Monday, May 4, 2015

Gluten Free, Dairy Free Homemade Pizza Crust (vegan)

I love pizza.  But who doesn't right? It's actually considered the world's most popular food and for those of us who can't eat gluten this can be very depressing. Especially when we discover that most gluten free pizza crusts lack the flavor and texture that traditional glutenous crusts have. Well, this crust is definitely not lacking in flavor or that nice chewy texture and reminds me of when my mom used to make homemade pizza for my sisters and I pre anti-gluten days.

If you don't have one already, I highly recommend getting a stand mixer.   This dough requires some hefty kneading that really only a stand mixer can do.  One of those artisan Kitchenaid mixers works wonders. However, I have kneaded this by hand and it is still possible to make this crust.
I recommend using certain brands of flour which I believe produce the best results as far as taste and texture. One in particular is Zocalo Peru organic sweet potato flour.  The sweet potato flour is my secret ingredient in this recipe. It gives the crust a nice chew and retains moisture well. There are other brands of sweet potato flour out there but I have not tried them so let me know if you do! I am always interested in hearing what other folks use in their recipes.

For a regular thin crust pizza I use a 13 inch round pizza pan. You can also use a standard cookie sheet.  It takes up about 3/4 of the sheet depending on how thin you want it.   I have tried a pizza stone in the past but was not successful. The pizza ended up sticking to it. But I am no expert in pizza stones so....

Please note: Always check labels and manufacturing processes to ensure there is no evidence of any food allergens you may be sensitive to. 

 Homemade Pizza Crust: (gluten free, dairy free, vegan)
3/4 cup (90g) tapioca flour
3/4 cup + 1 Tablespoon (98g) brown rice flour (Authentic Foods brand)
1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons (84g) white rice flour (Authentic Foods brand)
1/4 cup (32g) sweet potato flour (Zocalo Peru organic brand)
2 Tablespoons (25g) cane sugar*
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
2 1/4 teaspoons or 1 packet rapid rise instant yeast (Fleischmann's)
2 Tablespoons canola/vegetable oil plus extra
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 cup warm water
1-2 Tablespoons corn meal for dusting
1 teaspoon gluten free flour of choice for dusting

*You can substitute the cane sugar with maple syrup for a less refined source. Just reduce the amount of water you add.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Grease a 13 inch round pizza pan or standard cookie sheet and dust with flour and corn meal. 

Combine the yeast, apple cider vinegar, oil and water in a bowl and set aside to allow the yeast to hydrate.  In a large mixing bowl combine the tapioca flour, brown rice flour, white rice flour, sweet potato flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and xanthan gum. 

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix on low (use the paddle attachment for Kitchenaid mixers then once combined, switch to the dough hook to knead). Once the dry ingredients have combined with the wet, scrape down the sides and mix on low for three minutes.

After three minutes lightly oil hands and start to shape the dough into a flat disc. Lay the dough onto the prepared pizza pan and flatten from the middle out using the palm of your hand.  You can also use a rolling pin.  Leave the edges thick for the crust.  Loosely cover the dough with wax paper and place in the oven to rise for 25 minutes. Turn off the oven while it is rising. 

After 25 minutes remove the dough from the oven and place it on the stove top or draft free counter top still covered. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Once the oven comes to temperature remove the wax paper from the dough, spritz the edges with water (optional-prevents cracking), and place the dough on the bottom rack.  Bake for 8-10 minutes.  Then remove from the oven and let cool for about ten minutes. Once cooled coat the edges with oil (I like to use olive oil for this). Now it's ready for toppings. Once toppings are added place back into the oven on the middle rack and bake for about 10-12 minutes. For a crisp crust bake directly on oven rack.

Recipe for Pizza Toppings:
2 1/2 ounces precooked breakfast sausage (omit for vegan)
3-4 ounces Daiya brand imitation mozzarella shreds
4 Tablespoons tomato sauce or dairy free pesto 
6 ounces spinach, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1-2 Tablespoons olive oil

In a bowl, mix the garlic, spinach, olive oil and salt. Evenly spread a thin layer of tomato sauce or dairy free pesto onto the pizza crust. Then add the spinach mix, sausage and Daiya "cheese".  Bake in the oven on the middle rack for 10-12 minutes at 400 degrees. 

For those of you with a discerning eye, you may have noticed that the upper left side of the pizza in this picture has browned a bit.  Well, unfortunately I have to share my pizza so I usually make one portion of it with dairy for my son and husband. Regular dairy cheese will brown whereas the Daiya imitation cheese does not. Mystery solved!


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