for at least 30 minutes, but up to 50, stirring no more than once every 5-10 minutes. Once onions are soft, brown, nearly jammy, and sweet, they’re done. Drizzle a little bit of balsamic vinaigrette over top for extra flavor.
Once the crusts are ready, spread a layer of the creamy white bean sauce over it. Top with all the toppings, including the caramelized onions, to you liking. If you want to roast the red pepper or cook the mushrooms a little first to your liking, feel free, but it’s not necessary. Feel free to add or subtract as desired. Enjoy!