Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Pizza Win!

Before gluten became poison, we had pizza night every week. I spend months perfecting my recipe. It was tasty and light and easy to work with, and it was a very cool kids' birthday party activity. My heart broke a bit when I realized it was not feasible anymore, so I set to work pretty early on to find a pizza we could rely on. Wow, that was stressful. So many failures! Bad texture (I do not like eating blocks of gluey crust), too much prep work (sticky dough is a huge pain), and pre-baking the crusts made a simple dinner take way too long. Nothing was inedible, but nothing was worth doing twice.

I looked everywhere, and finally during a random trip to Whole Foods I found a baking issue of Living Without that had a master pizza dough recipe in it. It used a high-protein flour blend that was listed in the back of the issue, and it used easy to find flours. And best of all: no pre-baking! Just whip it up, lay it out on hot stones, top and bake. I spied my next pizza attempt.

While my Kitchen-Aid went to work on the dough and the stones heated, I crossed my fingers. I was thrilled with the firm, workable, non-sticky dough and how easy it was to roll out onto parchment. It was very strong, too, no random holes or stretching. As I slid the pizza-laden parchment onto the stones, I looked at my husband and said firmly, "That was way too easy. This better taste good!"

After a whole 12 minutes in the oven, they were done. Dinner had taken me all of 25 minutes to put together, with very little labor. Score.

Check it out. That is success on a pizza pan.

And best of all, it tastes good. Not great, but good. Strong, tender-chewy, and worthy of tweaking to perfection! I'll be working on it over the next few weeks and when I get it right I will post a step-by-step recipe. For now, this is my version of the one that made the cut:

2 cups gluten free flour blend (I used this one)
1/2 cup chickpea flour
1/2 cup millet flour
3 tsp xanthan gum 
1 tsp salt
5 tsp yeast
1 1/3 cups warm water
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp sugar or honey

Preheat oven and pizza stones to 440*. Proof yeast in water with sugar until foamy.
Combine flours, salt, xanthan gum, and any desired seasoning in a stand mixer and blend. Add yeast and olive oil, and mix on medium heat for 3-5 minutes. 
Roll out dough onto greased or floured parchment paper into 2 12-inch pizzas. Let rise 10 minutes if desired. Top and slide carefully onto hot stones and bake for 10-15 minutes. Slice and enjoy!