Yesterday was our last cooking project of the year in my son’s K/1 class, and I finally gave in to their request and made mini pizzas using homemade dough and prepared dough while also providing gluten free and vegan options! There was so much excitement in the classroom, and the kids unanimously agreed it was their favorite project. They loved it even more than the ice cream we made as last year’s year-end project, so this was definitely a hit.
If you are gluten-free and egg-free, then you know how hard it is to find the perfect pizza crust. I reviewed my favorite prepared and easy-to-prepare gluten-free and egg-free pizza crusts here in case you’d like another quick run down.
I have wanted to try the cauliflower pizza crust I have heard so much about, but since it calls for almond meal and my son’s classroom is nut-free, I couldn’t try it out just yet.
So, considering our classroom’s dietary limitations and allergy restrictions, we used two batches of dough.
- A prepared dough from Trader Joe’s with a wheat/gluten base, but it does not contain any egg or dairy. Unfortunately, it may contain tree nuts, so I used this prepared dough for the kids in class with no allergies.
- A homemade dough using Jovial Einkhorn Flour, an imported flour from Italy that my son does not react to (purchased from Whole Foods).
Why doesn’t he react to it? I believe because wheat from other countries is not hybridized and is more natural to our bodies than the modified wheat that the U.S. began harvesting back in the 1960’s. But that’s another topic. Take note that this flour is NOT gluten-free, however if your child has just a sensitivity to gluten and not a full blown allergy or Celiac Disease, then this flour may be an alternative that works for you! If you plan to try it, be sure to keep a close eye on the symptoms that occur after consuming the wheat, if any.
For the homemade dough, I used the recipe straight from the package, but omitted the honey and added more salt.
Vegan Pizza Crust adapted from Jovial Eikhorn Flour’s Recipe (using a bread machine)
1 cup warm water
4 cups Eikhorn Flour
2 tsp dry active yeast
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
- Add all of the ingredients above to your bread machine in order from top to bottom.
- Start by warming up the water slightly (not boiling or scalding hot, just a slight heat), then add it to the bottom.
- Cover the water with the flour, and make sure no water seeps through the top.
- Make a small indentation in the center of the flour layer (again, making sure no water seeps through) and pour in the yeast.
- Sprinkle the sea salt over the top.
- Cover the lid, turn the bread machine to the “Dough” setting, and walk away! My
machine takes about 1 hour 20 minutes to complete the cycle that includes kneading, heating for the first rise, kneading again, and heating for the final rise.
Below is how we made and assembled the pizzas in class.
Mini Pizzas (with a gluten-free and/or vegan option)
Homemade or prepared pizza dough (or use one of the prepared pizza crusts I reviewed here, and follow the cooking instructions on the package)
organic tomato sauce
organic mozzarella or vegan mozarella
toppings of choice: sliced olives, pineapple, bell peppers, etc.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- Provide each student with a piece of square of parchment paper and a small piece of dough, about the size of a fist.
- Sprinkle 1 Tbsp of flour over the top of the super sticky prepared dough to keep it from sticking to the students hands (the homemade dough didn’t need any extra flour).
Show the students how to gently form their dough into a ball while working the extra flour into it.
- Once combined, flattened the dough on the parchment paper, using their fingertips to spread it out evenly.
- Spread the tomato sauce on top of the uncooked pizza dough, then sprinkle on cheese and desired toppings.
- Write each student’ s name on the parchment paper, then place the pizza with the parchment paper underneath it onto a baking sheet. 6-8 pizzas will fit on each baking sheet.
- Bake the pizzas using the prepared dough for 10 minutes; bake the pizzas using the homemade dough for 12 minutes.
- Allow to cool slightly.