Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Gluten Free Pizza Crust {or the Holy Grail}

I've wanted to share this recipe for a while - it came together right after Christmas. And the first bite was Heaven sent; tears actually came to my eyes {keep in mind that I was running high on pregnancy hormones and nauseated most of the time}.

But I kept it to myself. at least until the recipe proved itself. How dare I hold out gluten free hope, only to realize that my first attempts were a fluke.

Living with a major food allergy is one of those losses that normalizes. You forget that anything is different. Unless it is painfully pointed out. For people with gluten issues, yeast is that screaming reminder that you're missing out on something truly fabulous. Whether it be cinnamon rolls or french bread or, in my case, pizza.

What can I say, I'm a gourmet pizza junkie aficionado. And the gluten free crusts we tried tasted like crackers or biscuits. They lacked the essential 'spring' and 'foldability' of real pizza dough. I gave up for a while and used this recipe {which is excellent but completely different}.

Then I opened The Homemade Pantry {have I talked you into buying this book yet?? Seriously, you should.} and saw her recipe for homemade frozen pizza crust, real pizza crust. From the wife of a former pizza parlor guy. I either forgot how bad{!} my first attempts were or was overcome with desperation to taste something that resembled stretched, leavened dough.

Here's the result. The Ellis Family All-time Favorite Meal {we finally hear little shrieks of 'pizza!!!' at dinner time - an American family once more}.
Dough post-rising

All that was left...

GF Pizza Crust

1 1/4 c warm water
1 T active dry yeast
1 t sugar

1 c oat flour
1 c quinoa or sorghum flour
1 1/3 c sweet or white rice flour
1 t salt
2 t xanthan gum
2 T olive oil
2 eggs

Proof yeast - mix yeast, water and sugar in a glass measuring cup or bowl and allow to sit 5-10 minutes until foam forms across top. 

In a stand mixer, combine flours, salt and xanthan gum. On medium speed, mix in oil, until evenly incorporated. Mix in eggs, until evenly incorporated. Add yeast mixture as quickly as dough will absorb it. The mixture should resemble a thick cake batter. Add flour (1/4 c at a time) or water (1 t at a time) to adjust consistency. Beat dough on high speed for 4-5 minutes, until dough takes on whipped appearance.

Spray olive oil on 2 pizza stones or air bake pans. Split dough in half. Wet hands thoroughly and spread dough as thin as possible on stones. If the dough clings to your hands, wet your hands again. Smooth the surface from the inside of the ball to the outside.

Cover the stones with a wet dishcloth or oiled plastic wrap and allow to rise until double in size (1-2 hours).

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F. When oven is hot, top your pizza (the crust will be soggy if you top it early). Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until sauce bubbles and cheese begins to brown. 

Note - This recipe freezes well. To freeze without toppings, bake for 5 minutes. Allow to cool completely on pan. Wrap in 2 layers of plastic wrap and freeze up to a month.

Another note - this is not{!} one of those recipes where you just change the gluten free flour for whole wheat flour and carry on. The prep for this dough is completely different as are some of the ingredients. If you want my old {still fantastic} recipe for pizza dough, check it here.

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