As I outlined in a previous post, Michael was introduced to plantains a couple of years go in Puerto Rico. We eat them all the time now. They're great fried, but they also have a sticky texture that's great for dough. This plantain pizza dough has a very neutral taste, and a texture that's, in my opinion, better than other plant-based pizza doughs. It's a great alternative to cauliflower pizza crust if you're following a gluten-free diet or just trying to be a little healthier.
Here's what you need.
- Plantains. Plantains are part of the banana family, but they're starchier and less sweet than bananas, and they're usually eaten cooked instead of raw. When you buy your plantains, you want to look for green plantains, not yellow. As they ripen and turn yellow, they become less starchy and more sweet, which isn't ideal for this recipe. Depending on where you're located, you may be able to find plantains at your normal grocery store. We buy big packs at Costco or Sam's Club. If you're unable to find them at your local grocery store or wholesale club, you should be able to find them at international grocery stores.
- Tapioca flour/starch. Tapioca flour (also called tapioca starch) is a common ingredient in gluten-free baking, and helps make this dough less sticky and more workable. It's usually found in the gluten-free baking section or in the flour aisle. You can also buy tapioca flour online (but it's usually cheaper at the grocery store). I like Bob's Red Mill.
- Desired pizza sauce and toppings
- Pantry ingredients/spices: Olive oil, butter, garlic, crushed red pepper, garlic powder, salt, and baking powder
- Food processor. We have this Cuisinart Food Processor and really love it--it can handle anything.
- Sheet pan
- Basting brush (optional). I love our basting brushes for spreading olive oil or butter on dough, but your hands or the back of a spoon work well too.
Here's how you make it.
First, preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
Next, make the dough. Score all sides of each plantain from tip to tip (with the peels on). Place them on a plate and microwave for 7-8 minutes, or until the peels have turned completely black. Then remove the peels. You may have to wait for them to cool a bit before handling--they will be hot.
Place the peeled plantains in a food processor. If your food processor isn't strong, you may want to slice the plantains into small chunks first. Add tapioca flour/starch, olive oil, baking powder, salt, and garlic powder to the food processor with the plantains and process on high until the dough comes together. Ours usually takes several minutes, and you may have to stop the processor several times to scrape down the edges. If your dough isn't coming together after several minutes, gradually add more olive oil (the amount of oil needed may vary based on the size of your plantains).
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Put the dough onto the sheet pan, and use your hands to spread the dough until it's about a quarter of an inch thick. Sometimes I split the dough into two smaller balls and make two mini pizzas. I've tried this with my hands and with a rolling pin, and I've found that my hands work better--the dough tends to stick to a rolling pin. Add olive oil to the top of the dough and spread evenly with your hands or with a basting brush.
Place in the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the crust is no longer soft and the edges are beginning to turn golden brown.
Meanwhile, combine olive oil, melted butter, crushed red pepper and minced garlic in a bowl. When the crust is done, remove it from the oven and coat with the olive oil and butter mixture.
Add marinara sauce (or your desired pizza sauce), cheese, and desired toppings, then place back into the oven until the cheese melts. We like to put it under the broiler for the last couple of minutes so that the cheese gets extra bubbly.