Every second, 350 slices of pizza are consumed in the U.S. and, by the time you read this post, nearly 63,000 slices will be eaten. Vegetarian, meat-lovers, Hawaiian, Chicago-style deep dish, thin crust, thick crust… mmm… crust. When it comes to pizza, we are flexible with our toppings, but have some pretty strong opinions when it comes to the all-important crust.
We believe there’s a time and place for all pizza crusts, however, we will say that we love thick crust pizzas with that “authentic pizzeria” quality to them. We don’t normally find that quality in thin crust pizzas, but we found it in our pizza made on a gluten-free oat crust!
If you’ve had experience making doughs with 100 percent oat flour, you know they just don’t rise like doughs made with wheat flour. Oat flour lacks gluten – those long, stretchy strands that give wheat dough its structure and spring. So, why did we add yeast to our gluten-free dough?
We know it seems counterintuitive, but trust us on this one. The dough won’t rise much, but it will be soft and have a hearty, authentic taste. Not only does it please the gluten-free members of the group, but it gets a full round of thumbs-ups from the rest of us.
You can buy ready-made oat flour, or you can make your own by pulsing rolled oats in a food processor for one to three minutes. You might end up with some larger bits – simply sift those out and throw them back into your rolled oats. Whether you’re going homemade or store-bought, be sure to use oat flour or rolled oats that are certified gluten-free.
This dough is a little different to work with than a traditional pizza dough and will be somewhat crumbly after mixing. Press it into the pan with clean hands instead of trying to roll it out. It will take a few minutes, but we think of it as working up an appetite. If there are cracks in the dough, just smooth them out with your fingers before adding the sauce. Once the crust is fully cooked, you’ll never know they were there.
When we said this crust is hearty, we meant it. It’s soft and tasty, but very filling. This crust is high in fiber, which studies have shown can help you feel full faster. In fact, you will likely find yourself getting full on less pizza than you usually eat. That’s the oats at work!
You might be able to single-handedly eat a frozen thin crust pizza in one sitting, but most people will be feeling comfortably full well before reaching that point with this pizza. There goes our 350 slices per second!
- 1 cup warm water (100 - 110°F) (250 ml)
- 2 tsp honey (10 ml)
- 1 package active dry yeast (not instant)
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (30 ml)
- 3 cups oat flour (750 ml)
- 1 tsp salt (5 ml)
- 1 cup pizza sauce, store-bought or homemade (250 ml)
- 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (750 ml)
- Your favorite toppings (sliced pepperoni or ham, cooked bacon, grilled chicken, sliced bell peppers, sliced mushrooms, sliced green or black olives, pineapple tidbits, sliced red onion, artichoke hearts, etc.)
To make dough:
- In a small bowl or glass measuring cup, stir together warm water, honey and yeast. Let stand for 5 minutes, or until fully dissolved. Stir in olive oil.
- Measure 3 cups of oat flour into a large bowl (you should have extra for dusting). Add salt.
- Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in the yeast mixture. Stir to combine. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth. Use additional oat flour on your hands to keep dough from sticking.
- Cover dough with plastic wrap and let rest while oven preheats and you prepare your toppings.
To make pizza:
Preheat oven to 400°F (205°C).
- Press dough thinly into a non-stick (or well-oiled) 14” pizza pan.
- Add sauce, your favorite toppings and cheese (or sauce, cheese and toppings)
- Bake for 15 minutes, or until crust is baked and cheese is bubbling.
- Allow to cool slightly, then slice and serve.