We started doing Friday pizza like 7 years ago or something insane like that. It began as a night that I didn’t have to cook…. and we could either order pizza or cook up a frozen one…. some times we’d mix it up and do calzones or pizza subs or pizza bagels or any other way you can think of eating pizza.
Since getting diagnosed…. I still hold the tradition, although it no longer represents a night off. The first time I had gluten-free pizza I was almost in shock…. I just assumed it was “pizza” (like it’s name alone transforms it into some other food group) that hurt my belly. I can never recall a time where I felt good after eating it…. I just would…. because it was there and it tasted good and everybody is supposed to love pizza, that is engrained in us early on in life. But this stuff, while it definitely leaves you full… doesn’t leave you with a swollen mass of a tummy! (and it’s actually, dare I say, healthy!?)
I started with the store bought gluten-free crust…. I don’t know if it’s just me…. but I didn’t like it all that much, and I didn’t like the price tag. So, I evolved. I found a recipe and I tweaked and made it all my own…. but it was a thin crust. And… it was hit or miss really if the crust was going to crack into a million pieces as you tried to bring the pizza up to your mouth. I missed having a slice I could hold, and I’ve never been a thin crust kinda girl. Forks were nice, and I learned to give pizza crust some amazing punches of flavor, but the thick breadiness I liked about pizza was lacking….
Then I found a recipe that looked promising in the cookbook “Great Gluten-Free Vegan Eats” by Allyson Kramer, and was pretty happy with it, but found it difficult to roll and transfer and decided to again, tweak and figure this mystery out.
So…. I played. And wouldn’t you know, it’s not all that hard!
The dough is a yeast dough, but don’t let that scare you off. I also like my crusts to be nice and flavorful so I add in oregano, basil, onion, garlic, nutritional yeast, salt…. it’s really yummy.
Now…. the beauty of this crust is that you don’t have to fight with a rolling pin to attempt to roll out a gluten-free dough between parchment paper layers. You simply plop out the ball of dough onto the pan (lightly sprinkle corn flour on the pan beforehand) and then use the heel of your hand to spread the dough out. I like to make a big circle (and this is a big pan.) bringing the dough all the way out to the edges. If some seems to thick on one side and not thick enough on the other, well then, tear off and transfer. Easy as pie.
Speaking of pie…. I then pinch up the edges and form it much like a pie crust. Feel free to start singing at this point…. When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie it’s amore….
Before you put this pizza crust in the oven, you will need to let it rise…. because of the yeast and all. So, let it sit on the stove while the oven is preheating (to 425*) and let it rise for about 15-20mins. I don’t think you visually see a huge difference at this point, but there is a definite difference in the final product, so don’t skip this step. After this, pop it in the oven for 15mins. (and while that’s baking, make sure you’ve made your pizza sauce, and chopped up lots of veggies…. and grate that homemade mozzarella cheeze!)
After the crust is done baking, you might look at it and wonder if you did this correctly. It does look like this…. but…. if you look closely, those cracks don’t go very deeply. There IS bread beneath it…. you did good if it looks like this.
So, at this point, you spread on a nice amount of sauce, add your veggie toppings of choice, add your cheeze, sprinkle on some more basil and oregano, add some nutritional yeast if you like, and on these pizzas I grated up the last of my homemade dairy-free Parmesan and added that to the top too. Then take a dish of oil and brush onto the crust…. it gives it a little more sheen and browns up nicely. Back into the oven it goes (with the temp now dropped to 400*) for 12mins. And voila….. pizza…. that you can (wait for it……)
Pizza crust: (makes one 14″ pizza crust)
1 1/4 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup sweet rice flour
1/2 cup rice flour (plus another 1/4 in reserve)
1/2 cup tapioca starch
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp salt
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 garlic powder
1 TBLS raw sugar
2 TBLS ground flax
2 TBLS olive oil
1 1/4 cup water at least 110*
Using a stand mixer, mix up ALL of the dry ingredients together. Add in the oil. Add in the warm water while the mixer is running. Immediately begin to add in the reserved 1/4 cup of rice flour until you have a nice dough…. should hold it’s shape, not be too sticky, not be too runny, but not too dry either.
Turn out onto a pan dusted with cornmeal. (And if you don’t have cornmeal, rice flour can be used too.) Press the dough into it’s circular shape on the pan (and really a traditional pizza pan with holes is best for this crust…. I’ve tried it on a stone as well, and it just doesn’t come out as nicely). Shape the “crust” however you wish along the edges in a pinching manner. (Like a pie crust)
preheat oven to 425*. Allow crust to rise in a fairly warm, undisturbed place for 15-20mins while oven is preheating. Bake for 15mins.
While crust is baking……
Pizza sauce: (makes enough for two 14″ pizzas)
12 oz tomato paste
1 1/4 cup water
1/8 cup vegetable oil
1-2 TBLS raw sugar
2 TBLS ground flax
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp basil
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
mix it all up…. add more or less of anything to taste.
Chop up all your toppings and grate your cheeze. I recommend some or all of the above: green peppers, onions, black olives, zucchini, yellow summer squash, spinach, cherry tomatoes, sliced tomatoes, pineapple, mushrooms, or anything else you desire.
Pull pizza crust out. Decrease oven temp to 400*. Top with half of the recipe of pizza sauce. Add toppings anyway you like. Add your grated cheeze (I now make my own mozzarella…. but daiya cheeze is already grated and ready to go and works pretty nicely as well.) Sprinkle more basil and more oregano…. and nutritional yeast if you wish…. and pop it back in the oven for another 12 mins.
Pull it out and you should be able to cut right away with a pizza cutter. IF the crust seems a little stuck (sometimes I’ve had this where I must’ve pressed too hard and it baked into the holes) let it cool for a few minutes, then use a spatula to gently coax it…. once one is up, the others are easy. But you SHOULD be able to just lift it off…. in fact the crust may have lifted itself off in it’s first round baking.
If you are still with me, you win a fun free tip from a mom of four. I have designed this crust recipe so that you can add all your dry ingredients and put them in a ziplock bag and store in the fridge until you are ready…. and you can put a few together. Then when you are ready for it, just add some oil, and your heated water…..ba bam! You are ready to go. Oooooh yeah. You-re welcome. 😉 (Make a double batch of sauce while your at it…. put some in a glass mason jar, lid it, and put it in the freezer if unsure of your next pizza night, or fridge it if it’ll be in a week or so….