For years I've missed pizza. Not because there isn't gluten-free pizza available. It's out there. You can find it if you look hard enough. Take a gander in the frozen food aisle of your favorite natural market. Snoop around in the dairy case, next to the gluten-free bagels. You might even hit pay dirt at your local pizza joint (if they understand the ins and outs of cross contamination). So yeah. There are some choices out there. Problem is, most gluten-free pizza sucks.
It's usually heavy on the chewy aspect. Or dry as dirt. With zero flavor. Yawningly bland. Certainly nothing to brag about. I mean, you wouldn't eat it if you didn't have to. You know what I'm sayin'? It's okay in a pinch. If you're famished on a Friday night. But it's not exactly inspiring.
So last week I started experimenting. I tweaked and baked. And lo and behold. A new gluten-free pizza crust was born.
And this one doesn't suck.
It might even deserve its own brand new clean and shiny pizza pan.
Karina's Best Gluten-Free Pizza Crust Recipe
By Karina Allrich Febuary 2011.I'm finally happy with a gluten-free pizza crust. It's the best gluten-free dairy-free pizza crust I've eaten. These particular flours bring superior flavor and a perfect pizza crust texture. Slightly golden crisp at the edge, with a tender, flexible middle. Not too thick and not too thin. You can hold a slice in your hand and bite.
1 cup tapioca starch
1 cup sorghum flour
1 cup potato starch
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup GF millet flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
3 tablespoons organic light brown sugar
1 and 1/4 cups warm water (between 110 - 115ºF)
1 teaspoon organic light brown sugar - for proofing the yeast
1 packet (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
1/4 cup good olive oil
1/4 cup beaten organic free-range egg whites (or egg replacer for two eggs)
1/4 teaspoon light tasting rice vinegar
Grease two 12-inch Pizza Pans (or baking sheets) and dust lightly with gluten-free cornmeal or rice flour. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the GF flours and dry ingredients.
Proof the yeast in 1 cup warm water with a pinch of sugar.
Add the proofed yeast and water to the dry ingredients. Add the oil, eggs and vinegar.
Beat the dough until smooth and sticky. Add the remaining 1/4 cup water if you need to. The pizza dough should be creamy smooth and not too thick- it's not sturdy like typical bread dough. It almost borders on batter.
Using a silicone spatula divide the dough in half. Scoop each half onto the center of a prepared pizza pan. Using clean, wet hands press down lightly and flatten the dough to create a thin, even pizza shell, with slightly raised edges. You'll have to rinse your hands more than once to do this. Take your time to smooth out the dough with wet palms. Have patience, Bubela. You will be rewarded with a lovely crust. Promise.
Set the pizza shells in a warm cozy spot to rest and rise a bit- about 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
When the oven is hot, place the two pizza pans side by side on the center rack (if your oven is too small to accommodate both pans on one rack, you'll need to use two racks; rotate the pans half way through baking time to avoid overcooking on the lower rack).
Bake for ten minutes till golden.
Remove from the oven. Preheat the broiler.
Brush the pizza shell with extra virgin olive oil. Season with sea salt and fresh garlic.
Sprinkle with Italian herbs.
Top with your choice of fresh vegetables and herbs (and sauce, cheese, cooked meat etc). Drizzle extra virgin olive oil all over the top.
Broil briefly to melt the cheese, 4-5 minutes. Don't over cook
Makes two medium thick 12-inch pizzas or baking sheet style rectangles (a thinner crust makes a larger size).
Recipe Source: glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com
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If you prefer a very thin crust, press it out thin on a larger cookie sheet; or divide the dough into three balls and use for three thin pizzas.
For a vegan pizza I used: fresh baby spinach leaves and basil, roasted eggplant slices, sliced fresh tomatoes, vegan "mozzarella" cheese, Italian herbs (dried oregano, marjoram, parsley, rosemary, thyme).
We had two slices of leftover pizza, so I experimented for you, Dear Reader. We wrapped leftover slices in foil and stored them in the fridge. The next morning, we reheated the wrapped slices in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes. They heated through rather quickly. Scrumptious for breakfast!
Regarding substitutions on a gluten-free diet...
I worked with my dough for several years to get just the right pizza crust texture and taste. This recipe is so perfect as is, I hesitate to offer any substitutions. Each change will impact the dough. If you change things up I cannot guarantee you'll achieve the lovely texture and taste of this latest incarnation. Any experimenting- you'll have to do on your own. Use my recipe as a guideline.
The flours I chose are balanced for a blend of just the right crispness, flavor, browning ability and flexibility. The brown sugar and extra virgin olive oil are there for a reason. They add complexity and richness to the gluten-free dough. If you remove them you'll impact the flavor and texture. Trust me.
If you prefer pizza sporting a red sauce, prepare the shell as above and bake it for only 6-7 minutes. Add the sauce and bake for three minutes. Add the additional topping and broil briefly to melt the cheese and heat the toppings.
More gluten-free pizza crust recipes from food bloggers:
Shirley's Flourless, Gluten-Free Pizza at GFE
Gluten-Free Homemaker's Gluten-Free Pizza Crust - Single Recipe