As promised, I’ve successfully made some gluten free pizza crust. I was amazed at how simple it really was. I started with a recipe that I found in the recent version of the Joy of Cooking that I bought, probably 10 years ago. I was very surprised to find some gluten free recipes in there. So, I started by following their basic pizza crust recipe. It turned out to be pretty good, much like a traditional pizza crust, a little chewy in that pizza crust sort of way. Yum!
Since I prefer a crust that isn’t quite so white, I made a second one that added different flours to improve the nutritional value. I’ve been experimenting to get to know the different flours, so I chose teff and sorghum. I like the flavor of these flours and they both have great nutritional value. According to Wikipedia, Teff is a grass native to Ethiopia. Sometimes it is called Lovegrass – perfect, huh? It is high in dietary fiber, protein, iron and calcium.
Sorghum is also native to Africa and has been produced in America primarily as cattle feed. In India, however, it is a staple, often used to replace wheat in China, and in Korea, sorghum is often cooked with rice. Sorghum is known for its high protein content is a valuable grain in times of scarcity.
This crust, also quite tasty, ended up being reminiscent of a whole wheat crust. Not as chewy as the white crust, though full of flavor and a lovely crunch in the crust. I think that, though I liked both of these crusts, I prefer something in between. Next time, I will combine these recipes and I expect then it will be perfect!
Toppings are an important part of making good pizza. In many ways, I am a pizza traditionalist at heart. I prefer the marinara sauce, sliced pepperoni, olives, mushrooms, green and red bell peppers, onions, with mozzarella and Parmesan cheese on top. Since it is hard to come by nitrate free pepperoni, I decided to use some of the turkey bacon that I had in the frig. It turned out to be very good, tasting somewhat like Canadian bacon, which was a favorite of mine as a kid. The turkey bacon is already cooked, so I simply sliced it into bite sized pieces and laid it out over the sauce.
Canned pizza sauce is certainly available, but I find that any time I can make something fresh it tastes better. Being winter, I didn’t make fresh tomato sauce this time. That would be a great thing to do with those extra summer tomatoes for next year. I started with a 15 oz. can of organic tomato sauce and added my favorite Italian herbs, some of which I had dried over the summer from plants in my garden. I used these spices: oregano, winter savory, marjoram, basil, garlic powder, salt. This amount of sauce made enough for 2 pizza dough recipes.
Pizza can host a large variety of sauces and toppings. I like to mix it up with pesto or alfredo instead of tomato sauce. Try adding whatever’s fresh in the garden for toppings.
Sliced Onions Sliced Green or Black Olives Artichoke Hearts Pineapple Chunks
Zucchini slices Red and Green Bell Peppers Sliced Mushrooms
Bacon Pieces – cooked, nitrate-free Turkey Bacon Pieces – uncooked, nitrate-free Ground Beef or Sausage Pieces
Mozzarella, Fontina or Havarti Cheese, shredded
Grated Parmesan or Asiago Cheese
Feta or Goat Cheese
Here’s the revised recipe that will make a nice, wholesome crust for your healthy pizza!
Gluten Free Pizza
2/3 c. brown rice flour
1/3 c. white rice flour
1/3 c. teff flour
2/3 c. sorghum flour
1 c. arrowroot powder
1 c. potato starch
1 Tbsp. xanthan gum
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 ½ tsp. salt
2 ½ Tbsp. active dry yeast
1 c. buttermilk
3 Tbsp. + olive oil
2 ½ tsp. apple cider vinegar
2 large eggs
1 egg white
¼ c. warm water
- Preheat oven to 400ᵒ.
- Use extra olive oil on non-stick, round pizza pan and sprinkle with cornmeal. Set aside.
- Put all dry ingredients listed above in a large bowl and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon.
- Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients.
- Mix until fully incorporated. If the dough is too wet, add a little more rice flour. Or add more warm water if it is too dry.
- Pour a little bit of olive oil on your hands to complete mixing the dough by hand. Break it into pieces and pat evenly onto oiled pizza pans.
- Place in a warm location to rise, covered with a dry towel, for 20- 30 minutes. On cold days, I put it on the stove next to the back of the stovetop where it is warm from the oven preheating. Or a warm , sunny car is good, too.
- Prick the dough with a fork and bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven to add sauce and toppings. (If you are going to freeze the pizza, let the crust cool completely before adding toppings, including cheese. Wrap well with clear wrap, and put inside a plastic bag to seal for freezing.
- Bake pizza without cheese for 10 minutes. Add cheese and bake for 5 minutes. Serve.