Author Topic: cauliflower crust?  (Read 1234 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline mnjesse

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 85
cauliflower crust?
« on: April 24, 2013, 12:37:36 PM »
I found a few recipes for a cauliflower crust pizza today. The recipes involve ricing cooked cauliflower, mixing in an egg and mozzarella to form a crust. It surprisingly got rave reviews from everyone.

Has anyone tried this? I think I will give it a shot.


Offline derricktung

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 427
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Chicago
Re: cauliflower crust?
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2013, 12:42:33 PM »
I've tried this with two recipes, and both were pretty abysmal... Since my wife and I are on a paleo style  of eating 85% of the time, we allow three cheat meals a week.  Thus, the attempt at a paleo/primal pizza.

After the two attempts, we decided it's just better to splurge on real pizza for one of our cheat meals (or two) each week.  The cauliflower crust just can't compare...

Offline TXCraig1

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 12796
  • Location: Houston, TX
Re: cauliflower crust?
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2013, 01:09:15 PM »
After the two attempts, we decided it's just better to splurge on real pizza for one of our cheat meals (or two) each week.  The cauliflower crust just can't compare...

+1

I love mashed cauliflower - love it - and I like cauliflower ON pizza. That being said, pizza is built on one thing and one thing only - dough. Period.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline R2-Bayou

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 176
  • Location: DC
Re: cauliflower crust?
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2013, 02:25:45 PM »
Cauliflower antipasti by lacto-fermenting in the perfect pickler is a great way to start out a pizza night. Little vino, some pro-shoot, pickled veggies, just enough to hold people over and get the taste buds flowing for the arrival of those hot charred pies..... Finish it off with some pistachio ice cream, espresso, nocino and a cigar? good night!
"Wretched excess is just barely enough."

Offline Don K

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1281
  • Age: 49
  • Location: Ohio
Re: cauliflower crust?
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2013, 07:25:36 PM »
I have actually tried cauliflower crust before. A friend of mine with celiac disease makes them. The first time I tried it, it was awful, but he got better at it the more that he made it.

Surprisingly, it is pretty good in its own right. Don't get me wrong, I would definitely rather have just about any other dough-based crust, but I'd prefer it over any gluten-free crust that I've ever tried.

The texture is not at all what you'd think it would be. Most of the moisture in the cauliflower is gone. In fact I think that that's the key to getting it right--removing most of the water. It is crispy on the outside and almost dough-like on the inside with some chew to it. I was quite surprised with the texture.
The member formerly known as Colonel_Klink

Offline CDNpielover

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 675
  • Location: Sonoran Desert
Re: cauliflower crust?
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2013, 08:31:23 PM »
I found a few recipes for a cauliflower crust pizza today. The recipes involve ricing cooked cauliflower, mixing in an egg and mozzarella to form a crust. It surprisingly got rave reviews from everyone.

Has anyone tried this? I think I will give it a shot.

I'd be interested in seeing the recipe, and your results.   :chef:

Offline CDNpielover

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 675
  • Location: Sonoran Desert
Re: cauliflower crust?
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2013, 10:57:50 PM »
At risk of being forever banned from these forums, I'm going to share tonight's experience making a cauliflower pizza dough. :-[ :chef: :-D

I did a bit of googling, and found a number of good blog posts about cauliflower pizza dough:
http://www.eat-drink-smile.com/2011/04/cauliflower-crust-pizza.html
http://www.recipegirl.com/2012/01/16/cauliflower-crust-hawaiian-pizza/
http://www.thevintagemixer.com/2013/03/cauliflower-pizza-crust-recipe/
http://www.closetcooking.com/2013/02/cauliflower-pizza-crust-with-bbq.html

I also read most of the comments on these blogs, and the recipe that I ended up using was a combination of things I had read in all of these places.

Ingredients:
about 1/2 head cauliflower
7 Tbsp egg whites (or 2 large eggs)
1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp oregano (rubbed between fingers)

The raw cauliflower was sectioned and "riced" using the grater attachment in a Cuisinart food processor.  (I've also read that riced cauliflower can be made by pulsing with the regular blade in a food processor, or with a hand cheese grater.)  The raw, riced cauliflower was then put in a tea towel, and the excess water was removed by sqeezing/wringing very hard.  I then measured out 1.5 cups of riced cauliflower (packed into the measuring cups), and mixed this with all other ingredients.  The "dough" was then shaped into 10 round shell on an oiled cookie sheet, and baked for 20 minutes at 325 F.  Next, the oven temperature was increased to 400 F and the shell was baked for another 10 minutes.  The shell was then removed from the oven, and the oven temperature was increased to 425 F. 

