25 January 2009

The GF Pizza Crust challenge

Last August we stayed at the "B&M Zoo" family cabin on Flathead lake in Montana and they challenged me to create a gluten free pizza crust as a major part of the family is gluten intolerant and it is always a challenge for them to find tasty GF pizza. Fast forward to last week and I received a mail enquiring of my progress, so I finally got to work and came up with the below recipe, my home committee of gluten lovers approved thumbs up of this new gluten free pizza crust, so I guess it's time to share it.

Gluten free pizza crust
1 cup / 180 gr Rice flour
1 cup / 145 gr Sorghum flour
1/2 / 80 gr cup Tapioca flour (if not available you can make it by grinding the tapioca pearls in a clean coffee grinder or use corn starch)
1/4 cup / 40 gr potato starch
2 tsp Xanthan gum (very important element in all gluten free baking, it is the "binding" agent that acts similarly to gluten)
1 tsp salt
1 egg
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup tepid water (can be increased by 1/4 cup depending on the dryness of your various flours, also rice flour absorbs liquid a lot)
2 tsp active dry yeast
1/2 tsp sugar

Turn on your oven to 150 F.
Before you start measuring all the dry ingredients, mix the yeast with the tepid water and sugar and and set aside (it will start bubbling up a bit).
Then measure your dry ingredients in the mixing bowl of a stand up mixer (rice, sorghum, tapioca, potato, xanthan gum, salt). Pour the water/yeast mixture, the egg and mix with the paddle of the mixer for 4 or 5 mn till all well incorporated, then add the olive oil.
The dough will be a bit sticky but it shouldn't be too wet so after the first cup of water/yeast mixture you can add up to 1/4 cup of water but do it progressively.
Once all incorporated cut a third of the dough and roll it out on a Silpat or if you don't have one on a sheet of parchment paper cut to the size of a jelly roll pan, to the thickness you desire (I rolled mine very thinly and it was perfect), spray or baste a little olive oil on top so it won't dry out, turn of the oven and place the jelly roll pan and let the dough rise in the pre-heated oven for 30 mn.
Roll the rest of the dough on another pan and let it rise in the turned off oven as well. (If you have removable bottom tart pans these will also work just fine).
Then turn on the oven to 375 F and pre-bake the dough for 15mn, take it out and increase the oven temperature to 425 F and place the toppings of your choice on your pizza crust (I kept mine simple with tomato sauce, anchovies, black olives and mozzarella cheese) and put it back in the oven to finish the baking process for a further 15/20 mn.
The result will be a thin crispy crust gluten free pizza.

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