Learn how to make gluten free pizza with this fool-proof method that works every time!
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Weekend play…and weekend pizza night staples!
We went from blizzard conditions during the holiday, to a mid-winter thaw in a matter of weeks! This spot that we trudged through in shin-high snow just a couple weeks ago, made the perfect stone throwing spot to explore this weekend. And while our weather seems to be ever-changing, our weekend pizza night rarely changes – and I can’t wait to share with you how we have been making gluten free pizzas for about the last year!
An old recipe made even better
Years ago, I created a gluten free pizza crust that we used a bit when the girls were little. Back then, gluten free flour blends were really hard to come by, and were not very affordable. I typically bought separate gluten free flours, and had to figure out the right ratios. I kinda sound like one of those people that is telling the stories of walking up hill to school, in two feet of snow, both ways, don’t I?! But it’s true. Gluten free baking has come a *long* way, and it is much easier to manage, with more affordable, more readily available gluten free flour blend options that easily swap cup for cup for regular flour.
Over a year in the making!
This pizza crust has been tweaked and tweaked for over a year, and finally this summer, I really feel like I found the right consistency and baking method. I can’t wait to share this with you, because I know that pizza night is important. It is ok to make the decision to make healthy food, real food, whole foods for your family, and still want to enjoy pizza night. This pizza method is simple enough to get on the meal plan for pizza night on the weekly – and any leftovers pack up great for school lunchboxes too!
The Method :: Waking up the Yeast
Before you get the ingredients into your mixing bowl, you’ll want to get the water, yeast, and sugar mixed together. This will “wake up” the yeast. It only takes a few minutes, and you can get the rest of the ingredients into the bowl while the yeast is sitting in the sugar water. The top of the mixture will foam if your yeast is alive, looking like this picture below.
The Method :: Proofing the Dough
YES, gluten free flour can proof, and expand, just like regular flour! Once you whisk the dry ingredients into the bowl, you’ll add some olive oil, an egg, and also the yeast/water mixture, and stir to combine. You can see how the dough expands in just a half hour of resting. You can let your dough proof for 30 minutes, or you can make the dough in the morning quick, and let it proof all day. This is what I typically do!
The Method :: Forming the Crust
Once the dough has proofed, you can pre-heat your oven and get your crust onto the pizza pan. I like to make two 10-inch pizzas, but this dough does all fit on 1 pizza pan to make a 14-inch pizza. Gluten free dough is sticky. Do NOT add more flour! You need the moisture or the crust will be dry. In fact, you’ll be adding more moisture, because I have found the best way to get the pizza crust formed is to use oiled hands! And a lot of it! Pour olive oil into the palm of your hand, and don’t be shy! Rub the oil in your hands, and then form the pizza dough into the shape you want on a parchment paper lined pizza pan. The extra olive oil will keep the dough from sticking to your hands, and it will also allow the crust to crisp up (not to mention taste amazing!). Once you form your pizza crust, sprinkle the top with sea salt and garlic powder. I like to be sure the edges get completely covered so that the edges of the crust taste amazing – like breadsticks!
The Method :: Par-Baking the Crust
Once you shape the crust, you’ll bake it without any toppings on it for about 12 minutes. This will “set” the pizza crust so it isn’t just a sloppy dough, and you can slide the parchment paper out from underneath the pan. You’re going to be baking this crust at a very hot temperature on the LOWEST rack that your oven can go. This will make the bottom of the crust crisp. Alternatively, if you have a convection setting on your oven, you could use that and keep the pizza on the middle rack. Once you par-bake the crust, and take the parchment paper out, you can add your toppings before baking the pizza the rest of the way!
So let’s talk about those toppings!
I wanted to show you some of our favorites here, but really if your kids are used to pepperoni or just cheese, then go for it! Sometimes we do that too, and I just make sure that we have a big Caesar salad or platter of veggies and dip on the side to get a few veggies in! You can see my original Caesar dressing here, or my dairy free Caesar dressing here. And here are some great dips for a veggie platter too!
And what about the cheese?
I wanted to briefly mention that if you have been around here for a while, you know that we don’t tolerate dairy well! So how do we do pizza night? Well we have a couple of favorite ways. One way is actually to go cheese free completely. We top the pizza with meat & veggies before the par-bake, and then drizzle olive oil and sea salt when it is finished. It is like a focaccia bread, and is SO good. Another option is the Violife coconut oil based “cheese.” It is dairy free, and we get it at Costco. We also like to use Manchego, which is a sheep’s milk cheese. Sheep’s milk and goat’s milk are different than dairy from a cow, and some people that can’t tolerate regular dairy, can tolerate goat’s milk products!
The Method :: Finishing the Pizza
Once you add the toppings to your par-baked crusts, you can pop them back in the oven on the lowest rack for another 10 minutes, or until it is done to your liking.
Gluten Free Pizza
- 1 ½ cups warm water not hot or boiling
- 2 tbsp organic cane sugar
- 1 tbsp active dry yeast
- 3 cups Namaste GF Flour Blend
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- 1 tbsp garlic powder plus more for sprinkling the top of the crust to taste
- 1 tbsp aluminum free baking powder
- 1 tsp sea salt plus more for sprinkling the top of the crust to taste
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp basil
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup olive oil plus more for covering your hands to spread the dough out
Proof the Dough
- Give yourself 30 minutes to let the pizza dough rest before baking. You can also let it sit all day if that works better for your schedule. I tend to make the dough in the morning quick, or when I have a minute before I pick kids up from school sometime in the afternoon, but you can also make the dough, let it rest for 30 minutes and then bake.
- To make the dough, first wake up the yeast by mixing the warm water, cane sugar, and yeast in a pyrex measuring cup. Set this mixture aside while you put the rest of the ingredients into a large mixing bowl. This will give the yeast time to “wake up” – it will get foamy at the top and smell yeasty if it is good yeast. See the picture above to see what it should look like.
- Mix the water/sugar/yeast mixture into the mixing bowl with the rest of the ingredients until everything is combined. Put a lid on the bowl, or cover it with a towel. Let the dough rest at least 30 minutes, or up to all day if you need to make it in the morning. The dough will get bigger in size after resting (see the pictures above)
Make and Par-Bake the Crust
- Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees, and put the oven rack on the lowest spot it can go.
- Line one or two pizza pans with parchment paper. 1 pan will yield a large, 14-inch pizza. Or you can make two 10-inch pizzas.
- If you are doing 2 pizzas, divide the dough in half, and scoop the dough onto the middle of the parchment paper on the pizza pans. If you are doing 1 pizza, scoop all of the dough onto the middle of the parchment paper.
- Next, you’ll form the crust into the shape you want. To keep the dough from sticking to your hands, pour a good palm-full of olive oil in your hand, and rub into both hands. Form the dough into a circle. It will seem like a lot of oil on your hands, but trust me, this is ok! And even good! It crisps up the dough and makes it so flavorful.
- Once you have formed your pizza crust into the shape you want, sprinkle sea salt and garlic all over the crust, making sure that the edges of the crust where the toppings don’t go get the most so that the edge of the crust is super yummy and flavorful.
- Bake the crust(s) at 450 degrees for 12 minutes. Take the pans out of the oven, and use a spatula to lift the crust up and pull the parchment paper out. Leave the crust on the pizza pan without the parchment paper.
Put the Toppings on the Pizza & Bake
- Put your toppings on the par-baked pizza crust and bake at 450 degrees for another 10 to 15 minutes to the done-ness that you like.
This sounds so delicious! Is there a yeast substitute I can use? We have one allergic to yeast.
I’m not sure how to do it without the yeast!