At this point, the shell was moist and flimsy.  I carefully transferred the shell onto a perforated, dual-layer pizza pan and dressed the pizza with sauce, homeade raw italian sausage, about 4 ounces of cheese (1/2 mozzarella and 1/2 provolone), and chopped green pepper.  The pizza was returned to the 425 F oven and baked for an additional 14 minutes.

The pizza turned out OK.  It tasted really good, except it was quite salty and I would reduce the salt for next time.  There was far too much sausage for this size of pizza, but I had frozen my sausage in portions appropriate for 14" pies and didn't want to waste the extra, so I threw it on.

The cauliflower crust needs some improvement,  though.  I think I would make it about twice (?) as thick next time.  It was also much too wet and flimsy, and had a texture very similar to flan, thick pannekoek/lefsa, or some types of custard.  Although it held together, I was not able to pick up the slices and had to eat them with a fork.  In the blogs above, many have noted this same problem.  However, some have achieved crispy, pick-uppable-crusts.  It seems that the key to this may be: 1) cheese in the dough, which crisps when cooked; 2) removing water from the cauliflower (my cauliflower was raw when I squeezed out the excess water, but many cook their cauliflower first.  I'm not sure if this makes a difference.);  3) baking time and temperature (this is something I would have to experiment with in my oven).

I am going to try again, but welcome any input anyone might have - especially in regards to getting a better texture in the crust.  As I was typing this up, I realized that I should have weighed out my riced cauliflower so that I could express everything in bakers percents.  This would be useful not only for scaling the recipe, but also for seeing how the amounts of salt and spices compare to other real dough recipes.  I'm sure i can find a value for the density of cauliflower and use that to convert my volume to mass, but it might be easier to just weigh it next time.  This would have to assume of course a constant water content for all cauliflower (troublesome as the water has to be removed each time and I expect this would add much variation).

I do have some photos, we'll see if I can get around to posting them.   :chef:
« Last Edit: May 04, 2013, 12:05:43 AM by CDNpielover »

Offline CDNpielover

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 675
  • Location: Sonoran Desert
Re: cauliflower crust?
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2013, 11:07:49 PM »
some photos.  As I said above, WAY too much sausage (this was pre-portioned for a 14" pie).  :chef:


Offline CDNpielover

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 675
  • Location: Sonoran Desert
Re: cauliflower crust?
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2013, 11:41:49 PM »
I've had a few more thoughts about how achieve a drier, crispier crust.  I think the key here is water content.  Even after squeezing, the cauliflower holds a ton of water, which is released upon cooking.  Adding 7 Tbsp of liquid doesn't help, either.

I think my strategy for next time will be to mix the 1 tsp of salt into the raw, riced cauliflower, and let this sit in the fridge for 1-2 hours.  This should draw much of the water out from the cauliflower.  Then, I will squeeze the excess in a tea cloth.  A lot of the salt will be removed with this water, which will help reduce the salty taste I noticed this time.

Next, after the egg sets during baking (after 10 minutes or so?), I will transfer the shell to a pizza screen.  This will almost double the surface area for evaporation.

Some on the blogs think that the cheese in the "dough" contributes to the crispiness, but I am doubtful about this.  I understand how cheese gets crispy when overcooked, however this just won't happen if the dough is too wet, as was the case for me.  Thus, I think the important thing for now is removing excess water.  I think I may even try omitting the cheese in the next go round.

Offline derricktung

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 427
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Chicago
Re: cauliflower crust?
« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2013, 07:16:58 AM »
That's pretty impressive actually.  My few attempts at cauliflower pie didn't come out nearly as well.

Good luck, and I hope you find a great recipe to use (and possibly share)!  Are you doing this just for the challenge, or is there someone that has celiac in your family?


Offline CDNpielover

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 675
  • Location: Sonoran Desert
Re: cauliflower crust?
« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2013, 10:37:08 AM »
No celiacs in the fam, but it looked neat!


 

pizzapan