This pizza crust recipe has changed my life. No more frozen pizza crusts. No more “going without” pizza. No more complicated recipes, complete with yeast and rise times and multiple gluten-free flours. As long as I remember to soak my quinoa ahead of time, I can have fresh pizza crust in a manner of minutes. And not “so-so” pizza. Good pizza. Chewy and slightly crispy on the edges, but soft in the center. It reminds me of a good New York style crust. Which, you can assume by my opening sentence in this post, is a good thing indeed.
I can’t take credit for the idea or the recipe, however. That credit goes to Charity Dasenbrock of For Life Personal Chef. She posted this recipe. Iris of The Daily Dietribe mentioned it a while back, and that’s where it caught my eye. It is supposed to be akin to socca, a chickpea flatbread that is also simple to make. (There’s a recipe in Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free by Amy Green – I happen to be giving away four copies of her book here – hurry! The giveaway ends April 23.) I’ve discovered I have a lot of trouble digesting chickpeas, so I have never had the opportunity to enjoy socca. This crust recipe, however, gave me hope. It was so easy, I just had to try it.
So the following morning, I soaked what quinoa I had left in the house (which turned out to be about a cup). I came home, drained and rinsed it, and threw it in the blender along with a bit of water, salt, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning. I blended, and heated up my cast iron skillet in the oven with a bit of oil. When the oven came to temperature, I poured my batter, spread it out, put it back in the oven, and hoped for the best.
In a little over 10 minutes, I checked it. It was ready to flip, and was a lovely color of brown and crisp on the bottom. It flipped easily. I baked it for about 10 more minutes, and then placed some toppings on top and baked for another 5. The house filled with the aroma of pizza parlor. When it was ready, I was so ready to cut and sink my teeth into that slice. When I did, I just about swooned. Another bite, and another, and I’m suddenly blabbing and carrying on to my husband about how absolutely wonderful this pizza was. I declared that we would now have pizza every week. That’s probably not going to happen in actuality, but I did make more the following week. It was just as delicious as the first time. And the leftovers? They make a pretty great breakfast.
Another bonus about this pizza crust, versus so many other gluten-free recipes, is that it is 100% whole grain. No starches, no gums. It’s vegan, and it’s allergy-friendly. You can top it with whatever you like. You could even leave it plain and enjoy it as a delicious flatbread, perfect for tearing and dipping into curries, soups, or hummus. The possibilities are endless. But whatever you do, make it.
Quinoa Pizza Crust, adapted from For Life Personal Chef
1 c quinoa plus enough water to cover for soaking
1/4 c grapeseed oil or olive oil
about 1/2 c filtered water
1/2 t kosher salt
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 t Italian seasoning
Place the quinoa in a bowl and pour in enough water to cover the quinoa. Let it sit for about 8 hours to soak (I do this in the morning before I head to work, and then it’s ready when I get home).
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Use a large, 12-inch cast iron skillet, and brush with oil. Place in oven to preheat.
Drain the quinoa, rinse thoroughly, and place the quinoa in a blender. Add most of the water and the seasonings and blend. Add more water as needed, until the batter resembles a thick pancake-style batter.
Once the oven is heated to temperature, pour the batter into the skillet and quickly spread it out evenly across the bottom. Place in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes, or until the underside is well-browned and starting to crisp. Use a large spatula and carefully flip the crust. Bake for an additional 10 minutes.
Remove from oven, and top with desired toppings. (In the picture above, I used a homemade tomato-based pizza sauce, a bit of nacho cheese sauce from Go Dairy Free, sauteed crimini mushrooms, onions, a bit of organic pork sausage, and radish greens.) As with any pizza, be careful not to overload on toppings or the crust will get a bit soggy. Return to oven for 5-7 minutes, or until the crust is well-browned on the bottom and crisp. Remove from the skillet and transfer to a cutting board or plate. Slice and serve!
Makes one pizza – 2-4 servings, depending on how hungry your crowd is and whether a salad or other dish is served with the pizza.