Monday, 16 August 2010

Gluten-Free Pizza Party!

Buona sera!  I had a friend ask for some Gluten-Free Pizza crust recipes, so here is my family's current favourite:

Gluten-Free Pizza Crust

1/4 c. millet flour (just grind millet in the blender finely)
3/4 c. brown rice flour  (or half white rice flour, half brown rice flour)
1/4 c. quinoa or sorghum flour
1/4 c. cornstarch
1/2 c. tapioca flour (my mum's note is that she has alternatively subbed more rice flour or tried corn flour ((AKA, "masa", at Walmart)) successfully)
2 tsp. xanthan gum (Whole Foods will carry this expensive ingredient, but you only use a tiny bit to compensate for no gluten)
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. Italian seasoning blend (or a mix of oregano, basil, thyme, marjoram, etc.)
1 T. sugar
1 tsp. unflavored gelatin
2 T. almond meal or Coffeemate plain creamer
2 1/2 T. olive oil
1/2 tsp. red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1 T. honey
3/4 c. warm water (approx. 115 - 120 degrees, or should feel neutral at the wrist, neither hot nor cold)
2 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
1 tsp. sugar for proofing yeast


1. Place pizza stone in a 170 degree oven to get the stone warm while you make the dough.
In small bowl, mix olive oil, vinegar and honey to combine and let it warm to room temperature.

2. In a larger bowl, combine all dry ingredients (flours, seasonings, gelatin, sugar, xanthan gum, almond meal or  Coffeemate creamer) to mix thoroughly.

3. In yet another small bowl, mix the warm water, yeast and sugar (1 tsp), stir and let sit til you know it's working (2-3 minutes).

4. Now combine all together (flours, yeast mixture and olive oil mixture).

5. Turn off oven, spray your stone with Pam or brush with olive oil (unless it's well seasoned), or line with parchment paper and then spray. Put dough onto stone, knead slightly, and spread out to cover stone with either a greased rolling pin, or your hands.  It will be sticky.

6. Put the finished stone in the still-warm oven to rise for about 40 minutes.

7. Remove stone from oven after this.

8. Preheat oven to 425 degrees, then put stone with dough in to pre-bake for 10 minutes.

9. Remove when done, then add desired toppings, and bake 5-10 minutes more to finish.

You have to play around with this (and any gluten free) recipe.  The crust will not taste nor look like a "regular" crust, but we have come to appreciate and enjoy it!

Searching on Epicurious, I found this recipe, which I haven't tried yet; however, the reviews are raving and I hope to soon!

I also wanted to give my brothers' favourite pizza crust recipe; it is not gluten free, but I bet you could easily swap the glutenous ingredient(s).

Giada De Laurentiis's Pizza Dough Recipe

3/4 c. warm water (110-115 degrees)
2 1/4 tsp. yeast
2 c.+ all purpose flour
1 tsp. sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
3 T. olive oil

1. Pour warm water into small bowl; stir in yeast.  Let stand til yeast dissolves, about 5 minutes.

2. Brush large bowl lightly with olive oil. and set aside.  Mix 2 c. flour, sugar and salt in another bowl.  Add yeast mixture and 3 T. oil, knead until dough forms a sticky ball.
3. Transfer to lightly floured surface.  Knead until smooth, adding more flour by tablespoonfuls if dough is very sticky, about 1 minute.

4. Transfer to prepared bowl;  turn dough in bowl to coat with oil.  Cover bowl with Saran wrap and let dough rise in warm area til doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

5. Punch dough down.  Roll out dough and shape on stone.  Add toppings as desired.

6. Preheat oven to 450 degrees, and bake pizza approx. 13 - 14 minutes.

* Can be made 1 day ahead.  Store in airtight container in fridge.
* My brothers generally make 1 1/2 times the amount of this recipe for a large stone, but then, they fancy thicker crusts than I do. ;)

In case you're in a hurry and don't have time to bake a crust, there are healthy, ready-made alternatives at the grocery store!  The only frozen GF pizza I've tried so far is Glutino's Spinach and Feta (one of several kinds).  It had a delicious flavour, except for the outer edges of the crust which were a bit too gummy for my taste.  However, I would eat one again.

My family loves pizza (who doesn't?).  Friday nights are usually pizza nights at my parents' home, and my brothers spoil us all by taking over the kitchen to bake them from SCRATCH.  Each week yields an unknown treat, because we never know what kind they're going to make!  My mum gave G & B a fun little pizza recipe flip book last year that has some of the most unique topping ideas... Mexican Taco Pizza anyone?

I am personally excited to experiment (and probably fail or flop at least a few times, but that's the only way to improve!) with ingredients to craft the perfect GF crust, but also continue Googling and asking friends for their favourites.

Allora, buon appetito!

P.S. OK, just after I finished blogging, I was browsing Food Network's site, saw this recipe, and couldn't resist sharing.  It could make a fabulously unique dessert or special breakfast; the possibilities are endless... Be inspired!

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