When I went gluten free, I was living in Scottsdale, AZ. If you have never been to the Phoenix/Scottsdale area before, it is a great place to be gluten-free. I was working full-time there when I was pregnant with my first son and was suffering from unusually extreme morning sickness (if by morning sickness you mean inclined to be sick just about all the time). I think I cooked once the entire pregnancy. The hormones were so intense I would get sick just from the smell of cooking something. I was literally starving when I got off work and had to be rushed to the nearest restaurant. I was new at the gluten free diet when I got pregnant and it made for a long pregnancy. One of my most vivid memories of the pregnancy is crying when a Papa John’s commercial came on because I couldn’t order any pizza. My husband tried to come to my rescue and made several decent pizzas from gluten free mixes- he made both the Namaste Foods mix and the Arrowhead Mills Pizza mixes. The sweet man struggled with the sticky gluten free pizza dough just so I could have my pizza craving. Then one day, I heard about a pizza restaurant in town that supposedly had the best gluten free pizza. (If my husband swore, he probably would have done so then after making those pizzas with take out just down the road). Gluten free pizza that came in a box? Sign me up. The first time I ordered from Picazzo’s I ordered my pizza ‘to go’ just so it would come in a box. This pizza lived up to the reviews. It is still the best gluten free pizza I have ever tasted. And I think the fact that it comes in a box is only about 15% of the reason it is so good. tee hee. If you are ever in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area, you must have this gluten free pizza. If you are looking for the best gluten-free buffalo wings ever, they can provide that also! I loved Picazzo’s and was very sad to have to leave it behind when we moved to Raleigh. Apparently, the availability of take-out gluten-free pizza can not rank in the top ten reasons to stay in a particular city. I thought that it was a good reason to stay in Phoenix at the time, but maybe it was just the hormones.
Anyway, having been spoiled in Scottsdale, I have been reluctant to make gluten-free pizza at home. However, those stupid Papa John’s ads in my mailbox kept taunting me so a couple months back I decided to give it a go. I made gluten free pizza several, several times and never came up with anything special until tonight. I really like this gluten free pizza crust recipe; it is by far the best one I have made to date. It is different than Pizza Picazzo’s recipe (it doesn’t come in a box!), but it is delicious and has the texture of gluten pizza just like Picazzo’s pizza did. I hope you enjoy it!
GLUTEN FREE PIZZA CRUST RECIPE
1/4 cup millet flour
3/4 cup white rice flour (or use a mixture of brown rice and white rice flour)
1/4 cup sweet rice flour
1/4 cup arrowroot starch (or use cornstarch or more tapioca starch)
1/2 cup tapioca flour
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon sugar for proofing yeast
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
3/4 cup warm water, (heated to 115 -120 degrees)
2 Tablespoons ricotta cheese (for casein free try almond meal)
2 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon Honey
Note: If you like your pizza dough seasoned, try adding some Italian seasoning to the dough. I like to keep mine plain.
Place your pizza stone (or pan) in the oven and heat the oven to 170 degrees to get the stone warm. Prepare your liquid ingredients. Mix the olive oil, ricotta cheese (if using almond meal, save and add to the dry ingredients), honey, and vinegar in a med. measuring cup or bowl and set aside so the mixture comes to room temperature. This mixture should not be cold when mixed with the dry ingredients. Next, combine all the dry ingredients and sift together in the bowl of your stand mixer. I used my paddle (not the dough hook) for this recipe. Heat 3/4 cup of water until it reaches 115 -120 degrees. In a separate small bowl, place your yeast and the teaspoon of sugar. Mix with about 1/4 cup of the heated water, stir, and let it sit for a few minutes. Once you know the yeast is active, proceed with the recipe. At this point, you want to double check and make sure all your ingredients have come to room temperature. Turn the stand mixer (fitted with paddle) on and give the dry ingredients a few twirls. Add the egg, ricotta mixture to the dry ingredients and give it another few twirls. Add the yeast mixture. At this point, gauge the liquid level. You want the dough to look like stiff cake batter. The dough should still hold the swirls of the mixer, but it should be shiny and not dull. Add the rest of the water slowly until the right consistency is achieved. I used another 1/2 cup – making 3/4 cup of warm water total. Since different brands of flour and measuring techniques vary, it is best to eyeball this and add the water slowly to get the texture you want. You will get good at knowing what gluten free pizza dough is supposed to look like.
Once you have the pizza dough made, take the pizza stone out of the oven. You can turn the oven off at this point and leave the light on in the oven. Fit the pizza stone with parchment paper (do not use waxed paper) and lightly brush olive oil over the parchment paper. With a cake scraper, slowly spread the pizza dough batter in a 12-13 inch circle. You want the batter to be evenly distributed. At this point, you want to create a beautiful crust edge to your pizza. This can be tricky with such sticky dough. Cover your hands in olive oil and shape the edges like you want them. If you find your hands getting too sticky get a little more olive oil on your hands. You don’t want your dough to be too wet, so be careful. At this point, I put my stone back in the oven for a 40 minute rise. Once it has risen for 40 minutes, turn the oven to 375 degrees for 10 minutes to prebake crust.
Then add toppings. Hormel has gluten-free pepperonis! Turn the heat up to 400 degrees and cook for about 7 minutes maybe more. If you want your cheese to brown, turn the broiler on for about 2 minutes before taking the pizza out. Be careful though because the pizza will burn if left too long- I recommend watching this process carefully!!
Update: I have also made this pizza without letting it rise with excellent results! I was impatient, I confess, and it came out with an even thicker, fluffier, crust. So no matter which way you roll, it will come out great.
Makes 1 12-13 inch pizza crust.
Check out Gluten Free Guide’s Pizza Party for more gluten free pizza recipes.
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