Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Gluten Free Pizza Crust #BreadBakers

Proof that a gluten free diet doesn't mean a lifetime of bland, cardboard like baked goods! This pizza crust is chewy, sturdy enough to hold up to toppings but flexible enough for a great eating experience. Flavour wise, chili and herb infused olive oil gives each bite extra punch.

I cannot think of the last time I ate a slice of pizza. I have nothing against the food, in contrast I find a well made pie a thing of absolute decadence. However, the oil and fat of classic pizza recipes doesn't play well with my digestion so I have bid fare-thee-well to it. However, I have a friend who had given up on pizza for two different dietary restrictions - gluten and dairy. Let's face it, a lot of gluten free pizza crusts have a lot to be desired, and the ones that do taste good are prohibitively expensive! Thankfully, it's relatively easy to whip up a good-tasting, chewy pizza crust at home without the gluten, especially if you (like me) have an array of gluten-free flours to play with. I'm truly lucky to have a bulk store near me with a great cross-contamination avoidance strategy and I have never had a problem, however if this isn't the case near you the ingredients are fairly commonplace online for good prices!

The crust "dough" is unlike any "normal" bread dough out there. There is no kneading, no stretch and folds, no punching down and no tossing in the air. Instead, the mixture resembles a slightly elastic cookie dough, and is really easy to work with when your hands are damp! If you're feeling fancy, add some herbs or spices to the dough, or toss in some ground flax for extra flavour. Since I was making and freezing the crusts for my friend to enjoy on his own, I kept the flavour pretty simple with an herb and garlic oil. However, even without adornment, you'll find no off-putting flavours or textures with the crust. He told me that one of the two rounds actually turned into focaccia style wedges topped with bruschetta for a party, so that option exists for them too!

Gluten free baking is not as straightforward as standard baking, however I do find it enjoyable to craft food for people who otherwise may not have the opportunity to indulge like "everyone else". With a little patience and practice (and a good recipe!) your next pizza party can have a whole new flair!

Check out all these other great gluten free breads from the Bread Bakers!

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all of our lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. http://www.pinterest.com/flpl/bread-bakers/ Links are also updated after each event on the BreadBakers home page. http://www.foodlustpeoplelove.com/p/breadbakers.html We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.
Gluten Free Pizza Crust
Adapted from Gluten Free Goddess
Makes two 10-12" crusts
2 ¼ tsp instant yeast
1 cup tapioca starch
1 cup potato starch
1 cup sorghum flour
½ cup brown rice flour
½ cup millet flour
¼ cup ener-G egg replacer (or homemade)
1 tbsp baking powder
½ tbsp guar gum
1 tbsp psyllium husk fibre
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 ¼ cups warm water
1 tsp salt
¼ cup olive oil (I used an herb and garlic infused oil)
½ tsp rice vinegar
  1. Grease two 10-12" pizza pans and set aside
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the yeast, starches, flours, egg replacer, baking powder, guar gum, psyllium husk and brown sugar.
  3. Add the water and mix well, then add the salt, oil and vinegar.
  4. Beat the dough until smooth and sticky, but not too thick (it's not kneadable like “normal” bread dough).
  5. Divide dough in half and place each half on the prepared pizza pans.
  6. Use damp hands to flatten the dough into a thin, even crust. Wet your hands as you go to avoid sticking.
  7. Cover with a towel and let rest 20 minutes.
  8. Heat the oven to 400ºF.
  9. Par-bake the crusts for 10 minutes, until just golden. 
  10. Wrap dough in cling wrap and foil for freezing at this point, or top with your favourite sauces and toppings and broil to your preferred doneness, about 5 minutes.

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