Friday nights are different in our house. We used to go out on dates on Friday nights. Now we have a Charlie dog. A Charlie dog that sits in his cage during the day, so I feel like a terrible dog mom letting him out for a couple of hours only to go back in while we go out. (Welcome to puppy parenthood, huh?) If we go out, when we finally get home at night, he is nuts. So much little wiggly energy, right when I’m ready to go to bed.
So we spend our Friday date nights at home. Finding entertaining things to do here. Renting movies. Building campfires. Playing lawn games. And making pizzas. Usually they involve pizza.
This last week I was longing for thin crust pizza. Something a little crispy. A little nutty. And a little healthy. I am in no way advocating pizza as health food. But I feel so much better eating this creation than a giant slice of thick crust with dripping cheese, pepperoni and grease.
The secret is the quinoa flour in the crust. I used dry quinoa, blended into a flour in my Vitamix. I suspect you could do the same with a food processor or coffee grinder. You need to make sure that your grinder of choice can blend the quinoa fine enough to get all of the nutrients out and make a really fine flour.
As for the vital wheat gluten, this is the second secret ingredient. You’re right, this is not a gluten-free crust. You could probably do it with all quinoa flour and no wheat gluten, but I cannot guarantee the results. The wheat gluten helps you achieve a nice and crispy crust. It gives a really nice elastic texture to the dough, and helps the crust stay light too. As does the knead, rest, knead process. Don’t skip out on either of these things!
We topped our pizza with a mixture of sauteed minced garlic, shredded zucchini, brussels sprouts, mozzarella cheese, parm and basil. It was pure summer pizza perfection!
One of these pizzas served both of us for dinner. I used the others with a normal cheese pizza, a taco pizza and a pizza margarita. So many choices!
Who needs take out when you can do this at home?
Thin and Crispy Quinoa Pizza Crust
Prep Time: 20 minutes (active) 1 hour (in
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Ingredients (4 pizzas)
- 1 3/4 c quinoa flour (you can buy the flour, or make your own with dry quinoa if you have a food processor or blender)
- 2 c whole wheat pastry flour
- 2 t vital wheat gluten
- 1 1/3 c warm water
- 1 T olive oil, + more for sprinkling
- 1 T honey
- 2 1/2 t sea salt
- 3/4 t active dry yeast
- pizza toppings
If you are making your own quinoa flour, blend dry quinoa in a blender until you have a flour-like consistency
Mix flours, wheat gluten, salt and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer
Add water, honey and oil, mixing on low with a dough hook until combined
Knead for 5 minutes on low
Turn off the mixer and let sit for 10 minutes
Knead on low for 5 more minutes
Remove dough from bowl and hook
Cut into 4 equal pieces, cover lightly in olive oil
Place dough balls on a cookie sheet, lightly place a piece of saran wrap over the balls and let sit at room temperature 1 hour
When you’re ready to use, place pizza stone in oven on the middle rack
Preheat oven to 435, let heat for at least 45 minutes (even if the oven says it’s ready, keep heating, you need to get the stone hot enough)
Roll dough out onto a lightly floured surface into a 12 inch circle
Sprinkle cornmeal onto a pizza peel
Place dough onto the pizza peel
Slide dough onto preheated pizza stone, cook 5 minutes, remove from oven using pizza peel
Add desired toppings
Put pizza back in oven, switch oven to low-broil setting
Broil 6-7 minutes until toppings are cooked and cheese is melted
Remove from oven, let cool 2 minutes before slicing and serving