We have been making our own pizza crust for a long time. In fact, it has turned us into pizza snobs. Don’t invite me over for a store bought crust. Just kidding, I’m there for your company not your food. No wait, I lie. I’m a foodie. I LOVE food. Good food.
Speaking of good food, I was at my sister-in-laws for Christmas dinner. She has a big sign on her wall above the stove that reads EAT. I love it. I love to eat as long as it meets my requirements: healthy and so so so yummy. It’s wasted calories otherwise.
Pizza is one of our favourite meals because we make killer pizza in our house. We make our own pizza dough, we pre-cook the veggies, we usually make our own sauces, and we have a pizza stone. You kind of have to make your own pizza when gluten-free is your way. You can buy store-bought gluten-free pizza, but it’s just not the same. And you know it.
I’m warning you now, once you make your own crust you may have trouble doing anything but. Here’s our recipe which has been adapted, and adapted, and adapted from the Joy of Cooking: All About Vegetarian cookbook. Make sure you read the entire recipe and the notes:
Gluten-Free Pizza Dough
Combine the following ingredients in the bowl of your mixer (your KitchenAid if you are blessed by the baking Goddesses):
2 1/4 teaspoons of active dry yeast
1 1/3 cups warm water (I don’t take the temperature of my water, I just turn the tap to hot and let it run while getting my measuring cup out)
Let this mixture sit until the yeast is dissolved and it looks lovely and poofy in your bowl. Callum and I like watching this happen!
While you’re waiting for the yeast to do its thing, mix the following ingredients in a medium-sized bowl:
3 and 2/3 cups gluten-free all-purpose mix (my most successful crust used my bean-free mix)
1/2 cup sorghum flour OR sweet rice flour (set aside to add to the dough while it is mixing/kneading)
1 TBSP sea salt
1 TBSP cane sugar
*You could also add fresh garlic and/or any combination of fresh or dried herbs.
Add the dry ingredients to the yeast mixture. Add 2 TBSP of olive oil while mixing the dry and wet ingredients. Mix on low speed until all the ingredients are combined. Knead on medium speed for 10 minutes. You will need to stop the mixer a couple of times to wipe the sides down and add the sorghum flour as needed.
After 10 minutes, remove the dough from the mixer (you should be able to do this; see my pictures so you know the consistency you’re looking for). Place dough in a greased bowl and let rise covered and in a warm place for at least one hour.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place your pizza stone in the oven (if you have one, if not don’t worry).
Divide the dough into 4 smaller balls and cover each ball loosely with a tea towel or plastic wrap. Let sit for 10 minutes.
Flatten each ball of dough on a piece of floured parchment paper – this is important as you won’t be able to move the flattened dough again until it’s cooked! I usually do this with my hands or with a floured rolling pin.
Pour a couple of tablespoons of olive oil into a small bowl. Make fingertip dents in your flattened dough and then coat the dough with olive oil. Let rest again for 10 minutes. This step will ensure that your gluten-free pizza crust doesn’t dry up and flake out on you.
Pre-bake each shell in your pre-heated oven for 6-10 minutes, depending on your choice of toppings. Pre-baking is KEY for gluten-free crusts. I usually remove the parchment paper after this step and place the pre-baked shell directly on my stone.
Decorate pizza shells as desired (check out my pesto recipe) and bake for another 6-10 minutes, depending on your choice of toppings. Cool on a wire rack. My sister-in-law and her family cut their pizza with scissors. And it works! Who needs a fancy-schmancy pizza wheel? Just be prepared for messy scissors.
AND NOW FOR THE ‘NOTES’:
- This recipe looks complicated but it’s HOMEMADE PIZZA DOUGH for goodness’ sake. And it’s gluten-free. If you want fast, PIZZA PIZZA makes GF crust now. Heehee.
- The first time you do this it might be tricky but it will get easier every time you do it. I promise you. My notes for the first time I made this dough (and that was with wheat flour) read:”takes a while but crust is great”. See! Worth it. Yes, I write notes in all of my cookbooks.
- Lately I’ve been using sweet rice flour instead of sorghum flour. The result is a lighter and more puffy crust. We prefer it this way.
- It’s easier to work with smaller sized pizza dough, which is why I suggest dividing the dough into 4 balls. If you divide it in half it might crumble or break into two pieces.
- Always remember that you’re working with gluten-free dough. It won’t be like regular pizza dough. Be patient. Think positive thoughts. Have a lovely glass of wine within reach at all times.
- You can barbeque this crust. Oh yes you can and oh yes you should. Just make sure you pre-bake the crust in the oven so it hardens up. Then decorate your ‘za and place it on the top rack of your BBQ. WATCH it so it doesn’t burn!
- I strongly recommend the pre-baking when working with gluten-free crusts. Otherwise your shell won’t be cooked through.
- I have tried a few flour combos. I have even made this recipe with just rice flour. It was very crumbly and a little too gritty but it still worked. If you don’t have sorghum flour, try something else that you do have (like quinoa, rice, millet, amaranth). Sometimes I use sweet rice flour instead of the sorghum flour. This makes for a slightly fluffier crust. Looks pretty!
- Our dough is usually a little different every time, but it gets better every time we make it.
- When we make bruschetta pizza we pre-bake the shell as usual and then fry them in a little bit of olive oil, flipping once. So we don’t use cheese but we make up for it elsewhere.