Blog | How to Make Easy Gluten-Free Pizza
How to Make Easy Gluten-Free Pizza
May 3, 2011
During the ten years I've taught gluten-free baking classes, two questions are asked more than any others: "How do I make bread?" and "How do I make pizza?" Bread and pizza. My favorites.
You want a great, easy pizza crust, right? Here's what to do: start with a Chebe bread mix. My students have never gasped but, I can tell, they've come close. They know that I bake from scratch. This recipe is the exception to that rule.
Why a mix? Because of the modified tapioca starch it contains, Chebe makes an excellent pizza crust with the "chew" that's so often missing from gluten-free baked goods. Since buying modified tapioca starch is a pain, I use the Chebe mix.
I'm not a food scientist. So, honestly, I don't fully understand the process of making modified tapioca starch. My research proved somewhat futile, likely because modifying tapioca starch is a proprietary process. All I've been able to glean is that when an inorganic material is added to the starch, the characteristics of the starch change. In the case of tapioca starch, we are left with a super-stretchy starch.
How stretchy? Gluten-like stretchy.
You could almost toss this dough over your head like they do at pizzerias. Prepared as the package directs, I find Chebe unpleasantly chewy. Slightly doctored, however, it makes a great pizza.
Add white or brown rice flour, baking powder, and salt to the mix. That's right—baking powder. Telling pizza-savvy SE'rs that this crust can be made without yeast makes me a little nervous. But it's the truth: this crust is excellent without yeast. Since restaurants serving safe gluten-free pizza are still hard to find, it's great being able to make this last-minute crust without having to allow it to rise.
If the thought of a yeast-free pizza is anathema to you, no problem! Replace the baking powder with one packet of active dry yeast. When leavened with yeast, the dough needs to go through about an hour of bulk fermentation (rising in the bowl) and about 45 minutes of pan rise. The baking powder dough? Just mix it up, place it into the pan and bake.
Speaking of baking, no matter which version you use, yeast or baking powder, bake the crustbeforebefore you top it. Topping the raw dough and then baking makes for one really soggy pizza. I like all types of pizza, but soggy crust pizza isn't one of them.
After adding the wet ingredients to the flour and Chebe mix, the dough looks chunky. Turn the dough onto your counter and begin kneading.
At first the dough isn't smooth. As you knead it, it becomes smooth and elastic.
The finished dough looks like this. Pretty, isn't it?
Roll out the dough and lift it into the pan.
Bake the crust, top the dough, and return pizza to the oven.
Click here for the recipe!