One of the foods that I was most distressed to give up when I was diagnosed with gluten-intolerance was pizza. Hot, bubbling cheese with rich tomato sauce and delicious toppings was a favorite treat. When the Food Network set this week to be our Pizza Week for #ComfortFoodFest, I knew it was the perfect time to make it with gluten-free flours.
I have figured out how to make most gluten-free baked goods, but haven’t really tried doughs and breads yet. This was a good excuse to find a recipe and give pizza a go. I found one that looked fantastic on The Baking Beauties website and decided to try it with just a few adjustments.
The first thing you need to do is throw out all of your preconceptions about what pizza “dough” is. Gluten-free dough is more like a batter than a dough and behaves differently in the oven. It requires a double baking (aka blind baking) like you would with pie crusts with uncooked fillings. If you don’t adequately pre-bake the dough, it will rarely cook all the way through after you add the toppings.
Speaking of toppings, you can use anything you like, from the simplest pepperoni, to a full-blown vegetarian with everything from your garden. This time I made ours with Imperial hot chorizo, sauteed onions, fresh zucchini, mushrooms, and fresh basil. I wanted the chorizo to stand out and it was the perfect combination.
Have you heard of Spanish chorizo from Imperial? They make several varieties including the spicy version that we used on this pizza. It is Spanish-style chorizo, which means it is cured and firm like a log of salami unlike Mexican chorizo which is sold raw. Both chorizo and salami are made with pork, but the flavor of chorizo is quite different. Chorizo is seasoned with Spanish paprika, some fresh garlic, sugar, and spices. Each company has their own secret blend, but Imperial’s is truly outstanding.
Just for comparison sake, I purchased another brand of chorizo and served it side by side to The Artist. He took one bite and immediately chose Imperial as his favorite. He said the quality of the ingredients and the classic taste was exactly what he hopes to find in Spanish chorizo. Imperial’s chorizo was comparable to what he has been served in some of the finest Spanish tapas restaurants in San Francisco!
This gluten-free pizza crust is somewhere between a thin and crispy cracker-style crust and a thicker, raised-bread style. It has a nice chew and flavor with enough firmness to stand up to nearly any toppings without sagging. I have found that most gluten-free recipes need quite a bit of seasoning to make up for the lack of natural wheat flavoring. Rice flours are really bland, creating an opportunity for you to add whatever favorite seasonings you like. By adding herbs and seasonings to the crust, you are making it as important as the toppings
I also wanted to give you the option for making your own pizza sauce from scratch. It is delicious and much healthier for you and your family. You can control all of the ingredients, making is absolutely gluten-free if you or your family members have Celiac. And if you like, you can double the recipe giving you plenty of left overs that you can use for a pasta sauce (thinned with water), dipping sauce, as a base for baked eggs, or other creative ideas you have.
Make sure you check out all of the recipes created by the other bloggers and the Food Network by clicking on the links below the recipe. And for all of our recipes from the full year of weekly celebrations, follow our Pinterest page.
I hope you enjoy this pizza – and for those with gluten-intolerance of Celiac, have a wonderful time eating something you thought you’d never get again!
Jane’s Tips and Hints:
My oven always runs a bit low so I increase my baking times and sometimes increase the temperature to compensate. If you know your oven runs hot, start checking the dough and assembled pizza before the timing in the recipe. Remember, a recipe is only a guideline. Use you own best instincts to know when the food is ready in your own oven. Judge by the aromas, sounds, and touch of the food and let them tell you when they are done!
My basic gluten-free flour blend (found here) worked very well in this recipe, but you can also use the original version found on The Baking Beauties’ original recipe page. Both will yield beautiful results.
Gluten-Free Pizza Crust
Crust slightly adapted from a recipe by The Baking Beauties
Yield: 2 (14-inch) round pizzas or 1 large rectangular pizza
1-1/4 cups warm water
3 tbsp olive oil
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1-1/2 tsp xanthan gum (if your GF blend already contains xanthan gum, only add 1 tsp)
1 tbsp rapid-rise yeast
1-1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp granulated sugar
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup warm water (if needed)
About 1 cup pizza sauce (recipe below)
Toppings of your choice, such as thinly sliced vegetables, sliced cooked meats, chopped fresh herbs, etc.
Sliced fresh basil leaves, or other fresh herb of your choice, for garnish
Place a rack in the center of the oven and turn it on to 100°F for about 3 minutes, then turn it off and leave the door closed. You can use this area for resting the dough.
