With keto and paleo diets trending especially in the new year, we worked with the Test Kitchen to determine the best cauliflower pizza crust technique.
Below are Test Kitchen Chef Belle English’s pro cauliflower pizza crust tips, followed by a tried-and-tested recipe from our Test Kitchen.
1. Don’t forget to weigh your head of cauliflower before trimming and cutting into florets. The recipe calls for a 1 1/2 – 2 lb cauliflower. Any less and your dough will be too wet (yuck!). Any more, and it will crack in the oven.
2. Squeeze the heck out of it! This takes some elbow grease, but don’t skimp out on this step. I like to do a two-step squeeze situation where I squeeze out as much liquid as possible through a triple-layer cheese cloth, then transfer to a dry, thin dish towel and squeeze again. Essentially, the drier the cauliflower, the more ‘dough-like’ the crust will be.
3. Go lighter on the toppings. Because the crust doesn’t have the flour for structure, heavy toppings will weigh it down. Instead, use a light coating of sauces and cheese. The crust is surprisingly flavorful on its own, so you won’t miss the heavy toppings anyway.
4. Eat it right away! This crust is better right out of the oven when it is hot — and crisp!
Cauliflower Pizza Crust
- 1 small head cauliflower (1 1/2 to 2 lb./760 g to 1 kg)
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 cup (2 oz./60 g) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1. Preheat an oven to 375°F (190°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat and lightly grease.
2. Cut the cauliflower into pieces that will fit in your food processor. Add the cauliflower to the food processor and process until it resembles fine grains of rice, about 45 seconds. Spread the cauliflower evenly on the prepared baking sheet and transfer to the oven. Bake until cauliflower is softened, 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool until cool enough to handle, 10 to 15 minutes.
3. Line a large bowl with a triple layer or cheesecloth or a clean kitchen towel. Gather up the edges of the cloth and squeeze as much liquid as possible from the cauliflower.
4. Increase the oven temperature to 450°F (230°C). Line a baking sheet with new parchment paper and grease well.
5. In a bowl, stir together the cauliflower, egg, salt, pepper and Parmesan until well combined. Transfer the cauliflower mixture to the middle of the parchment and press with your hands to create a round about 1/8 inch (3 mm) thick. Transfer to the oven and bake until crust is lightly browned and crisp, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and top with desired toppings. Return to the oven and bake until cheese has melted and crust is golden brown, about 5 minutes more. Let cool slightly on the baking sheet, then transfer to a cutting board, cut into slices and serve immediately. Makes one 10-inch (25-cm) pizza crust.
Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen