Friday, June 18, 2010

What's for dinner? Pizza

Who doesn't love pizza?  When I first started needing to avoid foods, this was one of the hardest things to give up.  Thankfully, it wasn't too long before I came across a pizza crust recipe that was pretty good (of course, the lack of cheese choices still left a lot to be desired).  I've used Bette Hagman's recipe for Pat's Thin Yeast Crust (The Gluten-free Gourmet) for a couple of years, with good reviews, however, I've keep my eyes open for a good, thick-crust recipe.  Not long ago, I came across The Happy Tummy recipe.  Her enthusiasm was infectious and I just had to try it.  Her step-by-step instructions are awesome, too.
I've since made this recipe half a dozen times and my family raves about it.  I've made a couple of changes, but the recipe is still essentially the same as Bekah's:

Perfect Gluten Free Pizza
Makes 2  10 inch pizzas. . . can feed two very hungry adults or 4 moderately hungry people.  It fed our family of 5 plenty and we still had 2 pieces left over. (I double the recipe and make individual pizzas for each of us.  The kids' are probably 6" pizzas, while mine and my husband's are larger & I keep half of mine for the next day. ~Raechel)
3/4 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup white rice flour (don’t use brown. . . you will get a more gritty texture if you do) (I actually have good luck using Bob's Red Mill brown rice flour. ~Raechel)
1/3 cup corn starch
1/3 cup sorghum flour
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tsp italian seasonings (optional)
1/2 cup whole milk (I leave this out and increase the water to 3/4 cup. ~R)
1/4 cup water
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast, from 1 (1/4-ounce) package
2 teaspoons sugar
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten (I've had good luck using one whole egg, instead.  ~R)
2 tablespoons olive oil + plus more to use on your hands when handling the dough
Whatever sauce (I used store bought), toppings, and cheese you like
In bowl of electric mixer, mix together tapioca flour, rice flour, corn starch, sorghum flour, xanthan gum, salt and yeast.

Add hot water (105-115 degrees), egg, and 2 tablespoons oil to dry ingredients and beat at medium speed, scraping bowl occasionally, until dough is very smooth and very thick, about 5 minutes.  The dough will still be pretty sticky which is ok.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Put your baking sheet in the oven on the bottom rack to preheat.

Have ready two 12-inch squares parchment paper, dusted with white rice flour, or Silpat baking mats.  Scrape half of dough onto each square and use a rubber spatula to spread dough out into a 1/4-inch-thick circle, leaving the edges thicker (about 1/2-inch).

This is what it should look like:

Loosely cover rounds with plastic wrap and let rise in warm draft-free place until each pizza is about 10 inches in diameter, about 20 minutes. I let mine rise on top of the stove.  The subtle heat from the oven while it is preheating was perfect for helping my dough rise.

Transfer crusts with parchment to preheated pizza stone or baking sheet and bake on bottom rack about 5 minutes, until dough is slightly firm to the touch.  You will notice your dough getting nice and bubbly, just starting to brown.
(If you want to freeze pizza for later, now is the time to do it.  Let the crust cool now and then top with your sauce, toppings, and cheese.  Wrap well with plastic wrap and freeze for another time.  When you are ready to bake these, let them sit out for about 15-20 minutes to partially thaw, preheat oven to 400 and bake for 10-15 minutes on the bottom rack until nicely browned.)
Remove from the oven and gently slide the parchment paper out from under each crust so that the crust is now directly on your baking sheet.  (It won’t stick now that it is partially baked.  Top with your sauce and desired toppings.  We used red peppers, onions, baby spinach, spicy sausage and turkey pepperoni but by all means, use whatever your family likes.

**BEKAH'S UPDATE: I made this pizza today and did not let it rise, curious if it would rise well in the oven without a previous rising on the counter. It rose WONDERFULLY.  no more waiting for it to rise. Just pat it out the way you like it (using oil and as little flour as possible on your hands) and put it on the bottom rack of your preheated oven. Amazing. So excited because this means I can have pizza ready from start to finish in such a short amount of time. **

Bake on the bottom rack for about 10 minutes until cheese is melted and your crust is wonderfully browned.  Cool for about 5 minutes and then serve!

This is my pizza with spinach (fresh from the garden), pineapple, ham, fresh basil and cashew cheese.  The boys used the Daiya cheese on theirs and my husband used dairy cheese. ~Raechel

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