Beat the Wheat: Gluten-Free Pizza Recipe

By: Carol Blymire
AKA Pizza to Make Your Doorbell Ring

I'm a big Gilmore Girls fan, but nothing bums me out more on that show than when Lorelai and Rory order pizza. Diagnosed with celiac just as the show went into syndication (and the weekend marathon watching commenced), I still get super-sad when the gals of Stars Hollow try to save a bad day by ordering pizza — something I'll never be able to do again.

Pizza's a tricky thing for people who can't eat gluten. Lots of places make gluten-free pizza, but they don't use separate prep and cooking areas, and cross-contamination is a risk not worth taking.

Still, there's no such thing as "out of sight, out of mind" when it comes to the awesomeness that is pizza, whether it’s with icy soda or cold beer.

I've tried every recipe, every method and every possible way to make a gluten-free alternative, most with great disappointment. But after nearly six years of experimenting, I feel like I've nailed it. The right thickness and crust texture. The right mixing and rolling approach. The right baking temperature and method. And a darn fine pizza for lunch, dinner or even breakfast. (I will never judge you for eating pizza for breakfast. Ever.)

I'm a serious traditionalist when it comes to pizza, and favor tomato sauce and mozzarella as my toppings. Still, here are some other favorites you can try with this crust:

-- Olive oil, fontina, prosciutto and fresh figs or plums

-- Olive oil, shredded chicken, chopped broccoli, Pecorino Romano and red pepper flakes

-- Tomato sauce, lamb sausage, crumbled feta, roasted eggplant and fresh oregano

-- Canola oil, shredded Brussels sprouts, bacon, ricotta and mozzarella cheeses, and a drizzle of maple syrup

Pizza!

There's an exclamation point in the title of this recipe because one of the things celiacs miss most is really good pizza. Gluten-free pizza can be disappointing, but not this one! This crisp-but-not-crackery crust is substantial enough to hold all the toppings you want to load on there, but it’s not thick, cakey or gross. This crust is thin and chewy with just the right amount of crisp around the edges, and the perfect balance of crunch, salt and yeasty goodness.

Total Time: 50 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Rest Time: 30 minutes
Yield: Two 12-inch pizzas
Level of Difficulty: Easy
Ingredients

For the crust (makes two 12-inch crusts)
1 tablespoon rapid-rise yeast
1 1/4 cup warm water
1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup white rice flour
1/2 cup sweet rice flour (aka mochiko)
1/2 cup potato starch
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg, slightly beaten
3 tablespoons olive oil

For the sauce (makes 2 cups of sauce)
One 15-ounce can of crushed tomatoes
3 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon sugar

For the topping
8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
Directions

Pour the yeast directly into the measuring cup of water. Let rest while you mix the other dry ingredients for the crust.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the brown rice flour, white rice flour, sweet rice flour, potato starch, xanthan gum and salt. Mix on low for 15 seconds to combine.

With the mixer running on low-medium, add the olive oil, egg and yeasty water. Mix on medium for 2 minutes. The crust will come together like a very thick brownie batter.

Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl and form the dough into one ball in the bowl. Cover top of mixing bowl with a clean dishcloth and let the dough rest in a warm spot for 30 minutes.

Place pizza stone or flat cast-iron pizza pan in the oven. Preheat oven with stone or cast-iron pan in it to 525 degrees F.

While dough is rising and oven preheating, combine all the ingredients for the sauce in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. Stir to incorporate all ingredients, then reduce heat to lowest setting or remove from heat until ready to use on pizza crust.

Separate dough into two even balls.

Roll out one dough ball to a 12-inch round between two sheets of parchment paper. The dough should be about 1/4 inch thick. Remove top layer of parchment paper. A thin layer of the dough will likely stick to the layer of parchment you're peeling off. That's OK. Just scrape it off (if you want) and add it to the other ball of pizza dough.

Place dough (with the parchment still underneath) onto the pizza stone or cast-iron pan. Bake for 7 minutes until the edges begin to brown.

Leaving the pan or pizza stone in the oven, remove the crust from oven and discard parchment.

Top the crust with sauce and cheese (or whatever toppings you prefer). If going with the red sauce and mozzarella version, top with 1 cup of sauce and shredded mozzarella.

Place pizza directly onto baking stone or pizza pan in oven and bake for an additional 6 minutes. The crust will finish baking, and the cheese will be evenly golden-brown.

Remove from oven to a cutting board. Let rest 2 to 4 minutes before slicing and serving.

NOTE: If not rolling out both pizza crusts at the same time, wrap the second dough ball in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days. When you're ready to make it, let it sit at room temperature while oven preheats.

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