My friend Mary, a long-time reader, cook and gardener who lives in Boston, spent decades living with the effects of undiagnosed gluten- and dairy- intolerance before changing her diet a few years ago. She cooks often from this blog, and when she offered to share her recipe for gluten-free pizza dough, I was thrilled. This is Mary's first guest post for The Perfect Pantry.
Before I went gluten- and dairy-free, I would have told you that my survival food on a desert island would be whole wheat bread, peanut butter and Greek yogurt. I was a lover of all things bread. My husband and I built a large wood-fired bread oven in our back yard, and we always kept a bucket or two of dough in the fridge. Unexpected guests were treated to yummy flatbreads, pizzas and calzones. A handful of this or that, a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkle of salt and a few fresh herbs, a shave of Parmigiano-Reggiano and maybe an egg or two on top of yeasty crust made a luscious lunch.
Until it didn’t work, and my tummy rebelled.
Delicious pizza is the favorite food that was hardest to recreate in gluten- and dairy-free form. If you order gluten-free pizza in a restaurant, chances are that the crust will be a small pre-fab round that is white and gummy and will turn to inedible cardboard as soon as it is cool.
And often the texture isn't great, either. Gluten-free dough lacks the long gluten strands that hold it together while you roll out or toss it up in the air to make a thin crust. Many versions are totally tasteless; you might was well throw some tomato sauce on mashed potatoes and call it pizza.
My mom’s food mantra was “food value,” and I've never forgotten that. After three years of experimentation (starting with a recipe from Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day), I came up with a multi-grain flatbread “bucket dough” that has food value and is delicious. The addition of almond, garbanzo and sorghum flours give the dough some umami and increase the protein content, and the cornmeal and flax give it some pleasant crunchiness.
The ingredient list is long, but the resulting large amount of dough can be refrigerated and used fresh over a week, or frozen in 12 balls in individual packages and used over a couple of months. The dough is very easy to make -- no kneading, just mix up a big bowl by hand. And there are lots of ideas here on The Perfect Pantry for toppings, too.
Gluten-free flatbread or pizza dough
Note: Bob's Red Mill sells many of the flour products used in this recipe. Makes 12 12-inch pizzas or flatbreads.
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup potato flour
1 cup almond flour
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup garbanzo flour
2 cups brown rice flour
2-1/4 cups cornmeal
1/4 cup flax meal
1 Tbsp kosher salt
2 Tbsp xanthan gum
2 Tbsp yeast
2 large eggs
1/2 cup olive oil
3-1/4 cups water
In a large bowl whisk together first 11 ingredients (the dry ingredients).
In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, olive oil and water (the wet ingredients).
Add the wet ingredients to the dry bowl, and stir well with a big wooden spoon. The dough should be soft to the touch but hold its shape.
Cover with plastic wrap, and let it sit on the counter for 2-3 hours to rise by half.
Use right away, store in the fridge for 4-5 days, or freeze 12 individual balls of dough that are slightly smaller than a tennis ball in sandwich-size zip-lock bags. Each ball of dough makes a 12-inch thin-crust flatbread or pizza.
The dough is too fragile to roll out, so here is how I handle it.
For flatbread or pizza, I oil a cold large frying pan or a cookie sheet (1-2 teaspoons of olive oil), and flatten the dough by placing my hand in a plastic bag and pressing the dough to desired thickness.
Cook one side over low-medium heat for 3-4 minutes, until lightly browned. Flip (once the dough has been cooked on one side it is easy to flip) and top with oil, herbs and salt for flatbread, or pizza toppings, and finish cooking until the bottom of the crust is golden brown. To caramelize veggies and other toppings, pop the pizza under the pre-heated broiler, on high, for a few minutes. Watch carefully as the crust will brown quickly.
For pizza in the oven (which I do for a larger pizza or mini-pizzas), preheat the oven to 400°F. Bake the dough for about 5 minutes, then add toppings and finish cooking in the oven for a few minutes.
To make grilled pizza, I oil a sheet of tin foil, press out the dough and cook on the grill until the bottom side is lightly browned. Flip the uncooked side directly onto grill, add toppings, and cook a few more minutes.
More gluten-free and dairy-free pizza topping ideas:
Spicy baba ganoush pita pizza, from FatFree Vegan Kitchen
Butternut squash pizza with maple glazed Brussels sprouts, hazelnuts and dates, from Dishing Up the Dirt
Crispy eggplant and harissa flatbread with greens, from The First Mess
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