It’s getting more and more common for restaurants to both offer and promote gluten-free options on their menu. The one item that I’ve seen much more increasingly of late has been gluten-free pizza. While this is certainly enticing to someone who avoids gluten, I can tell you right now that nearly EVERY gluten-free crust I’ve had in a restaurant has been underwhelming.
They aren’t house-made, so you are paying extra money for a smaller crust made from very processed ingredients. I think most places source from the same crust company to boot, as most of the gluten-free crusts I’ve sample have tasted the same: not too crispy and oddly a little bit sweet. At best I would describe them as a serviceable means to present yummy toppings, but not an asset to the dish at all.
I have experimented at home with various gluten-free crust options, from ones made of almond flour and cauliflower to others with lengthy and obscure ingredient lists. Our family favorite thus far has been the crust recipe from Silvana Nardone’s Cooking for Isaiah. In fact, I’ve been so pleased with it that I know the ingredients and prep by heart; I actually felt like I was cheating tonight to try out a new recipe.
Apparently sometimes it’s good to stray, though, because everything thought tonight’s pizza was my best. Ever. Seriously. And way better than the overpriced gluten-free frisbees you’ll get in most restaurants!
As part of my participation in Cooking Light’s Blogger’s Connection, I was excited to give their gluten-free pizza crust a trial run. It’s featured in their Gluten-Free Cookbook, and can also be found on the Cooking Light website. What appealed to me was the lack of eggs (a nice perk for vegan cooks), use of brown versus white flour, and fact that it can be prepared without kneading, rising or rolling out.
I did modify some of the ingredients a bit, so I’m including my changes below. I based them on my own preference to avoid soy, dairy and corn products. I also found that to really come together in a ball, my dough needed more than just a couple tbs. of brown rice flour added to it. It was still a little sticky to work with, but since it only requires pressing out it wasn’t too hard to form into a crust.
While the original recipe calls for making the dough in a food processor, I used my stand mixer. I chose this option as I keep my mixer on the counter and in addition to being more convenient it’s also easier to clean up afterward.
You can obviously top this crust with whatever toppings you desire. I went with a Polynesian theme: kecap manis (gluten-free soy sauce thickened with a little palm sugar), canadian bacon, pineapple, green onion, Daiaya shredded non-dairy cheese and sesame seeds. My daughter loved the crust so much she asked when I’ll be making it again with red sauce and olives!
Gluten-Free Pizza Crust
adapted from Cooking Light
1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp.)
2 1/2 teaspoons stevia, divided
1 cup warm unsweetened almond milk
1 1/2 cups brown rice flour, divided
1/2 cup arrowroot powder
2 tsp. xantham gum
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. salt
4 tsp. olive oil, divided
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
olive oil mist
Preheat oven to 450
Combine yeast, 1/2 tsp. stevia and warm almond milk in a small bowl. Allow to sit for about 5 minutes until frothy.
Put 3/4 cup brown rice flour, remaining stevia, arrowroot, xantham gum, seasoning and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer and mix well. With the mixer on low, slowly pour in yeast mixture, 1 tbs. olive oil and cider vinegar.
Keep mixing until blended, then gradually add brown rice flour a tbs. at a time until dough begins to stick together into a ball. Either switch to a dough hook or continue to mix with the mixer’s paddle (I actually floured my hands and just worked on it for a minute or two by hand).
Spritz baking sheet with olive oil mist. With floured hands, press dough onto sheet. Sprinkle some more flour on top of the dough and press it out until thin.
Bake for 10 minutes at 450, then brush with remaining olive oil. Top par-baked crust as desire and bake for an additional 15 minutes.