Gluten Free, Vegeterian

Cauliflower Pizza Crust? Has the World Gone Mad?!?

This is a recipe I’ve wanted to try for a while. I’ve made cauliflower tortillas a couple of times with varied results. The first time they turned out fine, the second time (using the exact same recipe) they didn’t turn out at all, and I ended up just eating my taco filling on a pile of ground cauliflower slabs. No idea what happened. As a result, I had little faith that this would turn out, so we also bought some regular pizza dough and made a second simultaneous pizza, just in case.

We looked at a bunch of recipes. They were all pretty similar; here’s the one we ended up choosing:

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Ingredients

1 very large cauliflower; steamed & strained (enough to make 4 cups shredded cauliflower)

1 egg beaten

1/3 cup goat cheese; I use cheddar cheese instead

1 tsp. dried oregano

1 dash salt

Original recipe makes 4 Serving

Preparation

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

1) Shredding/Steaming/Straining Cauliflower:

Shred 1 large cauliflower (remove leaves/stem) in a food processor using either the grater blade or s-blade.  Can also manually grate with a grater.  Steam the shredded cauliflower for about 4-5 minutes.

Then onto the SECRET STEP!  Place the steamed cauliflower onto a clean thin dish towel and wrap it up.  Then SQUEEEEEZE all the excess moisture out!  You will be surprised at how much water will come out.  Make sure you have about 4 cups of cauliflower when you’re done.

2) Making Pizza Dough & Shaping It

Add the strained cauliflower in a bowl along with the rest of the ingredients.  Place the “dough” onto parchment paper (I use a Silpat) on your pizza pan and shape it.  Keep the dough about 1/3 inch thick.  I actually just spread the dough on a stoneware bar pan.  This makes a thin crust, which we love.  Place the crust in the oven and bake for about 30-40 minutes.  Crust should be firm and golden brown.

Note: Parchment paper or Silpat is a must to use for this recipe because the cauliflower crust will stick to the pan otherwise.  Do not use wax paper – it will burn at high heat.  Also, the crust will shrink a little when it’s cooked.

3) Add your toppings!!

Top the baked crust with your favorite pizza toppings.  We typically use sauce, cheese, tomatoes, and mushrooms.  You can use any veggies or meat.  Be creative!  Return the pizza to the oven and bake for another 10-13 minutes – or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Slice and serve!  Mmmmmm…..Enjoy!!!

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Start time: 6 PM

First of all, I hope you’ve planned ahead, as you’ve got two and a half hours of prep and cook time ahead of you.

We had a reasonably sized head of cauliflower and a quarter of another one, so we just grated all of that.

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We have kind of a pathetic steamer, so we steamed it in two batches.

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Since there’s no good way to cool hot shredded cauliflower quickly so that you can squeeze the water out of it without burning the crap out of your hands (something the original recipe fails to mention), we spread the steamed cauliflower out in a glass baking dish and stuck it in the freezer for 10 minutes.

6:56 PM – Prep completed, assembly begins

I ran out of cheese cloth, so we followed their instructions and used a dish towel. I recruited Skillethead to squeeze the water out, as he has hands like vice grips. He did an excellent job, the only problem is he tore the dish towel, and the towel we used left little fuzzy red strings all over the cauliflower ball, which we then had to pick off. Tasty.

Having de-fuzzed the cauliflower ball, we combined all the ingredients (we actually used mozzarella instead of goat cheese or cheddar) and pressed it into a circle on a sheet pan.

It seemed more…viscous? Than when I made the tortillas? So I really wasn’t sure this was going to work. We were also out of parchment paper, so we just oiled the hell out of the sheet pan and hoped for the best.

I was also mildly concerned that they wanted us to bake the thing at 400° for 40 minutes. About halfway through the cooking time, my fears seemed justified, as the outside was getting pretty charred and the inside seemed nowhere near done:

20170203_200244

At this point we also attempted to pry it off the sheet pan to make sure it wasn’t sticking (it was) but everything seemed to have magically resolved itself during the next 20 minutes of cooking, as it ended up coming out ok in the end:

The edges were crispier than I’d like, and the middle was floppier than I’d like, but hey….we made ground cauliflower into something vaguely resembling pizza crust, which I consider a minor miracle. It’s entirely possible that the oil is the reason the edges burned, and we had some trouble prying the thing off the sheet pan, so I’d definitely suggest following their instructions and using parchment paper.

8:20 PM – out of the oven and done.

Total time: 2 hours 20 mins

Skillethead’s verdict: “That’s not bad, not gonna lie.” From Skillethead, that’s about as close to a ringing endorsement as you’re going to get.

In the end, while it was pretty good, since we’re not gluten free, I don’t really feel the need to ever make this again. It’s incredibly time consuming, and frankly it’s just easier to buy pizza dough. Actually, it’s possibly easier to just MAKE pizza dough. I don’t feel like this was healthier enough than regular homemade pizza to be worth the effort – I mean, it still has a crapload of cheese. Whatever.

Barbzilla’s Verdict: Edible, but way too much work for a weeknight family dinner.

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2 thoughts on “Cauliflower Pizza Crust? Has the World Gone Mad?!?”

  1. We have also done the cauliflower crust. The first one was very soggy, yuck. The second time the cauliflower was salted and the excess water squeeze out. This one came out better but if you want the crispness of a traditional pizza crust it’s not happing.

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    1. Yeah, I think this one turned out about as well as it can. It was a bit too floppy in the middle and a bit too crispy on the edges but it wasn’t bad. I did see a quinoa crust recipe that we might attempt at a future date.

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