We’ve been home for a few days now. We returned to the west coast loaded with new memories, suitcases full of homemade apple butter, buckwheat flour from Maine, and dirty clothes, and a newfound respect and awe for this country we call home. We experienced more adventures, met more friends, and dreamed more dishes than we could possibly ever write down. What we didn’t have —— it became clear after a few days —— was the time to write a post every day, about every potluck, documenting this road trip we’ll never forget. After the piece I wrote about the Hudson Valley potluck, I looked up at the green fields of Vermont as we sped past them in our blue minivan, and I realized I wanted to wait until we were home to write up these moments.
Today, we just started feeling as though we live in this time zone again. It’s time to write. Let’s go.
When you first find out you have to go gluten-free, this is probably one of the first foods you remember with genuine grief. I can’t have pizza anymore? What am I going to do?
You make gluten-free pizza. And I don’t mean the pizza that tastes like cardboard painted brown, or the pizza that is so gritty you swear they threw a handful of sand into the dough, or the frozen gluten-free pizza crust barely bigger than your palm that costs $7.99, and that’s without the toppings.
I mean real, homemade pizza. A crisp crust with a chew and that warm yeasty smell that lets you know something’s cooking in there.
See that crust up there? It’s gluten-free. You could be making it today.
Actually, you might have been making it for months.
This is the pizza recipe from our cookbook, the one we teased you with for months. See that dough, how pliable it is? How you can knead it, and dig your fingertips in, and turn it over and roll it out?
That dough. The one from our cookbook.
(And the one that is disguised as a flatbread cracker recipe on page 156.)
So many of you have written to us to tell us how much you love this pizza. We’re thrilled.
Take a look at Gluten-Free Guinea Pig’s pizza and Gabby’s Gluten-Free attempt to overcome her fear of bread dough. If you’re a fan of the Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef page on Facebook, you can see the gorgeous photo Nita Kroninger took of the pizza she made with our recipe. And we love that Sara Ann of Celiac in the City made pizza with a little guy, who clearly enjoyed using that rolling pin.
(All these wonderful posts were inspired by the weekly cook-along challenge we’re doing on the Facebook page. Come on over and cook one dish out of the cookbook with us all each week.)
We have seen and heard, over and over again, that people have made the pizza recipe in our cookbook into their pizza recipe.
This makes us so happy.
Danny knows how to mold pizza dough into something ready to bubble in a hot oven.
You can learn from him in this video we made about how to make pizza in your own home.
Make this recipe a few times and you’ll feel like a pro too.
Our daughter loves this pizza. I couldn’t stop her from reaching for the pizza when I was trying to take photographs.
Lu loves our friend Brandon, who runs Delancey. When I was gone a couple of weeks ago, Danny and Lu had pizza at Delancey. The next day, she told me, “Brandon make pizza for the people!” (She also says, “Daddy make food for the people” and “Mommy make cookies for the people.”) She has eaten some of the best gluten pizza around.
She eats this gluten-free pizza crust with enormous delight. She ate three slices of the whole-grain pizza I made the other day (the one you can see in the photograph below).
She can’t tell any difference.
So why are we telling you about the pizza here again? Are we trying to persuade even more of you to buy our cookbook for the 100 recipes you can make that are sure to delight?
But actually, no.
We’re going to give you the pizza recipe right here.
You see, since I discovered that xanthan and guar gum mess up my intestines, I don’t want to make the pizza with them anymore. I certainly didn’t want to go without pizza anymore.
So we adapted our own recipe for you.
A few people have been asking me if I feel awkward about promoting our cookbook since it contains two ingredients I’m now avoiding. My answer? Of course not!
Most people seem to be fine with xanthan and guar gum, so feel free to use them in those recipes!
(Also, out of the more than 100 recipes in the book, only 10 involve baking with gluten-free flours at all. You have 90 other recipes to cook.)
And for those of you who don’t want to use the gums? Here’s the good news.
You don’t need them.
