There’s just something about pizza that brings us all together, regardless of who we are, where we come from, or what we like. Pizza is the ultimate party food because, well, everybody enjoys a good slice. There’s a pizza out there for everyone, including vegans.
Just because you’ve decided to eliminate all meat and animal derivatives from your diet, it doesn’t mean that you have to give up on pizza entirely. Many places, from big-name pizza places like Pizza Hut or Domino’s to your local pizza joint, offer vegan versions of this universal favorite.
You can also easily make your own healthy, clean, cruelty-free vegan pizza at home with a delicious pre-made pizza crust mix. You can find these in your local grocery store or on online marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay. Making your own pizza has never been easier.
If you’re the type who likes to make everything from scratch, fear not. You are only five or six common ingredients away from making your own custom vegan pizza crust.
Ingredients of a Vegan Pizza Crust
The best thing about homemade vegan pizza crusts is that you can tweak the recipes to your personal tastes, preferences, and diet restrictions. Most online recipes for vegan pizza crusts list anywhere from four to six ingredients. Pizza crust recipes usually require flour (or another pizza base), salt, oil, and a yeast mixture (with sugar and water).
The type of flour or base that you use will be the major defining factor in how your vegan pizza crust will taste and feel. There are many different kinds of flour you can use. The most common type is your regular white flour, which is 100% vegan-friendly but does contain gluten.
We’ve also listed a couple other common alternatives you can choose from when deciding what kind of flour or base to use in your vegan pizza crust recipe.
White, wheat, or grain flour
Unfortunately for people who need to eliminate gluten from their diet, wheat or grain flour produces the soft, fluffy, yet crunchy crust that defines a great pizza. Gluten, which is a protein, creates bubbles in the dough, making it a lighter, chewier, more consistent crust.
Unless you have a gluten sensitivity, this type of flour should be your best and first choice. However, if you need something gluten-free, or if you just want a healthier or different alternative, there are several other options you can go for.
Made from either white or brown rice, rice flour is a quick and easy substitute for grain flour. Many gluten-free pizza crust mixes, such as Ryze Gluten-Free Flour Mix or Cup4Cup Gluten-Free Pizza Crust Mix, use a combination of white and brown rice flour to create a crust that is similar to traditional pizza.
The main drawback of rice flour is that it tends to produce a much harder, cracker-like crust compared to a wheat flour pizza crust.
Baking with almond flour isn’t very difficult; it can be used to make a wide variety of pastries and dishes just like regular wheat flours. It’s a completely gluten-free and low-carb alternative to the traditional pizza. Almond flour is much denser than other alternatives and has a rich flavor that you might enjoy.
You won’t be able to use yeast with almond flour, but you can replace it with baking powder for an airier and less dense dough.
Unlike the other options, which can be bought in an easy-to-use powder form, you’ll have to grind your cauliflower on your own. The processed cauliflower is then combined with a binding agent (eggs, cheese, oils, etc.), then pressed into a pizza shape. You can also buy pre-made cauliflower crusts from brands such as Outer Aisle Gourmet or Cali’flour Foods.
Cauliflower has a lot of vitamins and nutrients that you could benefit from. However, it does have a very distinct taste that might not be appealing to everyone, especially younger children.
Technically, salt isn’t required to make pizza dough - or any kind of food for that matter - but it does naturally bring out flavors and aromas in whatever you’re cooking. A pinch of salt goes a long way in boosting the taste of your vegan pizza crust.
Salt does play another function in pizza crusts, however. Salt can hold moisture, which prevents your crust from getting dry and stale quickly. It also prevents your dough from getting over-fermented or sticky.
You can add other herbs and spices to the dough as well for a truly unique flavor.
Oils can make your dough much more tender and flavorful. This largely depends on what kind of oil you use; different oils will give your dough a distinct taste. The most common oils used in vegan pizza crust making are olive oil, sunflower oil, or vegetable oils like canola or peanut.
Adding oil makes the dough much easier to handle. Since oil acts as a sort of moisture barrier, it can also dictate how moist or crispy your pizza crust will become.
Yeast is one of the most crucial ingredients in baking. As a fungus, it is vegan-friendly (just like mushrooms), but some people prefer not to use yeast either because of its taste, texture, or out of convenience. Yeast does take time to prepare and activate, but it does make a world of difference in the kind of pizza crust you will end up with.
Yeast converts the sugars in your dough into air. It’s what creates bubbles in bread and pizza crusts, giving you a fluffier yet still moist texture. You can choose not to use yeast and instead use baking powder, but it won’t produce the exact same effect.
Not only does sugar help feed the yeast (therefore helping it grow and rise), it also adds a subtle flavor that contrasts really well with its saltiness. It can also help retain moisture and create a fine, tender crust.