Friday, November 30, 2012

Best Gluten Free Pizza Crust Ever!

Well, that is  only my opinion.  But I have tried several gluten free pizza crusts -- a cookbook recipe, a recipe from the King Arthur web site, and a crust from a local gluten free bakery -- and I have to say that -- to my taste anyway -- this one is the best of the best.  I should state right up front that I like a chewy, more bread-like, pizza crust.  I am not a fan of crispy, crunchy, thin pizza crust.

This is actually a focaccia bread recipe that I adapted somewhat from a great cookbook, Wheat-Free Recipes & Menus, by Carol Fenster.  I like the focaccia bread this recipe produces, and just thought I would experiment with putting it on a pizza pan and adding toppings.  It worked perfectly!

Here's the recipe:

1 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
1 tsp. sugar
3/4 cup warm water
1 1/2 cups gluten free all-purpose flour  (This is what I use: 3/4 cup brown rice flour; 1/2 cup plus 1 Tablespoon potato starch; 3 Tablespoons tapioca flour -- this adds up to 1 1/2 cups and to my mind is the perfect blend)
1/2 cup additional tapioca flour
1 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
1 tsp. unflavored gelatin powder
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
onion powder to taste
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
2 Tblsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. cider vinegar

Sauce, cheese and preferred pizza toppings

Grease a standard 12-inch pizza pan -- or, if you prefer, a 10x15-inch jelly roll pan. 

In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water.  Let stand 5 minutes or until foamy.

Sift the flours, xanthan gum, gelatin  powder, seasonings and salt into a mixing bowl.  Whisk the eggs, oil and vinegar into the yeast mixture and stir into the dry ingredients.  Using an electric mixer on low speed, beat the dough for 2 minutes.  The dough will be soft and sticky.  Use a rubber scraper to scrape the dough onto the prepared pan and spread it out.

Let the pizza dough rise in the pan for about 30 minutes, heating the oven to 400º during the last 10 minutes or so of the rising time.

Spread the pizza dough with your desired sauce; add shredded mozzarella cheese and your preferred toppings.  Bake the pizza for about 20 minutes, until dough is cooked through and cheese is melted nicely.  You know what a properly baked pizza should look like.

Cool the pizza for at least 5 minutes before cutting and serving.

Makes 1 pizza.

(And, if you'd prefer, you can also make this into focaccia bread.  Use the pizza pan if you like it thinner; for thicker bread, use a greased 11 x 7-inch baking pan.  Drizzle with olive oil and add desired herbs, seasonings, shredded parmesan, etc. to your taste before rising.  Bake 15 to 20 minutes at 400º.)

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