The pancakes, the waffles, the blackberry-peach cobbler, the apple-rosemary muffins, the focaccia, the carrot cake, and the chocolate-peanut butter brownies? Just omit the gums. You don’t need them at all.
The bread, the pizza, and the pasta?
Flaxseed. Or chia seed. That’s all you need.
Follow me to the recipe below and I’ll show you how.
And then you can make pizza.
p.s. If you grow serious about making pizza at home, you’ll want a pizza stone in your oven. May we suggest a pizza stone like this one?
GLUTEN-FREE PIZZA CRUST
Here’s the part about this recipe I like the best: it’s a ratio that works for any pizza you want to make.
Our original recipe was for 125 grams each of cornflour, cornstarch, potato starch, and sweet rice flour. I made that mix again for the first five photographs you see in this post. If you’re going for a traditional-looking pizza, use that. If you eat can’t corn, substitute millet for the cornflour and arrowroot for the cornstarch. If you can’t have potatoes, try tapioca flour. If you can’t eat rice, try any of those starches in its place. All you have to do is substitute flours by weight and you’ll have your own pizza. It won’t be the exact same pizza, but it will be darned fine.
However, these days, I’m interested in baking more with whole-grain flours. I tried the same multi-grain flour mix we used for the muffins in this pizza. Oh yeah. See that above? It has flavor, a flavor other than whiteness. It’s crisp on the bottom and has a chew in the center. I love it. If you’re looking for an interesting texture and a pizza that is entirely itself, this is what you want.
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed or ground chia seeds
500 grams whole-grain gluten-free flour mix
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
15 grams (4 teaspoons) active-dry yeast
50 grams (1/4 cup) extra-virgin olive oil
85 to 190 grams (1/2 to 1 cup) warm water, about 110*
olive oil for brushing on top of the crust
Making the flaxseed or chia slurry. Mix the flaxseed (or chia seed) into a bowl. Pour 2 tablespoons of boiling-hot water over the seeds. Whisk immediately and quickly until you have a thick paste. Let this set aside and cool down.
Combining the dry ingredients. Put the gluten-free flours and the salt into the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix them up together.
Activating the yeast. Put the yeast, olive oil, and half the warm water into a small bowl. Stir gently. Let them sit for a moment to activate the yeast.
Making the dough. Add the slurry to the dry ingredients and mix for a moment. Pour the yeasty water into the dry ingredients. With the mixer on medium, whirl for a few moments, until the dough comes together into a soft ball around the paddle of the stand mixer and feels soft and pliable. If the dough feels too dry, add more of the warm water in small amounts until the dough feels right. (You might not need all the water. You might need more. Yeast doughs can differ from kitchen to kitchen.) Set the dough aside in a warm place and let it rise for 1 hour.
Preparing to bake. Preheat the oven to 450°. (If you feel comfortable with heat, take it up to 550°. Just watch the dough in the oven, carefully.) If you have a pizza stone, make sure it is in the oven. If not, sprinkle a pizza tray or baking sheet with gluten-free cornmeal.
Rolling out the dough. Grab 1/2 of the dough and put it between 2 pieces of parchment paper. Through the paper, roll out the dough to your desired thickness. (We like super-thin crust around here. You might like it thicker.)
Pre-baking the dough. Take the parchment paper off the dough, then transfer the dough to the pizza stone or prepared pizza tray. Brush the top with olive oil. Bake until the dough has started to crisp up and browned at the edges, about 8 to 10 minutes. (And less if you have the oven cranked up to 550°!)
Take the crust out of the oven. You now have a pre-baked pizza crust. Top with anything you fancy and continue baking until the cheese is bubbly and melty.
Makes 2 8-inch pizza crusts or 1 16-inch pizza crust. (We usually make 2.)
And finally, this crust. This is the same multi-grain pizza crust made by cutting 50 grams of cold unsalted butter (that’s about 4 tablespoons) into the dry ingredients — as you do with pie crust — instead of using the olive oil. It’s fabulous. The top of the crust is even crisper than the other and the chew is more pronounced.
Play with this.
You see? There are so many ways for you to make gluten-free pizza.