Introduction: Easy Gluten-Free Pizza
This is a simple, straight forward recipe for gluten-free pizza. It's great for breaking into gluten-free baking because it uses a shelf-available base mix plus your own variations on spices. This recipe does not use eggs or butter, so there's no waiting for them to come to room temperature first, and it's possible to make this vegetarian or even vegan by substituting out the milk, but I am not familiar with what kind of vegan milk would be acceptable - soy milk would probably be too strong a flavor, and almond milk would likely be too thin.
This can be made in under an hour for a quick pizza dinner or the dough can be made ahead of time.
1-2 spoons for hand mixing
1 medium sized mixing bowl
1 smaller bowl for sauce, or mix in can
cheese grater unless using already shredded cheese
1 cutting board
1 cookie sheet or pizza pan
No mixer required!
Step 1: Dough!
Dough - makes 1 largeish pizza
Note - I use "Gluten-Free Pantry". http://www.vitacost.com/gluten-free-pantry-all-purpose-flour Oddly enough, this works better than the 'baking mix'. - whatever mix used should have xantham gum or guar gum already in the blend - if it does not, you will need to add 1 tsp of gum per 1 cup of GF flour blend.
1.5 cups all purpose GF flour mix
1 cup warm 2% milk
1 tablespoon of dry yeast + 1 tablespoon sugar
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tsp kosher salt, or 1/2 tsp regular salt
Brown or white rice flour for dusting, or corn meal
Pam or butter for greasing
parchment paper to cover the sheet pan
Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F, if possible, have oven pre-heated for at least 20 minutes before putting pizza in.
In one container, heat milk in the microwave for 1 minute. Stir and add sugar and yeast, allow to sit for 5 minutes to proof. It does not need to come to full foamy status, just wait long enough to ensure the yeast is waking up.
Put GF baking mix in a bowl and add olive oil, salt, spices and milk. If you prefer a slightly sweet crust, add 1 tablespoon of honey. Stir thoroughly, until dough comes together in a moist lump. Should not look like batter, and will definitely not look like regular wheat dough. It should be soft and sticky in peaks in the bowl, and not a smooth ball. It will be quite ugly, in fact. The mixture may look too moist at first, but continue mixing for at least 1 full minute, and it should start looking right.
My favorite thing to do is used dried minced shallot instead of onion powder, or dry minced onion, but onion powder is the most commonly available and still very good. I don't recommend skipping out on spices, but you certainly can. Because GF dough never tastes like wheat (or often, like anything else), I prefer using spices to up the flavor level a bit. The olive oil helps as well. Red pepper flakes, garlic powder, oregano or basil are all good choices too.
There is no need to let the dough rise, simply proceed to the next step and make your crust!
A note: most GF recipes call for cider vinegar to balance the acidity of the non-wheat dough. I have tried this recipe both with, and without cider vinegar and notice no difference, so I tend to leave it out for pizza crust.
Step 2: Laying Out the Dough
GF dough is nearly impossible to roll out, so I just save myself the frustration and pat down dough in squares. Doing one large lump makes the bottom sprinkling of rice flour uneven and harder to spread evenly in thickness, so I break it up into manageable pieces.
On a baking sheet, spray or butter lightly on the sheet itself to hold the parchment in place. Place parchment and press lightly. This makes it easier to butter the top of the sheet too.
Spray or butter the top of the sheet evenly - half a tablespoon of butter should be sufficient. I use a paper towel and wipe the butter on and around.
Liberally sprinkle the top of the sheet with rice flour or corn meal.
Turn your faucet on so a thin stream of water is running, more than a trickle, but not enough to feel bad about running for a few minutes. Wet your hands completely and shake off excess, then gather up a quarter of the dough and lightly flatten between your hands. Dough should be smooth and slick. Lay down dough on your paper in a rough square, re-wet hands and lightly flatten with your fingers to a medium-thin crust. Re-wet hands the second the dough starts to stick to your fingers.
Repeat with the rest of the dough until you have a rough square around 18" on a side, or do a traditional circle. Rub lightly along the seams to combine into one large flat dough unit.
Prick dough with a fork several times a few inches apart and brush lightly with more olive oil. Pre-bake for 12 minutes. (YOU CANNOT SKIP PRE-BAKING).
Check at 12 minutes - the crust should be just dry to the touch and lightly browning on the edges. The top may crack, even badly, but this is okay.
At this point, you may remove the crust from the pan and freeze it if you want an easy pizza dinner later in the week. Make sure you let it cool fully and wrap well first., preferably in a freezer bag. You CAN freeze it with all toppings in place, but I don't recommend it.
Step 3: Tomato Sauce
Couldn't be simpler.
Take one 15 oz can of plain crushed tomato sauce and add 1 tsp oregano, and mix together. Spread half the can on the crust and save the other half for something else, or a second pizza.
I usually only have canned diced tomatoes handy, so I ran them through the blender or under the stick blender for a few seconds-easy peasy.
Step 4: Toppings!
Brush the top of the pizza surface with 1 tsp of olive oil before applying sauce.
Top as you would any other pizza - cheese, pepperoni, salami, peppers, onions, sausage, bacon, etc. I like fresh garlic and veggies.
Hormel Pepperoni is gluten-free, as is their salami.
I would guess that I used about 2 cups of cheese here.
Step 5: The Waiting Begins..
Bake 15-20 minutes, but mine usually take a full 20. The edges may brown more than you would like, but that tends to be life with GF baking. One option is to cover the edges of your pizza with foil after 10 minutes to try to prevent too much browning on the edges, but I like the extra crispy crust and hate to waste foil, so I just let it brown.
Check at 15 minutes. The bottom of the crust should be lightly browned and the cheese bubbly. Remove from oven and allow to sit for at least 3-5 minutes before cutting.
If you prefer a thicker crust, pre-bake the crust for at least 15 minutes and check center for doneness with a knife before adding toppings.
Step 6: Enjoy!
This recipe is meant to be nearly fool-proof and have as few steps as possible to still be a decent gluten-free pizza. It is not the best GF recipe out there, but it does come out pretty darn tasty.
The crust should be lightly chewy but not too dense. I haven't made a thick crust version of this, only med - thin. Ideally, the bottom of the crust will be just crisp and crunch and the inside soft but well baked through. Next time I may attempt a super thin crust.
Total time should not be more than 45 minutes from assembling of ingredients to slicing the pizza :)