Saturday, November 16, 2013

Bake it! Gluten-free Pizza - Cup4Cup

Pork, tomato, chorizo, and CHEESE pizza
Prior to the appearance of pizza take-away businesses in our area, one of the things my parents let us cook was Chef Boyardee pizza mix.

My Chef Boy-Ar-Dee.  Truth!

Truth?  Or better merchandising? 

EZ-Bake pizza oven (WANT)
It was marketed in a yellow box back then - see above - and came with a generous can of red sauce (you could make English muffin pizzas with the excess), plus dry pizza mix, and a pouch of desiccated Parmesan.

The result was consistently good tasting, and even better topped with slices of hot dog. (Never any veggies, because we were just kids.)

My sister and I learned how to follow instructions, the value of patience, and came away with a sense of accomplishment.  

However, when the mix was too old from sitting on a store shelf, the dough wouldn’t rise.

I was reminded of that today, because I was mixing up a batch of pizza crust.

Ding-dong, the yeast was dead. 

My leavening had been frozen for over ten years, but it doesn’t last forever even under ideal conditions.

So, I started a “sponge” – flour, warm water, sugar - and left it on the counter overnight.  It was full of gas bubbles the next day.

Upskirt shot of a perfect crust
I used this fermented starter for the initial dough rise, pre-baked the crust, and topped the first pie with b├ęchamel, blue cheese, onions, mushrooms – and all the meaty leftovers I found in the refrigerator.

It was good.
Gluten-free pizza
Gluten Free Pizza Shells
Adapted from Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods
Makes 2 12-inch shells
(There is no wheat, soy, or preservatives in this recipe.)

Optional Sponge: *

1 cup Gluten-free Flour (I used Cup4Cup brand)
1 tsp. White Sugar
½ cup Warm Water

In a bowl, mix all together and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Leave on the counter 12 to 24 hours until foamy. You are capturing wild yeast.

Refrigerate until ready to use.

*Use 2 tsp. yeast as a substitute for sponge

Add to room-temperature sponge:

¾ cup Warm Water
1 Egg
1 TB Sunflower or Olive Oil
1 tsp. White Sugar
2 tsp. Xanthan Gum
1 ½ Cups Gluten-free Flour
½ tsp. Salt

Additional items:

Waxed Paper
Food Processor
Sheet Pan or Pizza Stone


Heat oven to 400f

Place dry ingredients in a food processor.

On low, add sponge, egg, oil, and water.

Beat 2 minutes on medium power until batter is smooth.

Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place for 1-3 hours until risen slightly.  Gluten-free flour dough does not double in size.

Press dough onto waxed paper sprinkled with cornmeal. Oil your hands if sticky. 

Place on baking sheet or slide onto pizza stone.

Bake 10-12 minutes, until done, but not browned.

Paper will peel off when cooked. 

As Good As Pizza Gets
Make Pizza:

Preheat oven to 400f

Top with your favorite pre-cooked toppings.

Bake 20-30 minutes, until the bottom is browned and the top bubbly.
Cup4Cup Pizza

Can't wait for that wood-fired pizza oven to be built!