Gluten-Free Beer (and a pizza crust recipe)



After five years of living strictly gluten-free, I can honestly tell you, Dear Reader, there are very few things I still miss from my pre-celiac diagnosis. From melty chocolate brownies to delicious gluten-free bread, I've managed to recreate and reinvent many old favorites.

But there is an archetypal pairing I do, indeed, miss. It's a simple want. Nothing fancy. And it's not some precious, tiny cuisine perched on a plate with a few stingy drips of - insert latest food infusion fad - trying to pass as art. Nope.

It's pizza and beer. A slice with a cold one. That's what I want. That's what I miss.


Well, guess what? One half of my burning desire has been quenched and this humble gluten-free goddess couldn't be happier. I am pleased as proverbial punch to report on the new sorghum lager now available from Anheuser-Busch, called Redbridge - Babycakes, it is beer-tastic! I had my doubts, I'll admit (being part Irish, who can blame me?), but when I read about Redbridge beer over at the NFCA website, the photograph alone made my mouth water. Come to Mama! I had to find some. I looked everywhere, but no store in Santa Fe carried it. Bummer.

Imagine my delight - when visiting our son, Colin, in Los Angeles - I stumbled upon a six pack of Redbridge happily chilling away amongst dozens of off-limits brewskys in an LA Whole Foods. Dude. I was stoked.

Later that very night I rustled up some easy - but tasty! - nachos and cracked open my first beer in five years. It did not disappoint. It did not taste “gluten-free”. In fact, when Colin - who is not celiac, or gluten-free - knocked back his first sip, he declared, “This tastes just like beer. Just like the real thing.” And I, ever the U2 fan that I am in my part-Irish bones, answered, “Even better than the real thing”.

Over at my cool and chic gluten-free home girls' blog aka The Celiac Chicks, I learned the proper way to pour a Redbridge.
Pour the beer into a glass so that it smacks the bottom of the glass. This releases carbonation and produces a perfect foamy head. I did this last night, and, indeed, it does! (Thanks, Kelly!)

Next? Now that the Santa Fe Whole Foods is finally carrying Redbridge in their beer section, I gotta create that perfect gluten-free pizza crust recipe to go with it. And now that I have the beer, Dear Reader, it’s cake.

Here is the recipe I'm going to try - sent in by Lydia. The good news is - it is egg and dairy free.







Lydia's Gluten-Free Pizza Dough


Karina, here is my recipe for GF pizza crust. If you're not crazy about xanthan gum, perhaps you could use guar gum, or one egg white instead. I think it tastes like the crusts of old I used to eat, and I've only had compliments from gluten-eaters.

In a measuring cup, proof:

1 cup warm water (following temp. directions on your yeast package)
1 package dry, active yeast
1 tablespoon sugar

Whisk together in a bowl and let it sit for 5-10 minutes as the yeast proofs and begins to foam.

In mixing bowl, combine:

2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon each: dried basil, oregano, rosemary, and crushed red pepper (optional)
1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1-2 teaspoon salt
1 scant teaspoon xanthan gum

Add the proofed yeast mixture. Stir to combine.

Add:

2 1/2 cups gluten-free flour*

Mix the dough by hand for 2-3 minutes. Let it rest as you oil a pan and sprinkle cornmeal on top of the pan (to prevent dough from sticking).

Drop the dough onto the pan and using wet or oiled hands, flatten and spread the dough evenly to the thickness you prefer. (This usually covers a 10x13-inch baking pan.)

Allow the dough to rest while you pre-heat your oven to 425ºF.

Pre-bake the pizza crust for 10 minutes.

Add sauce and toppings. Bake for an additional 10 minutes or so, until the crust is done and the toppings are heated through and bubbling.

*Lydia's Gluten-Free Flour Mix is:

3 parts white rice flour
3 parts brown rice flour
2 parts potato starch
1 part tapioca flour

She notes: If you use a pre-made gluten-free mix, I would recommend not using one with leavening (baking soda, baking powder).

Thank you, Lydia! This recipe will be (mucho) appreciated by our readers.