Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Gluten Free Cispy Pizza Crust

Pizza is the perfect food.  Crispy crust, cheese, vegetables and meat if you chose, it has it all.  Since going gluten free, I have tried every local pizzeria that offers a version of GF crust and I have to say, for the most part, I have been disappointed. 

One national chain has recently re-vamped their offering which I now quite enjoy but it is only available in small and they only allow certain toppings that they can guarantee are gluten free.  While I appreciate their diligence, it makes me sad that their goat cheese and BBQ sauce are no-no’s.

Homemade pizza has always been something I’ve enjoyed making.  Pizza crust is much simpler to make than most people realize and from deep dish to thin crust, plain cheese to deluxe, the possibilities are endless. 

In the beginning, I thought I may be able to get away using GF crust mix available at my grocery store but after trying a few brands I gave up.  Sorry Bob’s Red Mill, you have some fantastic GF products but your pizza crust just plain sucks.  I had to do better. 

In a mixing bowl thoroughly combine:

1 cup rice flour (brown or white)

¼ cup potato starch

¼ cup tapioca starch

2 tbsp buttermilk powder (if you can’t find this then powdered milk works as well)

1 tbsp sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 tsp xanthan or guar gum

1 tsp garlic powder (optional)

1 tbsp flax meal (optional)

In another bowl, combine:

1 cup warm water

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tsp dry active yeast (*be sure to check the expiry date and always use fresh yeast)

1.       Add ½ cup of the flour mixture to the liquid mixture and combine with a whisk or fork.

2.       Allow the yeast mixture to bubble up for about 20 minutes, if your bowl is clear you will see the bubbles forming under the surface as well.

3.       Combine wet and dry ingredients in bowl of stand mixer (hand mixer works in a pinch) and beat for 3-5 minutes until it looks like you’ve made paste.  It will be sticky, this is good.

4.       Scrape dough from the sides and into a ball, cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and allow to rise for 20-30 minutes until it puffs up a bit.

5.       Pour a puddle of olive oil into the middle of you pizza pan or stone (about 2 tablespoons)

6.       Scrape the dough from the bowl right on top of the oil.

7.       Wet your fingers with cool water (so it doesn’t stick) hand press the dough out into the pan. 

Note: It’s up to you how thick you would like to make it.  I find to achieve a crispy base, it is best to go with thin crust.  This time I did a medium thickness and it still turned out well.  I have yet to try deep dish with this recipe. 

8.       Let the dough relax for 15 minutes in the pan while you preheat your oven to 425° with the rack on the very bottom level.

9.       Bake the crust without sauce or toppings for 10 minutes. It will turn from a glossy to a matte finish.

10.   Remove crust from the oven and add sauce as well as any toppings you like. 

Note: This time I made seafood pizza with tomato cream sauce, chopped scallops, shrimp and crab meat (all raw, they cook on the pizza and keeps them from over cooking and becoming chewy and tough) bacon, tomatoes and mozzarella.

11.   Return to the oven and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes until it is bubbly on top and brown on the bottom.

The base of this crust is nice and crispy, fresh from the oven.  I find it is best the same day it is made.  It can be reheated in a dry frying pan (with a lid) but it is a little drier the second day.

Be sure to vote for the recipe you would like to see next on Gluten Free Kitchen Adventures and I would love to hear any requests for what you would like recipes for in the future.


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