Gluten-Free Pizza! (edited 6/29/10)

by Jeanne on August 19, 2009

In July, Girlfriend took a kids’ “How To Make Pizza” class from a local restaurant. She came back covered with flour (she had to shower before I could kiss her) and told me she had a great time. She came home with recipes from her class. So, we spent the next couple of weeks making pizza. Of course, we used my own recipe for gf dough, but we used the restaurant’s recipe for sauce. The sauce is so simple and yet so good!

By the way, she came back from class with a tip: salt each piece of mozzarella before you put it on the pizza. It tastes delish. Apparently, this is a pizza restaurant secret!

Anyway, I realized that I hadn’t yet shared my recipe for pizza crust. I was inspired years ago by a pizza crust recipe in Carol Fenster’s Special Diet Solutions. If you have food allergies and you don’t already have this book–get it! It’s one of the best all-purpose “how do I make [recipe] without using [allergen(s)]” I’ve ever read.

This recipe makes a thin NYC-type pizza crust.

Pizza Crust, Gluten-Free, edited 6/29/10

Note: This recipe uses my gluten-free flour mix:
Jeanne’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix (mix together and store in fridge):
1 1/4 C (170 g) brown rice flour
1 1/4 C (205 g) white rice flour
1 C (120 g) tapioca flour
1 C (165 g) sweet rice flour (also known as Mochiko)
2 scant tsp. xanthan gum

Special Equipment Needed
-a stand mixer with a paddle attachment is very helpful, although a hand mixer with regular beaters is fine
-a round pizza baking pan or a cookie sheet
-a pizza stone, if you have one (helps pizza crust cook up crunchy)
-a pizza peel, or two metal spatulas

Ingredients (will make one 12″ pizza):
1 1/3 C (185g) Jeanne’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix (or gf mix of your choice–see above)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1 TBL of sugar
2 TBL active dry yeast
3/4 C (180 ml) warm (but not hot) water
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp cider vinegar
extra oil and tapioca flour if not using the parchment paper method

Mix all dry ingredients together in the bowl of a mixer. Add wet ingredients. Using the paddle attachment, mix on medium high for about 3 mins (until smooth). It should look like a smooth blob of dough.

From here, you can choose 1 of 2 preparation/baking methods. The one I recommend uses parchment paper (see directions below). If you don’t want to use the parchment paper method, oil and flour a pizza pan or cookie sheet. Shape your dough on this pan, let it rise, and bake it in the pan for the first baking. If you’re using a pizza stone, for the second baking, take the pizza off of the pan and place it directly on the stone to bake. When it’s time to remove, remove with a pizza peel or two metal spatulas used together.

Preferred Shaping, Rising, and Baking Method
Tear off a large piece of parchment paper that is 12.5 inches wide by about 16 inches long. Put your blob of dough on the parchment paper. It should have the shape of a round boulder. You can now either shape the dough or let it rise for a bit. If you let it rise for a bit, the end crust will be a bit lighter. The longest time I’ve let it rise in this stage is about an hour. But, any time up to (and even over an hour) is fine.

When you are ready to shape the dough, sprinkle about a tablespoon of tapioca flour (or more) onto the dough (to keep the dough from sticking to your fingers). Carefully and patiently push out the dough toward the edges of the pan, keeping the thickness even thoroughout–it will be soft and pillowy. Use more flour if necessary.

Push dough out into a 12″ circle (or a rectangle if using cookie sheet). Mound up the edges a bit to create a “wall” so the toppings don’t ooze off.

Leave for about 20 minutes to let rise (or longer, you choose). You will see the crust getting fuller and looking more puffy.

As it’s rising, preheat oven to 450 degrees. If you’re using a pizza stone (which I highly recommend), make sure the stone is in there. My stone gets a lot of use, as you can see:

Tip: I put the pan with the rising pizza crust near or on the top of the stove to take advantage of the warmth–it encourages rising.

When rising time is finished, grasp the parchment paper on either side of the dough and slowly and carefully place it in the oven on the pizza stone.

Bake the dough for 15 minutes. Remove from oven. Put your choice of sauce and toppings on pizza (we usually use marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese, parmesean cheese, fresh basil, and mushrooms or turkey meatballs–but you do what you like). Lightly brush the edges with some olive oil so they will bake up brown and crispy.

Grasp the edges of the parchment paper and carefully transfer the topped pizza onto the stone in the oven.

Bake for 6-10 minutes. Watch it carefully–especially if you’re using fresh mozzarella! I’ve found that fresh mozzarella browns very quickly. When the pizza is done, remove pizza by grasping the parchment paper.
If you don’t have a pizza stone, just bake the pizza in a pizza pan/cookie sheet.


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