Friday, October 07, 2011

Gluten-free Pizza: The Best Ever!

 Gluten-free pizza is one dish that I've been trying to perfect for some time. The toppings are easy - the dough is not. I have found that I can't use packaged gluten-free flour blends because they often contain chickpea flour - to which I am allergic. This recipe is a conglomeration of many different recipes. If you don't want to use milk (many gluten intolerant folks can't have dairy), omit it. I like using milk because it makes a softer dough - both for gluten-free pizzas and my regular crust for those in the family who can handle it.

This is the first pizza dough I've had in two years that I actually like. It would be crispy if cooked on a pizza stone or cast iron. It has terrific flavor. Best of all: I never once "burped" it up. If you've had gluten-free pizza crust before, you know what I'm talking about.

I was surprised at how springy the dough was without wheat flour. The flax makes up for the gluten. I used brown rice flour. Don't want fat added? Forget it - you need it in this recipe. It's great. I hope you give it a try!

Gluten-free Pizza

2 cups (more or less) rice, quinoa, sorghum, or other gluten-free flour
2 Tablespoons ground flax seeds (heaping)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 packet raw stevia or 1 tsp. sugar or honey
2/3 to 1 cup warm water (100 to 110 degrees F.)
1/4 cup dry milk
2 Tablespoons olive oil, + more to oil pans
1 to 2 Tablespoons coarsely ground cornmeal or GF flour for dusting pans

Put the salt, yeast, stevia, dry milk and warm water together in a stand mixer bowl (or mixing bowl if doing by hand). Stir together and then let sit for 2 minutes. *Use your kitchen timer for this - important step* Stir in 2 tablespoons olive oil.

Add gluten-free flour first, then ground flax. Mix well, adding more flour or water, depending upon how sticky the dough is. If it sticks to your fingers, it needs a tad bit more flour. Add a tablespoon at a time to avoid using too much flour. If it's too dry, then it'll break up rather than form a dough. Mix well with the stand mixer and a flat beater, or else knead by hand until the dough forms a nice ball. It won't be like a "regular" ball of dough, but close. When has kneaded well, place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover with a towel. Let rise in a warm place free of drafts for about an hour or until it appears a little puffed with air. It's not going to "double" as the gluten filled doughs do.

Lightly oil pan(s) and sprinkle with cornmeal. Punch the dough down a bit and roll to fit pizza pan(s). Makes about one 16-inch pizza or two smaller ones. Spread with a gluten-free sauce and cover with your favorite toppings. Bake at 450 degrees F. until cheese is bubbly and crust is cooked through.

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