Where to begin?
(Let’s talk about pizza! This is an important post, and even more so for those who eat gluten free!! I just realized this is going to be a blog post where I actively must control my exclamation points, because I am that excited!! I was talking to a friend about this the other day…rereading work emails and realizing you need to tone down the excitement. Ha!
Anyways, finding a good, airy gluten free crust can be quite the challenge. Generally speaking, I will take anything I can get because having pizza at all is such a treat. BUT, here we go - These have amazing texture, hold their shape and the flavor is just like a regular, gluten filled crust! Air bubbles are even beginning to be a regular occurrence!
For the past year or so, I have been learning to expand my gluten free baking skills through the guidance of Gluten Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois (pictured below). I was initially intimidated by the process they propose as the recipes guide you to make roughly four servings of one-pound loaves depending on the recipe. This breaks down to a much higher volume of the necessary ingredients. The benefit is having dough ready-made that can be stored in the refrigerator for about a week or frozen for use later amounting to four meals or so. When you’re ready for fresh bread, you pull off the desired size dough ball, shape and bake it! It is a little more work on the front end preparing the ‘Master Mix’ as I call it, but it is definitely worth it.
The Master Mix
The ‘Master Mix’ contains white rice flour (I sub brown), sorghum flour, tapioca flour/starch, potato starch and psyllium husk. I also often substitute the potato starch for corn starch, which has produced favorable results. The mixture makes about four and a half pounds of flour mixture, which can be used for many different variations of bread, pizza dough, bagels and SO much more. Here is the recipe:
Brown/White Rice Flour: 2 pounds, 4 ounces (6 cups)
Sorghum Flour: 1 pound (3 ¼ cups)
Tapioca Flour/Starch: 8 ounces (1 ¾ cups)
Potato Starch: 8 ounces: (1 ¾ cups)
Psyllium Husk/Xanthan Gum: 1.4 ounces (1/4 cups)
Measuring ingredients by weight has been one of the most important tips I have learned since I started baking. Measuring ingredients by volume leaves a ton of room for error and differences between recipes depending on how compact the flour is, how much you compress it, etc. We use a digital scale that was less than $20 and is used almost daily, so well worth it!
I put all the dry ingredients in an airtight food storage container. I became obsessed with these containers a few months back. They are airtight and store all dry ingredients, protein powder, etc in these. The brand is Vtopmart. They’re affordable and of course, on Amazon, shocker!
Master Mix to Perfect Pizza
Back to the pizza! Now from this ‘Master Mix’ mentioned previously you can get into a bunch of different recipes. The beautiful thing about preparing the mixture is the versatility past that point. Recipe for pizza/flatbread dough:
Master Mix: 1 pound, 11 ounces (5 cups)
Cornmeal: 9 ounces (1 ½ cups)
Potato Starch: 6 ounces (1 cup)
Psyllium husk: 2 t
Yeast: .35 ounces (1 T)
Salt .6 ounces (1 T-1 ½ T)
Lukewarm water (110 degrees): 1 pound, 14 ounces (3 ¾ cups)
Olive oil: 3 ¾ ounces (1/2 cup)
Egg whites: 4 ounces (3-4 eggs)
A few potential substitutions to consider – for the cornmeal, masa harina is a potential. Masa harina is used to make corn tortilla and the difference may be presented in the grind size compared to corn meal which is finer. The corn is also ground with lime, so there is a very slight acidic tinge. I honestly discovered this sub, because I ran out of corn meal, but it worked great and I will use these as a 1:1 sub. The second option is with the potato starch. As with the ‘Master Mix’, substituting corn starch for potato starch is perfectly fine and may actually have benefited a few batches.
Mix together all the dry ingredients. Whisk all wet ingredients in a separate bowl, or large measuring cup to make it easier to pour. In either a stand mixer or large bowl, slowly add the wet into dry until fully mixed. This is the time when the yeast will really start to evolve into the flour, so if you’re using a stand mixer, give it a solid five minutes of beating. Cover the dough, but not airtight for at least two hours. The longer the better to let the dough develop.
Cue the fast forward through the rise process and grab a hunk of dough. For a large size pizza about 24 ounces, or for a small personal pan pizza about 8 ounces! Add any ingredients you would like to top the pizza. Don’t be afraid to get a little messy with the flour while you’re flattening the dough. Dust an ample amount so the dough doesn’t stick either to the rolling pin or parchment.
The best method of cooking pizza I have found is with a pizza stone or cast iron vessel that can be pre-heated before the dough hits it. If you don’t have something that can be pre-heated though, don’t sweat it. Slap some parchment paper down on a baking sheet and place it in a 450 degree oven for 16-18 minutes.
Happy pizza making! Give me a shout in the comments if you try the recipe! :)
Becca Wagner-Sharing our love for food, nature, gardening and all the career coaching resources! Explore the blog to get a closer look at recipe development and process with our lifelong commitment to sustaining our land.