Gluten Free Pizza Crust Recipe
A diagnosis of gluten intolerance or celiac sprue will turn your culinary world upside-down. That’s what happened to me two years ago. Much experimentation in the kitchen followed. I have since come up with many great gluten-free recipes that go far beyond simply swapping out wheat-based flours for gluten-free ones.
First, choosing a flour base with a good texture is important. Second, these flours don’t have the same flavor as wheat-based flours. Neutral flavored flours allow you to add ingredients to cover the lack of flavor. One of my favorites is yeast extract.There are many flavors inherent in a traditional bread or crust. A lot of these actually come from the yeast used in leavening. You will get some of this from the yeast used in a normal recipe. You can also trick your taste buds into thinking it is a “normal” crust by adding more yeast flavor by means of an extract.
Adding an acid will make the flavor seem more balanced and less flat. One of my favorites to use is apple cider vinegar. I also like to add herbs and spices; I choose garlic, onion and basil for this recipe since they all go well with pizza.
1 packet or 2 teaspoons of active dry yeast
small pinch of sugar (or a teaspoon of honey)
1 cup of warm (not hot) water
1 teaspoon of gluten-free yeast extract
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
2 1/2 to 3 cups of gluten-free all-purpose flour mix (also add 1/2 teaspoon of xanthan gum if it is not included in the mix you use)
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
1 teaspoon of granulated dried garlic
1 teaspoon of granulated dried onion
1 teaspoon of dried basil
Combine the water, yeast, sugar (or honey), and yeast extract in a measuring cup. Set aside to allow the yeast to bloom.
Place 2 1/2 cups of the gluten-free all-purpose flour, salt, garlic, onion and basil in the work bowl of your favorite food processor fitted with the dough blade. Pulse to combine and aerate the ingredients.
Add the apple cider vinegar and olive oil to the liquid mixture. Whisk to combine. Add the liquid mixture to the food processor. Process for three minutes to both mix and knead the dough.
The dough will be wetter and stickier than a standard wheat-based dough. Using a wetter dough will avoid the dryness found in many gluten-free baked goods. Use a spatula to remove the dough. Move it to a lightly floured surface and dust with flour as needed. Quickly form it into a ball, using as little flour as possible to accomplish this. You want to keep the dough as wet as possible. Move to a warm (but not hot) location and cover with a large bowl. Leave it until it has doubled in size. That should take about 2 hours; the exact time will depend upon the warmth and humidity in the room.
Flatten the dough with your hands, using flour if needed to avoid sticking. Use a rolling-pin to shape it to 14 inches round. Place on a parchment lined pan. Top with your favorite sauces and toppings. Bake in a pre-heated 425 degree F oven for 12 to 18 minutes.
Which gluten-free all-purpose flour to use?
There are many options out there. My absolute favorite is Cup 4 Cup. It has a very neutral flavor and a texture that is very close (but not identical) to traditional wheat-based flours. It contains milk powder which really adds a lot of softness and a texture not normally found in gluten-free flours. The biggest problem with this is that many people with celiac sprue are also lactose intolerant.There are lactose-free options out there that avoid this, although the end product ends up a little bit less like a traditional pizza crust. Click here for a guide to choosing the best gluten-free flour for your needs.
Heather Krasovec, creator of http://food-processor-reviews.net/, uses her extensive experience in food based industries to help consumers make the best choices when stocking their kitchens.