Today, gluten-free pizzas are available both fresh and frozen, in the supermarket and at restaurants. Unfortunately, I can’t eat any of them. My intolerance for white potatoes (and the use of potato starch in many g-f products) along with my inability to eat tomatoes, means that even when I’ve found a crust I can eat, it comes tied to a sauce that I can’t.
I made a small foray into the pizza-creating arena over a year ago, and the result was decent. However, it took too much time to make the dough, cook a white sauce, and cook a chicken breast (since I can’t have pork/sausage), to result in pizza that was less than wonderful. But last month, I satisfied my craving with a recipe that provides an excellent pizza within about an hour and a half, even allowing for clean-up time and a few minutes of leisure.
Gluten-Free Pizza Crust
1 and 1/2 cups sorghum flour
1 and 1/4 cups millet flour (plus 1/4 cup later)
1/2 cup arrowroot starch
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
2 teaspoons sugar
2 and 1/4 teaspoons bread machine yeast or 1 pack active yeast, Rapid Rise
1 and 1/4 cups warm water (warm to the pinky, cool to the wrist)
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus a bit more to use when lightly coat the crust before baking
Mix all dry ingredients (except cornmeal and extra millet flour) with a wire whisk.
Heat water on the stove, and mix with cold water to get the proper temperature so that you activate but do not kill the yeast; it should feel warm to the pinky when you put your finger in it, but cool to the wrist, when you drop water from your pinky onto the inside of your wrist.
Using an electric or stand mixer, pour water in as you mix, until it combines to form a soft ball. Add olive oil, and continue mixing for 2 minutes. Dough will be very sticky, like cake batter. Cover bowl with a dry cloth (not touching batter) and set in a warm oven for 30 minutes (use a pan of warm water under the dough; if the environment is too hot, it will kill the yeast, so do not preheat oven). Dough will rise but will not double. Sprinkle 1/4 cup millet flour over mixture and mix or “knead” in the bowl for 30-60 seconds; do not worry if dough is sticky. Then, liberally dust the pizza pan or a large cookie sheet (14 x 17) with cornmeal; spread dough as evenly as possible. You can either use your fingertips dusted with millet flour or a rubber spatula (wet periodically to prevent sticking) to help you shape the dough. Dough will be about 1/4-inch thick and does not need to be uniform in depth. With a pastry brush, apply a very thin layer of olive oil (see photo below of uncooked crust).
1. Sauce (I prefer pesto)
Mushrooms (Portobello are my favorite)
Onions (to retain moisture, sauté in the slightest amount of olive oil on low heat for one hour, while you prepare dough)
Gluten-free turkey pepperoni
1/2 lb. mozzarella cheese, grated (more if you want it very cheesy)
Grated Parmesan cheese, sprinkled liberally
Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until cheese starts to brown (convection oven: 375 degrees for 12 minutes). Allow to cool slightly before cutting. Remember that you must use a plastic cutting device if using a non-stick cookie sheet.
Yield: 6 servings of two pieces each. Freezes well. (To heat from freezer, do not thaw; heat in toaster oven or conventional oven for 20-25 minutes at 325-350 degrees.)
While my pizza baked and the aroma of basil and oregano filled my kitchen, I located a hand painted Polish pottery plate, pretty enough for my creation. I dished up a moderate-sized square, forcing myself to wait a minute for it to cool slightly. I’ll admit that I headed back twice for just a little bit more.
I might not have the buttery dipping sauce or the pepperoncini pepper, but there’s leftover pizza for lunch or maybe even for breakfast.