Where do teens go to hide from Mom, when in a grocery store? The magazine aisle. At least mine does. Looking for Ford, I ended up flipping through magazines, and going home with a few I hadn’t read before. One of which was:
Reading the July/August 2013 issue of Delight Gluten Free Magazine, I went through their lengthy section on pizza making. At 5 pages long, this was pretty intensive. I was thinking maybe I could try out a gluten-free pizza crust, at least get there 90% of the way for Alistaire. Get the basics conquered, then get where he can eat everything (ie…dairy free cheese). The recipe was for a thin crust pizza, so I was thinking “Oh, I’ll double the recipe and make two pizzas! “. Note to self: OK, just make two batches and proceed. GF isn’t the same as using wheat. After letting it rise for an hour and a half I was not feeling so confident this crust was going to be useable. It was ummm….spreadable. It didn’t look like “dough”. Feeling fearful, I took the red sauce I was simmering for the pizzas, and turned it into a pasta sauce. I decided though, to give the dough a chance. Pizza? I wasn’t so sure, but maybe a focacia bread? Or cheesy bread? Ooh…yeah.
As I made my backup dinner, the bread baked in the oven. Walker asked what I was doing, as I crouched down, looking through the window. Hoping, I thought to myself. It looked done, I set it on a cutting board and sliced it. Burning hot – and one bite had me thinking of a memory from years ago.
Ever indulged in Papa John’s Cheesy Bread? Oh please, we all have.
My accident just produced heaven on a plate. Like that, just um, way better. We couldn’t keep Walker out of it. He ate so much he gave himself a tummy ache
I’ll be working on this for pizza and just have the confidence it won’t fail. I have to remind myself that gluten-free/allergen baking doesn’t look like wheat dough/batter when it is raw. I just have to believe and trust my nose that it is turning golden delicious. And that a double batch produces a heavenly, thick and fluffy crust.
Gluten-Free Pizza Crust & Cheesy Bread
- 1½ cup warm water
- 4½ tsp active dry yeast (2 packets)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 2½ cups all-purpose gluten-free flour
- 2 tsp fine sea salt
- 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- Olive oil
- Ground black pepper
- Fine sea salt
- Shredded mozzarella cheese
- Grated Parmesan cheese
In a stand mixer bowl, add warm water, yeast, oil, and sugar. Let rest for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk together flour and salt in a mixing bowl.
Turn mixer on low, add in half of the flour mixture, beat until mixed in. Add vinegar and remaining flour, mix until dough is smooth (it will not be thick like regular pizza dough is).
Oil a large glass or ceramic mixing bowl, Scrape dough in. Lightly oil a piece of plastic wrap, cover tightly. Let sit for 2 hours in a warm spot.
Meanwhile, heat oven to 450° and line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Spritz or lightly oil the edges of the pan (important, otherwise it can and will stick to the edges!)
Knock dough out onto prepared pan, spreading gently with a silicone spatula, until it fits the pan. Let rest for 15 to 30 more minutes.
Drizzle olive oil over the top, liberally grind pepper and a pinch of salt over, then sprinkle on cheese to taste.
Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown on top and bubbly. Work a thin spatula under the parchment paper, loosen the edges and slide onto a cutting board.
PS: If you chill leftovers, reheat for 30 seconds in the microwave. It is not good cold, but heated, delicious.
My feeling on how to use as an actual pizza crust is to par bake it for 5 minutes, then top and bake for another 15 minutes. I would use a light hand with sauce and cheese, and use ingredients that won’t produce a lot of moisture while baking.