Dairy free pizza and other baking bits

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Further to my last dairy free post, where you’ll remember I moaned that everything contains dairy, I set about creating a meal plan for the week (having seriously lost my mojo with the whole planning thing since going dairy free) and hit a bit of a stumbling block when I realised that both of my usual pizza dough recipes contain milk. I’ve not yet figured out if it’s safe to replace milk with water in most recipes or indeed which of the fake milks are stable enough for baking – I can’t help but feel it’s easier to just avoid the typical dairy things altogether.

Anyway, pizza. We have homemade pizza most weeks so had a bit of a googley for a new recipe and found a good one that is so easy — ridiculously simple — I made Karl make it. Look at his hairy hands:


This one is for you if you want dairy free pizza (we’ll get to the dilemma of the toppings shortly) or if you don’t know how to make pizza dough. Of course in hindsight it’s a basic bread recipe and I’ve not the foggiest why I’ve not done similar before given that I make bread fairly frequently. Mega props to Elaine from Mortgage Free in Three for her idea of using a terracotta plant pot saucer as a bread / pizza stone – mine was cooked to perfection.

While on the bakingmad site I found a bunch of other recipes for kids including a pretzel one which I’m thinking of making with Izz as she loves helping me and I love pretzels. Win win. (I really should post some of the baking adventures we get up to.)

Anyway, back to the pizza: the big issue was not the pizza dough but the toppings. How on earth do you make something worthy of being called a pizza without the cheese? General twitter consensus was that this is a futile task but I’m up for the challenge. Ended up with very thinly sliced potatoes, courgettes and a drizzle of olive oil; I am sure I read this suggestion on a food blog somewhere. It was fairly pants as pizzas go. Topping suggestions on a postcard…

Jem Turner jem@jemjabella.co.uk +44(0)7521056376

14 comments so far

  1. Annie said:

    When you mentioned the potato it took me back to a couple of years ago when I went to Italy and had this pizza, it was topped with potato and…and…pear? It tasted delicious. My friends and I all had different pizzas, a lot of them (including mine) without the cheese so I think you can pretty much improvise and experiment. Sorry, it’s no help but I can’t for my life remember what toppings there were.

    Could you try it with bechamel sauce?

  2. Aisling said:

    Are you doing veggie pizza as well? Because meat definitely helps from a flavour perspective. With vegetarian and dairy free food I really favour peppers. There are lots of ways to make them taste good and their texture is substantial. Pizza crust, tomato sauce with basil or oregano, and some peppers that I’ve sauted with garlic is pretty good (of course your little ones might not like peppers; I didn’t until I was past 12). Same kind of filling in a sandwich is good too.

    Goat cheese has a different kind of lactose than cow cheese that most lactose intolerant people do not have issues with. However if you must be steadfast… tofu. Blend it with salt and basil until it becomes the consistency of ricotta cheese (so using firm tofu, obviously) and sprinkle it on stuff. It also makes a decent substitute in lasagna. I had smoked tofu at this veggie restaurant I frequent and it tasted a lot like smoked gouda.

    • Jem said:

      Gawd no, I love my meat [insert rude sausage joke here]

      When you say peppers do you mean sweet bell peppers, or the spicy kind?

      Unfortunately it’s not the lactose it’s the milk proteins, so I’m not sure how goat cheese scores there. TBH I don’t mind avoiding the cheese and whatever for the time being, just as long as I can sort out a decent pizza topping :D

      • Emsz said:

        Kids who are allergic to cow’s milk protein usually do just fine on another animal milk. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of children being allergic to goat’s milk protein or sheep’s milk protein.
        It’s at least not something that is tested for in the Food Challenge Unit at the hospital in Groningen. (I do my research there).

  3. Louise said:

    I’m probably a bit too used to eating pizza without cheese…. but I tend to just use our normal toppings but put more on. Our normal toppings are (with a few variations): passata, sliced toms, onions, peppers, sweetcorn, mushrooms and anchovies or Parma ham. Hugh F-W’s ‘Veg’ book has a nice recipe for an ‘onion’ pizza – can’t remeber if it was meant to have cheese but it was pretty good without. I’ve tried the substitute cheese and apart from being just plain old grim, they don’t melt! Good luck on finding something that works :-)

  4. Samantha said:

    I’m a big pizza fan and can’t eat cheese. I also don’t like the tomato sauce so this might not be for everyone. However on my pizza I have ham, sausage and pepper. All chopped and the sausage is obviously pre-cooked. I have ordered this from Dominos but making it at home works just as well. I find that the strong tang of the sausage contrasts nicely to the sweet refreshing of the pepper. The pepper also soaks into the dough while it cooks, it’s really tasty. Like I said though it’s without the sauce so not for everyone.

  5. Juliet said:

    Tahini sauce (just thin tahini down with some water til it gets to a reasonable consistency) makes a decent cheese substitute, though you don’t use as much of it as you would of cheese.

    Tbh though mostly I just have a bit more tomato sauce, and plenty of veggies (fried mushrooms, peppers, aubergine, courgette, all work well).

  6. Stephanie said:

    I once went to a vegan restaurant that had spinach, basil, tomatoes (not tomato sauce), onions, garlic, and mushrooms as pizza toppings. I liked it.

    There’s also this soy-based fake cheese that is similar to mozzarella, if you’re not against processed foods.

  7. Stephanie said:

    I’ve heard vegan cheeses have really come a long way. I can’t remember what brands my friends recommend, but I am sure you can do a bit of googling and find the answer! I believe they’re tofu-based, kind of what Aisy said up there. She mentioned it gave a bit of a ricotta texture, which reminds me of white pizza. You lay out ricotta (so in this case, use the tofu) and then cover it with slices of tomatoes and then spinach or basil (I prefer basil, but some like spinach). If you like onions, that can be good (I don’t.) When you’re blending the tofu, add some garlic as well — very tasty :)