In a measuring cup with a spout, combine the water, olive oil, and egg.
In the bowl of your standing mixer, whisk together the flour (or GF flour), xanthan gum, yeast, salt, sugar, oregano, rosemary, basil, and garlic powder.
Place the bowl on your standing mixer and attach the paddle. Turn the machine on low speed and slowly pour in the liquid ingredients. You want to get a mixture that is similar to a thick cake batter. Add the extra 1/4 cup water if needed. Beat on medium-low speed for 2 to 3 minutes.
Use an off-set spatula to spread out the dough on a sheet of parchment, trying to get it the same thickness all over. You can make either two circles or a single large rectangle. Look at the dough at eye-level and you can see if you have any areas that are higher than the rest of the dough, then use the spatula to redistribute the dough until even.
Place the pizza dough on a wire pizza screen and slide into the warm oven (or anywhere that is warm and draft-free) and let it rest and rise for about 30 minutes. This gives the flours time to absorb all the liquids and improves the texture of the dough.
Move the dough on the screen from the oven to the top of the stove. Preheat the oven to 425°F. (I will cook mine at 450°F in the future because my oven runs cool – see Jane’s Tips and Hints above.)
When the oven is hot, return the crust to the oven and bake for about 12 to 15 minutes until the outside of the dough is lightly browned. This par baking will help the dough be cooked all the way through after you add the toppings.
Remove from the oven and top with the sauce (recipe below), cheese, and other toppings of your choice. Return the pizza to the oven and continue baking for another 15 minutes or until the crust is well browned and cooked through.
Remove from the oven and immediately cut into slices or squares. Then very carefully slide the sheet of parchment paper with the pizza on it onto a wire cooling rack. This allows the steam to escape, preserving the crispy bottom crust. Let it cool a couple of minutes and then serve.
Pizza Sauce (Gluten-Free)
© 2014 Jane Bonacci, The Heritage Cook. All rights reserved.
Yield: about 2 cups sauce
2 cups (15 to 16) oz tomato sauce
6 oz tomato paste
1/4 tsp dried rosemary leaves, crumbled or ground
2 tsp dried basil leaves
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp paprika
2 tsp grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp water
In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, whisk together the tomato sauce and paste. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the seasonings and Parmesan cheese; whisk until blended. Add the water and stir to thin slightly. Turn the heat down to low, cover the pan, and cook for 30 minutes, stirring regularly so the bottom doesn’t scorch. Each time you lift the lid, allow the accumulated water on the lid to drip back into the sauce. This will preserve the right consistency.
The rule of thumb is to use dried herbs in the sauce and fresh herbs sprinkled over the top after baking the pizza. That way you don’t lose the fresh herb flavor and it looks pretty too.
Sauce is now ready to use on pizza or you can store it, covered, in the refrigerator for about a week. It is delicious used in a number of ways such as a pasta sauce, with meatballs, or as a sauce to bake eggs in. Just add a little water or wine to thin it slightly and it is ready to go!
Create a New Tradition Today!
This recipe is part of Food Network’s weekly Comfort Food Fest. See the links below for more inspiration and great recipes!
Jeanette’s Healthy Living: Easy Turkey Taco Pizza
Devour: Top 5 Pizzas Without Sauce
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Pepperoni Pizza Puffs
Weelicious: Pizza Balls
Dishin & Dishes: Iron Skillet Chicken Pesto Pizza
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Pizza with Sun-Dried Tomato, Red Pepper and Corn
Red or Green: Pizza with Green Chile, Chicken and Cheese (Gluten-Free)
Virtually Homemade: Individual Cheese Quesadilla Pizzas
Domesticate Me: Grilled Pita Pizza with Prosciutto, Chanterelles, Arugula and a Fried Egg
Food for 7 Stages of Life: No Yeast Pizza Dough
In Jennie’s Kitchen: Easy, Homemade Pizza Dough
The Blue Apron Blog: Our Favorite Pizza Toppings
The Sensitive Epicure: Mini Deep Dish Polenta Pizzas (Gluten-Free)
FN Dish: Homemade Pizza Comfort by the Slice
Disclosure: I was sent Spanish chorizo from Imperial for testing purposes. I was not reimbursed for any expenses or compensated for writing this article. As always, all opinions are my own.
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