November 14, 2010 by Flora Dawn
My kids love pizza. I typically made it from scratch, but since going gluten free it hasn’t quite been the same. I did find a way to get a nice thick crust pizza and I posted the recipe a while ago. However, I was looking for something simpler and quicker that would be more suitable for lunch or a hectic weeknight dinner. Also, although the kids and I like thick crust pizza, my husband would prefer a crispy, thin crust.
Well, after dozens of attempts I finally succeeded. I made pizza that is chewy, with a crisp crust, and no weird taste or texture. It is a thin crust, but definitely not cracker-like, which is what most gluten free thin crust recipes produce.
There are a few tricks I have discovered to get a crispy crust. The first is to invert a rimmed cookie sheet and place it in the oven while it heats. If you roll out your crust on parchment paper or a silpat mat, it is super easy to get the crust into the hot oven an onto the cookie sheet. I cook it on the silpat mat so that I can easily remove it from the oven as well.
The second trick is to bake is without toppings. I am not really sure why, maybe its the weight of the toppings or the fat, but the crust has a much better texture if you bake just the dough first.
Then you add toppings, place back in the oven for the cheese to melt and the toppings to heat, only this time you place it directly on the rack. The result is a perfectly crisp crust with a chewy interior.
I found white rice flour, cornstarch and potato starch yielded the best results (probably because they mimic the highly refined white flour we are so used to eating in pizza). Okay, so this recipe isn’t the healthiest out there. But it is pizza after all, it never really was a healthful meal. And the dough is super easy to handle, so it’s great for the kids too. What kid doesn’t like to make their own pizza?
So, next time your family wants pizza, give this recipe a try. Don’t be afraid of making your own yeast dough, with no stand mixer, pizza peel, or pizza stone required-it can’t get much easier than this. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised that gluten free pizza can taste this good!
It sounds more complicated than it really is; so I decided to post photos so you can follow the process step-by-step.
Easy Gluten Free Pizza Crust
makes 2 8-inch pizzas (The recipe can be doubled, but the dough gets a bit difficult to stir; I have to mix with my hands).
I like to add Italian Seasoning to the crust, just to give it some extra flavor. Dried Garlic and/or onions would also work great.
- 1 1/4 cup white rice flour
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 cup potato starch
- 1 tsp xanthan gum
- 1 package (2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 large egg whites
- 2 TB olive oil
- 3/4 cup warm water (about 110 degrees)
- 1/2 tsp or so Italian Seasoning, optional
- Dust 2 silpat mats, or 2 12-inch long pieces or parchment paper, with cornstarch and set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together the rice flour and starches, xanthan gum, yeast, sugar, salt and Italian Seasoning if using. In a small bowl (I use a glass measuring cup that I measured the water in) combine water, egg whites and oil.
- Pour water mixture into dry ingredients, and stir with a wooden spoon until dough forms and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. This happens quickly.
- Divide the dough into two balls. Place each ball of dough on a prepared silpat mats or parchment paper. Press the dough with your hands into an 8-inch circle; it should be about 1/4 of an inch thick. Let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, place oven rack in center position and place rimmed baking sheet (also called a jellyroll pan) upside down on the rack. Preheat oven to 450.
- Pick up one pizza dough portion, silpat or parchment and all, and place on the preheated baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes or until puffed slightly and browned on the bottom. Remove from oven and repeat with the remaining dough. Carefully remove the baking sheet when the second pizza dough is done baking.
- Top pizza crusts as desired (pizza sauce, mozzarella and pepperoni is a winning combo at our house). Return pizzas to oven, only this time place them directly on the oven rack; this ensures a nice crisp crust. Bake for about 5 minutes, or until toppings are hot and cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove from oven, slice and enjoy.