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Gluten Free Friday: Pizza Crust

February 18, 2011

Priority one when we found out we’d be going gluten free was finding a reasonable facsimile of pizza crust and hamburger buns.  I’m still working on the buns, but I am happy to report that WE HAVE FOUND PIZZA CRUST!!!  The source is Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day, which I already loved for their whole grain breads.  Their chapter on gluten free options is brief, but so far not at all disappointing.  The pizza dough makes use of the gluten free olive oil bread recipe and comes out, as pizza dough SHOULD…not too dry, firm enough that you can pick up a slice and eat it with your hands.  It wasn’t my usual pizza dough, but it absolutely tasted like REAL crust.  Praise Saint Lorenzo (he’s the patron saint of cooks)!  It’s not necessarily pretty, but I blame this on my failure to roll a circle (which I can’t do with regular pizza dough either, fyi), not the funky dough.

Ingredients (makes enough for 2 large crusts):

  • 1/2 brown rice flour
  • 1/4 soy flour
  • 1/2 cup tapioca starch
  • 1 3/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon granulated yeast
  • 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon xanthan gum
  • 1 1/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon white or cider vinegar

Directions:

  1. Haul out your stand mixer.  Trust me, you’ll want it.  Be sure to use the PADDLE, not the dough hook.
  2. Whisk together all the dry stuff in the bowl.
  3. Combine all the wet stuff and gradually mix them into the dry ingredients with your mixer until well combined.
  4. Add the dough into a lidded (but not air tight) food container and let the dough rest at room temp for approximately 2 hours.
  5. You can use the dough immediately or keep it in the fridge for up to 7 days.  According to the book, flavor will be best if you wait at least 24 hours.
  6. Half an hour before baking time, preheat the oven to 500 degrees with a baking stone placed on the middle rack.
  7. Be sure to prepare all your toppings ahead of time.  You’re gonna want to work FAST so that the dough doesn’t sit on the pizza peel any longer than it has to.
  8. Dust the surface of the dough with rice flour and cut off a 1/2 pound (about an orange size) piece of dough.
  9. Dust the piece with more rice flour and form it into a ball.  You won’t be stretching this since there’s no gluten.  You’ll just press it into shape with your hands.  You’ll be using lots of rice flour to keep the dough from sticking to your hands or the work surface, but try not to work any big lumps of flour into the dough.
  10. Flatten the ball with your hands and a rolling pin, straight on a wooden pizza peel, aiming to produce a THIN crust (this is one of the keys to good GF crust)–around 1/16 to 1/8 inch thick.  Remember, lots of rice flour to keep the dough from sticking.  You may wanna use a metal dough scraper to help get the dough up when it sticks.
  11. Before you add the toppings, be SURE that the dough is still movable before you top it.  If it’s not, sprinkle more rice flour under the dough.
  12. Top as you wish.
  13. Slide the pizza directly onto the stone (you might have to shake back and forth carefully to dislodge it).
  14. Bake 10-12 minutes, turning halfway if one side is browning faster than the other.  It might need up to 5 more minutes, but ours was done in 10.
  15. Let the pizza cool slightly on a rack before serving so the cheese will set.
  16. And be sure to set the rack NOT near the edge of the counter where curious dogs can steal a piece.  Our youngest pooch is still on the Poo List for having done this.

A few notes: Pizza with gluten free crust is WAY MORE FILLING than typical wheat crust.  Also, hubs was not thrilled with all the “powder” as he put it.  So next time I think I’ll try rolling it out on parchment paper.  Overall, though, we were really happy with the result.

Printable version.

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