Eating gluten-free at home can be a breeze when you have total control over your cooking environment and ingredients. The problems start when you research ingredients and each recipe contains a lengthy list of expensive gluten-free substitutions far beyond the means of most. Another is the fear that some dishes they once loved will no longer be available to them. Pizza seemed like a natural choice. Many of my friends with gluten allergies are still fearful of ordering the “gluten-free” option from pizza joints. Since they cannot be certain that there is no cross contamination on the prep stations or in the ovens, they usually resign to a no-pizza diet. For others, they roam the frozen aisle at the grocery store hoping to find a new bake-and-eat brand with more flavour and less rock-hard crust.
This week I wanted to tackle creating a recipe that is easy for home cooks. My goal was to develope a dough with an ingredient list not so different from regular pizza and one that comes together in under an hour. After reviewing several recipes this seemed like no small feat. My two key ingredients are pre-blended, all-purpose, gluten-free flour and xanthan gum. Xanthan gum is a common ingredient in gluten-free recipes because it acts as a modifier and thickening agent. In short, xanthan gum helps thicken flours that do not contain gluten, which is a protein that thickens the consistency of recipes. With these two ingredients we are able to create a delicious pizza that is more cost effective and stress-free than most.
Seeing as I’ve made it more than six times in the past month for friends, I’d say it is a hit! Whether you eat gluten or not, this pizza dough is a great recipe for everyone!
Looking for more from your pizza dough? Try stirring in some ground flaxseed for healthy omega-3 fats and protein.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
2 cups Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Xanthan Gum
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 tablespoon liquid honey or agave
1 cup warm water
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1/8 cup medium ground cornmeal
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup sliced zucchini
1/4 cup sliced eggplant
2 crimini mushroom caps, sliced
1 teaspoon oregano
1. In a medium bowl, combine the yeast, honey, water and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Stir and set aside.
2. Combine the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder and salt in another medium bowl.
3. Add 1/3 cup of the dry ingredients to the yeast mixture and stir once. Set the yeast mixture aside and let it expand for 30 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 500F with a baking sheet inside.
5. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and beat with a hand mixer for 3 minutes until very thick and sticky. Arrange a piece of tin foil or parchment paper the size of the baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with cornmeal to prevent sticking.
6. Scoop the dough out on to the tin foil or parchment paper and using a wet spatula smooth out into your desired shape. For best results, spread the dough until it is 1/4-inch thick. Continue wetting the spatula for easy spreading.
7. Carefully remove the baking sheet from the oven and slide the pizza dough with paper onto it. Return to the oven for 10 minutes.
8. Remove from the oven and top with tomato sauce, cheese, vegetables and oregano; bake for an additional 10 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.
9. Slide the pizza off the paper or foil onto a cutting board. Slice and serve immediately.
Amanda Garbutt is the host of The Hot Plate, a free online cooking show dedicated to inspiring culinary confidence in new cooks. The Hot Plate also offers regular cooking tips and advice, how-tos, and information on seasonal ingredients.
by Amanda Garbutt