Pizza. Pizza. Pizza. I’ve had a love-hate relationship with pizza for some time now. My parents own a bowling alley and the summer I turned 16, they added a Noble Romans. So more or less, we got a personal pizzeria that was right next door and open whenever. I’m sure you can see how this might not bode well for one’s waistline. By the time Christmas rolled around, we all collectively realized that we needed to get a grip. Step away from the dough.
My love of pizza has not changed since then, but now I know that moderation is key to fitting in one’s jeans. I love my pizza extra crispy, with lots of cheese and good herb flavors. I know some people are deep dish folks and some people prefer a weird floppy crust situation. If that’s you, this is not the pizza crust recipe you’re looking for. On the other hand, if you like crispy, crunchy, herby, crust that holds up to toppings, read on.
It took so much trial and error to perfect the gluten-free crust. Plenty of test runs turned out crumbly, limp, doughy, and even stretchy [idk?]. We gave up on the quest for a while, but then we visited Lean Crust in Fort Greene after hours of frenzied packing on our last night in Brooklyn.
The pizza chef at Lean Crust has achieved gluten-free crust perfection. My parents were with us and we ordered two 18-inch pies, thinking that we would have enough leftover for breakfast. LOL. The only thing left over was a few chili pepper flakes and two empty metal trays. We gave our compliments to the chef and asked him to share his knowledge. I doubt he told us the full story [what good chef reveals all of their secrets?], but he recommended gazbanzo flour, white rice flour, and tapioca flour. We took his advice and ran with it.
It would be impossible to exactly replicate that magical crust sans pizza oven, but this is a more-than-adequate substitute. I have to thank that humble chef for renewing my faith that the perfect gluten-free crust does, in fact, exist.
We used mozzarella cheese to top, which I’m aware – makes this particular pizza “un-vegan.” That’s just what I was feeling, though. If you fancy, skip the cheese completely and load this bad boy up with all sorts of veggies. The next time I make it, I will definitely add mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, spinach, etc. It can stand the pressure.
Looking past the cheese, this crust is 100% vegan. And there’s a funny story about how it came to be that way.
We made this crust shortly after the massive snow storm hit us, and halfway through the process, we realized we didn’t have any eggs left. The grocery stores had been fresh out for over a week and we were past the point of no return. So two flax eggs went in and voilé! It turned out better than any of the previous trials, all of which included eggs. I just love when things work out!
Crispy Gluten-Free and Vegan Pizza Crust
The crispiest, crunchiest gluten-free pizza crust ever. Delicious herb flavors complement any kind of topping!
- Prep Time: 40 mins
- Cook Time: 8 mins
- Total Time: 48 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
- Category: Mains
- 3/4 cup white rice flour [plus extra for rolling]
- 1 1/4 cup garbanzo flour
- 1/4 cup tapioca flour
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 1/2 cup very warm water
- 2 1/4 teaspoons yeast [Red Star Active Dry]
- 2 flax eggs [2 Tablespoons of ground flax + 6 Tablespoons of water]
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- Preheat oven to 500 and place baking stone in the oven to preheat.
- In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients and use a fork to mix well.
- Prepare the yeast. Add 2 1/4 teaspoons to 1/2 cup of very warm water. It should be warm, but not scalding to the touch. Wait until the yeast starts to activate – it should start to bubble.
- In a smaller bowl, combine wet ingredients and add yeast once it has activated.
- Add wet ingredients to dry and mix dough. Knead until it is smooth. Leave in in the bowl and cover it with a towel. Set aside for 10 minutes to rise.
- Sprinkle a thin layer of white rice flour on your counter and roll out the dough. Get it as thin as possible without creating holes in the crust. It will likely look rough and rustic – no perfect pies here.
- Carefully transfer the crust to the hot stone and bake for 5 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, add toppings, and bake for another 3 minutes.