When I was diagnosed with gluten-intolerance I knew I would have to learn how to bake all over again. I knew that all of my tried and true recipes would have to be reworked and that was OK. But before I tried doing that I would work mostly with gluten-free recipes that had already been created by pioneers in GF baking. That is what I did today.
Have you discovered Carla’s Gluten-Free Recipe Box yet? It is packed full of wonderful recipes in all kinds of categories. If you are looking for recipes for an upcoming Super Bowl party, Valentine’s Day, Mardi Gras, or St. Patrick’s Day, this is your one-stop shop. In addition to gluten-free, Carla has recipes for people with tomato, nut, corn, dairy, soy, and egg allergies. She often has recommendations for adjusting existing recipes to suit your limitations. I know you will love her enthusiasm, kindness, and selection of wonderful recipes.
Today is Pizza day at the Food Network’s #ComfortFoodFeast and I knew just what I wanted to make. If you visit the Italian bakeries in San Francisco’s North Beach, you’ll often see Pizza Focaccia in the case. It looks like a slab of chewy bread, slathered with pizza sauce and sometimes cheese, and usually cut into squares. It is one of The Artist’s best memories from childhood and I knew he would love it if I tried to make him a gluten-free version. And I was right!!!
I was a little nervous because I had no idea what was going to happen. It has been a long time since I baked bread and then it was with wheat flour. This was going to be completely different. Yikes!
There were a few glitches but everything went pretty smoothly. The hardest thing was getting the honey out of the jar, LOL! Probably the strangest part of this was the fact that gluten-free dough is more like a really sticky cookie dough than a bread dough and has to be spread out on a baking sheet with a rubber spatula instead of rolled or pulled like normal wheat dough. Fascinating to work with, make sure you keep your spatula and the top of the dough damp with water to keep it from sticking and pulling.
I let The Artist choose whatever toppings he wanted with the pizza sauce and he decided on cheese, bell peppers and sliced salami. The house smelled amazing as it was baking and I was quickly reminded that I had forgotten to eat lunch.
The pizza bread came out of the oven and looked beautiful, if a little ragged around the edges. Next time I’m going to use wet fingers to smooth the edges a bit more. It was crispy at the edges and softer in the center, but fully cooked. The pizza sauce was wonderful too and because the recipes makes so much, I’m going to put it in little bowls and use it as a dipping sauce for tomorrow’s leftovers!
The next recipe I’m going to try is Carla’s GF Pizza Rolls with the extra pizza sauce from today. How fun to have these little bites for next weekend’s football game!
Enjoy this recipe and make sure you check out all the other ones below. If you want to follow along with the fun, use #ComfortFoodFeast on Twitter, or follow the Pinterest page. Have a wonderful Pizza-palooza day!
Gluten-Free Pizza Focaccia
Adapted slightly from Carla’s Gluten Free Recipe Box
Yield: Serves 2 to 3
Organic olive oil
1 cup non-fat milk (or 1/4 cup half & half and 3/4 cup filtered water) or almond milk, soy, etc. warmed to 105°F
1-1/2 tbsp honey
2 tsp instant dry yeast
3/4 cup potato starch
1/2 cup rice flour
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup millet flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour/starch + more for dusting
1/4 cup cornstarch or more tapioca flour (tapioca adds more chewiness to doughs; I used 2 tbsp cornstarch + 2 tbsp additional tapioca flour)
1-1/2 tsp xanthan gum or guar gum
1 tsp sea salt (2-1/2 tsp kosher salt)
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 extra large egg
1-1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3/4 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup yellow onion, minced
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
2 (6 oz) cans tomato paste
10 fluid oz water
1 clove minced garlic
1 tbsp agave, honey or molasses
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp dried red pepper flakes
Your favorite pizza toppings, optional
Prepare Focaccia Dough: Brush a baking sheet with oil; set aside. (If using spray oil, ensure it is gluten free.)
Place milk in a small saucepan or medium-sized microwave-proof bowl. Heat milk to 105°F to 108°F. Use an instant read thermometer to monitor the temperature. Add honey to warmed milk; stir until dissolved. Add the yeast, stir and set aside for about 5 minutes or until it foams up, about 1-inch above the level of the liquid. If the mixture does not foam up, start over with fresh yeast and make sure you do not get the milk too hot. Yeast needs warm (not hot) liquid and sugar to grow. If the liquid is too hot you can kill the yeast.
In a medium bowl, place the dry ingredients and whisk together well.
In the bowl of your mixer, add egg oil, and vinegar; beat on low just until blended. Add yeast/milk mixture and beat on low until blended. Add flour mixture all at once; beat on high for about 4 minutes.
Scrape the dough onto the baking sheet and brush the top with water. Using a rubber spatula that is also damp, spread to about 1/3-inch thick, filling about 3/4 of a half sheet (17 x 12-inch) baking pan. Keep brushing the dough with water as needed to keep the spatula from sticking and pulling the dough apart. Dampen your fingers and gently press the dough into a rectangle, smoothing the edges for a neater appearance.
Set in a warm, draft-free environment for about 35 minutes to rise, or until about double in height. I preheat my oven to 170°F, turn it off, and leave the door cracked about 6-inches.
Make Pizza Sauce: Meanwhile, in a small to medium saucepan, add olive oil and heat on medium to medium high until shimmering. Add onion and sauté on medium heat until transparent, stirring regularly to prevent burning. Add the rest of the ingredients: tomato paste, water, garlic, honey, oregano, basil, rosemary, salt, ground black pepper and red pepper flakes. Whisk until liquid is fully incorporated and sauce is smooth. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring often to keep sauce from sticking to the bottom of the pan and burning.
Remove rising dough from oven; preheat oven to 400°F. Gently spread a layer of pizza sauce over dough that is just thick enough so no dough shows through, and add desired toppings. Make sure anything you add is very thinly sliced so it will cook quickly. Bake for 20 minutes or until the crust is crispy enough for your tastes, spinning it halfway through the baking for more even baking.
Refrigerate leftover pizza sauce in an airtight container if you will be using it again soon, or freeze for up to 6 months.
Slice focaccia into individual servings and serve while hot. If you want, serve with extra pizza sauce for dipping!
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Check out the other pizza recipes from these amazing writers:
Jeanette’s Healthy Living: Gluten-Free Grain-Free Mini Pizza Faces
Feed Me Phoebe: Deep-Dish Polenta Pizza With Onions and Pesto
Cooking With Elise: Chicago-Style Deep-Dish Pizza
Haute Apple Pie: Honey, Gouda and Goat Cheese Pizza
What’s Gaby Cooking: Loaded Veggie and Prosciutto Pizza
Sweet Life Bake: Mexican Pizza – Tlayuda con Chorizo y Frijoles
Devour: Unexpected but Delicious Pizza Toppings
Virtually Homemade: Mashed Potato Bacon Pizza
The Cultural Dish: Pizza Pizza Pizza! Three Delicious Variations
Thursday Night Dinner: Beet and Goat Cheese Pizza
FN Dish: As Quick as Delivery Pizza Recipes
Create a New Tradition Today!