« Back to News & Insights

Veg-based and Gluten-Free Pizzas

As a category that hasn’t seen significant innovation since the invention of the stuffed crust, pizza is currently experiencing an alternative-dough revolution. As more people seek to add low-carb, healthier baked goods to their diets, vegetable-based and gluten-free options are gaining a growing share of pizza buyers’ attention. And it’s a trend that’s set to take off in 2022.

A growing trend for flour alternatives

Driven by surging interest in vegan and gluten-free lifestyles, increasing numbers of consumers are seeking out healthier alternatives to their everyday favorites. As part of this, the vegan and gluten-free pizza markets are rapidly maturing: customers now expect that authentic pizza-crust taste even with alternative dough.

Many bakery operations, however, are not equipped to deal with the demands of veg-based or gluten-free pizza-making. Whether it’s made with gluten-free flour, rice flour, or cauliflower, the higher moisture content and lower elasticity of these dough alternatives can prove problematic due to their consistency, stickiness, and fragility. Thankfully, AMF Bakery Systems offers customizable, precision solutions for expanding your gluten-free and vegetable-based pizza lines.

Adjusting to slack dough

Dough consistency is the first challenge to address with alternative-dough pizzas. The unique consistency of these so-called ‘slack’ doughs means you need extra-sensitive equipment to handle the initial mixing. That’s where two of AMF’s innovations come in: The Dough Guardian mixing system, in combination with the DuraBowl™ mixer bowl, gives you total control over both the mixing and the dough temperature to ensure you’re getting the optimal consistency while avoiding water separation.

After mixing, the high moisture content and low elasticity of slack dough mean it can stick to surfaces such as belts and nozzles. To counteract this, AMF Bakery Systems has a wide range of product solutions with enhanced non-stick properties to make the production process smooth and frictionless. One is the AMF Tromp® dough sheeting lines that create a continuous dough sheet from many dough types, with reliable, sustainable and productive pizza technology. Pizza shapes are cut out of the dough sheet and the remaining dough is re-worked in the next batch of dough.  Another example is the BreadFlex D3 Divider, a simple, continuous-style direct-deposit dough divider that’s perfect for dealing with sticky dough. Many of our products also include poly-stick belts and Teflon-coated elements to ensure smooth and frictionless operation from mix to bake.

Maintaining structural integrity during sheeting is also key. One adjustment you can make is using multiple sheeting stations with lower falling heights between them to minimize stress on the sheeted dough. For optimal results, such adjustments can be combined with a state-of-the-art monitoring system like AMFConnect™. This allows you to monitor data from across the production line and make real-time adjustments. Such systems allow you to minimize product damage while maintaining the flavor and texture of the finished pizza.

Topping and baking to perfection

Once you’ve fine-tuned the process for the pizza base, it’s time to consider the toppings! Whether vegan or otherwise, cheese is almost always the most expensive pizza ingredient, so you want to make sure you’re not wasting a crumb. AMF Tromp’s smart toppings applicator uses AI technology to monitor the amount of cheese going onto the pizza in real-time – and automatically adjust the production line to ensure each pizza has the ideal amount.

Precise baking is also vital for alternative-dough pizza, especially when pre-baking for food-service organizations and supermarkets. The Multibake® HT Tunnel Oven by AMF Den Boer is a high-temperature, fully adjustable tunnel oven that allows you to get that ideal crispy crust, whatever dough you’re using.

AMF: Total bakery solutions

The demand for vegan and gluten-free pizza is set to soar in 2022, and with so many tailored solutions available from AMF Bakery Systems, our experts are on hand to help you upgrade your production line to take advantage of this growing market segment. AMF is a leader in integrated solutions, so you can always optimize the production process for the best, tastiest results – whatever dough you choose. We offer the ideal way to diversify your product range with complete solutions that give you high quality, total control, and full peace of mind. So, for premium gluten-free and vegetable-based pizzas, make sure customers come to you, with the help of AMF Bakery Systems!

If you’d like to find out more about AMF Bakery Systems’ solutions for gluten-free and vegetable-based pizza, please contact Lex van Houten – regional marketing manager – lvanhouten@amfbakery.com