When I first went gluten-free, pizza was one of those off-limits foods that was hard to give up. I missed that fresh-out-of-the-oven taste of zesty tomato sauce and melted cheese on top of a chewy crust. Then they started selling ready made gluten-free crusts in the store, making it easier to get the pizza I’d been craving. And gluten-free pizza places started popping up here and there. Some of them are pretty good too! But still not quite what I was looking for.
What I really wanted was a fresh, stand-on-its-own kind of crust.
So I began experimenting (as I often do) when I sort of stumbled upon this creation. The first time it came out of the oven and I sampled it, I couldn’t keep from gobbling it down. The texture was just the right combination of crispy and chewy. It’s JUST what I’d been looking for!
And the flavor? Well…let’s just say that it was so good there was nothing left to make a pizza.
Yes, I’m ashamed to say I ate the WHOLE thing. (But at least it was only half the recipe.) =)
I’ve since gotten control of myself enough to make both mini pizzas as well as regular sized ones. Sometimes I like to just cut the dough into squares or use a biscuit or English muffin cutter to make individual sized pizzas – which is especially nice for children (who like to add their own toppings). In fact, because you can put these together ahead of time, they make a great after-school snack! Or a quick sleep-over dinner. Just take them out of the fridge and pop them in the oven or toaster oven and…voila! Piping hot (gluten free) pizza straight from your own kitchen.
It’s also fun to have a pizza party for your more grown up friends. Consider offering an assortment of toppings so that they can make their own truly ‘personal’ pizza.
The smaller size is also a great (manageable) size for both children and grown ups alike!
Gluten-Free Pizza Dough
- 2 cups GF flour mix
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 cup coconut oil or shortening
- 1 1/2 cup Greek Yogurt
- 1/4 cup milk (your choice)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried Basil
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray cookie sheet.
Measure and mix the dry ingredients together in one bowl. Crush the dried Oregano and dried Basil between your palms. In a separate bowl measure and mix the Greek yogurt and milk. Blend together with the dry ingredients. Gently melt the coconut oil or non-hydrogenated shortening and add to the dry mixture. Mix well. Knead the dry bits together and shape into a soft ball. It can be refrigerated for two or three days at this point. Just wrap it well in plastic wrap or a Ziploc bag and refrigerate.
When you’re ready to make the pizza: Sprinkle your hands and a counter top or *sheet of wax paper/parchment paper with a little bit of gluten-free flour mix and press the ball to the desired thickness and shape.
Personal Pizzas can be shaped by hand or made using an English Muffin cutter (4″ – 4 1/2″). If using a cutter, you may find it easier to refrigerate the dough for at least 15 minutes first. Dip the cutter into the gluten free flour mix. If the dough becomes too sticky to work with, you may sprinkle a bit more gluten free flour mix over it, refrigerate it for a bit longer, or simply shape it by hand, rather than using a cutter. Makes between 10 and 14 mini pizzas depending on how thin you pat them out and whether you’re strict with that 4″ measurement.
Place the pizza dough onto the prepared cookie sheet.
Larger Pizzas may be shaped by hand right on the cookie sheet. For a thinner crust, simply press or pat it out to the desired thickness. Make sure it’s as even as possible so it bakes all the way through.
For a crispier top, brush or spray with oil or butter and bake for 10 – 14 minutes depending on the thickness of the pizza dough. It should be slightly golden in color.
Remove from the oven and raise the temperature to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
Add your favorite gluten free tomato, pesto, or BBQ sauce, grated Parmesan Cheese, Mozzarella cheese, and whatever other additions you’d like on your pizza. Some suggestions include: garlic, fresh Basil, Bell peppers, black olives, mushrooms, onion, spinach, tomatoes, broccoli, shredded carrots,pineapple, anchovies, gluten free pepperoni (gluten free sausage, BBQ chicken) – the choice is yours!
Return to the oven and bake for an additional 10 – 15 minutes or until the cheese has melted and browned slightly. If it appears everything has cooked to your satisfaction, but the cheese still hasn’t browned as much as you’d like, just pop it under the broiler. Keep an eye on it though so it doesn’t burn!
For a more gourmet style pizza consider adding specialty cheeses like: gouda, colby, feta, Swiss, gruyere, asiago, fontina, gorgonzola, pepper jack, or buffalo cheese. Or toppings like: artichoke hearts, asparagus, capers, caramelized onions, eggplant, leeks, jalapenos, portobello mushrooms, shitake mushrooms, caviar, shrimp, or smoked salmon. Once baked you might also like to add: chopped arugula, avocado, guacamole, salsa, parsley, or cilantro.
Tip: If you’re using raw vegetables, you may need to add more time, unless you like them on the crisper side. Or consider cooking them beforehand (which often adds to the flavor).
* To keep the wax paper or parchment paper from slipping and sliding on your counter top, sprinkle the area of your counter top lightly with water BEFORE laying the paper on top. It will hold the paper in place.
Here is a list of Hormel products that DO NOT contain gluten: http://www.hormelfoods.com/Brands/products-without-gluten-containing-ingredients