The first time I ever made a gluten-free pizza crust, the mini-series that preceded the show The Starter Wife was on, and we were watching it idly. It annoyed me. The commercials for the series that followed drove me up the wall and significantly dampered my appreciation for Psych and Burn Notice.
The pizza crust was a mix from ‘Cause You’re Special, that was extremely delicious. And so sticky, that after trying to spread it around the pan for an hour and literally yelling at it with rage and frustration that the Pants – for the first and ONLY time – took over making the pizza crust. With the grace of waxed paper, olive oil and a wooden spoon, he got it all arranged in the pan, we had pizza and holy cow was it delicious.
I do wonder from time to time whether it was this freaking crust incident that made me have such disdain and annoyance for The Starter Wife, but then I realized that no, it was just that bad of a show. So it was cancelled, and I found a pizza crust recipe from scratch that I love and have tweaked it to my liking. All’s right with the world.
Like all things, I dialed down the xanthan gum. This makes for a very tender and flavorful crust. If you wanted a round pizza (usually, I double the recipe below to make the large rectangular pan seen in the pictures), I’d increase it a teeny bit (to about 1/2 tsp) to make it easier to eat with your hands, or increase it a LOT if you want to make a grilled pizza.
Recipe modified from here.
3/4 c tapioca flour
1/2 c white rice flour
2/3 c millet flour
1/4 t xanthan gum
1 t fine sea salt
1/2 c milk, lukewarm (around 110-deg farenheit)
1 1/2 t dry yeast (or around 1/2 packet)
1 t sugar
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
3 T plus 1 t extra-virgin olive oil
Sift together the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Combine the milk (heated for around 50 seconds in my microwave, but your mileage may vary), yeast and sugar and let proof for about 5 minutes until foamy* Combine the olive oil and egg whites, add the oil/eggs and the yeast/milk to the dry ingredients. Mix on medium speed for around 5 minutes.
Prepare your pan by putting out some parchment paper on it, and sprinkling it with cornmeal. If you don’t have parchment, you can oil the pan, but in my experience, it sticks a bit. So I use parchment. And for the love of all that is good in the world, please don’t put a gluten free pizza crust directly on a pizza stone – spread the dough on parchment and slide the parchment onto the hot stone. Because you won’t get it back if the dough sits on the stone. Your crust or the stone.
Gluten-free dough is way more like batter and doesn’t hold up well in its pre-cooked state to manipulation. If you add more xanthan gum, it will behave like CRAZY STICKY dough, but will be tougher when you eat it. I’ve found that spooning it out on parchment paper, then filling in the spaces between the dollops of batter, THEN spreading it around works WAY better than putting the whole kit and caboodle (wait, what?) of batter in the middle of the pan and spreading it out from there. If it’s sticking to the damn spatula, try cleaning the spatula, putting some oil on it and use short deliberate strokes instead of long langorous strokes to spread the dough.
Put it in a warm place (I turn my oven on to 120 degrees), and let rise for 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400, and put the risen dough in for 10 minutes to cook. Take it out of the oven, top it with pizza sauce, a thin thin layer of mozzarella, sprinkle some italian seasonings if you like, toppings, and then MOAR CHEESE. I use mushrooms, red onions, turkey pepperoni (Hormel regular and turkey pepperoni are gluten-free) and crushed red peppers as my go-to toppings. If I’m feeling extramotivated, I’ll saute some italian turkey sausage (I use Shadybrook farms, hot italian turkey sausage – it’s gluten-free) in place of the pepperoni.
Stick it back in the oven for 16 minutes or so, until the cheese is golden bubbly, remove, slice and serve. Pizza…mmm…
*I recently read somewhere that you can reduce the yeast in most recipes by 40-50%, and I’ve done this here with no adverse affects – the sponge proofs, (prooves?) the dough rises)