One thing my gluten-free-husband misses is pizza, especially the crust. Frrom the comments and questions I read from the followers on my Facebook page, I can say he is NOT the only one.
We may call pizza “Italian” but make no mistake, pizza is an American staple food through and through. I have eaten more pizza in the States than I ever did in Europe.
Incidentally, when I went back home two years ago, I discovered my small town (of 80,000 people) was now the proud (?) owner of a Domino’s pizza (blech).
Coming back to my husband, I wanted to create the best gluten free pizza crust so that he could, once again, fully enjoy this comfort food.
Being Gluten Free
Let’s be honest, switching to a gluten free lifestyle is not that big of a deal until you want to sink your teeth into real bread (French baguette anyone?), traditional tortillas or chapatis, or pizza crust.
It’s especially hard – if not nearly impossible – to replace the chewiness of gluten in products containing yeast (dry or wild yeast alike).
Yeast combined with gluten makes the perfect marriage and helps your bread products to be airy, chewy, and light. A feat not easily achieved sans-gluten. Most of the time, gluten free yeast products end up quite dense.
Seriously, just go to any grocery store which carries gluten free breads and hold one loaf, then hold a regular bread loaf and compare. Most of the time, you’ll be able to use the gluten free bread as a dumbbell. In my experience. homemade breads are even more prone to being dense for whatever reason.
The Pizza Crust Experiment
At our home, we tried various crust recipes and none of them “did” it. He wasn’t happy with any of them. While a tad disheartened, I was undeterred.
We occasionally frequented a restaurant (which has since closed) which offered gluten free pizzas on their menu. We both really liked their pizza crust…a lot!
While nothing can ever really replace the “feel” of gluten – or the taste – this pizza crust was actually very good. It was flavorful, chewy, and light.
I was on a mission to copycat this pizza crust recipe as well as I could and I think I came very, very, close. The good news is that my hubby likes it and now he gets to enjoy homemade pizza once again.
Tips and Notes
I used my own homemade gluten free flour mix. You are welcome to substitute the same amount of my gluten free mix with a premade mix. HOWEVER, I cannot guarantee your results.
I use an organic raw sugar in my crust, you CAN substitute with any granulated of your choice.
My Best Gluten Free Pizza Crust
In a large bowl – or even better the bowl of a stand mixer – add the yeast to the warm water along with a little bit of the sugar and wait until it becomes foamy and bubbly. This is called proofing the yeast and is an important step.
I use a stand mixer with the regular attachment, not the dough hook. I think you could use a powerful hand mixer as well.
Coat another large bowl with olive oil. Drop your dough into your prepared bowl.
Cover the bowl with a piece of plastic wrap and let the dough rise for at least one hour in a warm place.
Punch and roll the pizza dough between two pieces of parchment paper.
Update: an even better method is to use to lightly floured (tapioca starch works well) Silpat mats.
Place the dough onto a greased (or a Silpat mat covered) cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes.
Take out of the oven.
Spread the sauce and add the toppings of your choice.
Put the cookie sheet back in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until done.