This part of my life began when my very sick partner was diagnosed with Celiac. Even the slightest exposure to gluten can make him very ill for several days, so I have pursued gluten-free options with thorough aggression. In the U.S. a recent surge of gluten awareness means we have more choices than ever, but it still means hunting and analyzing and tracking down parent companies. After several years now of doing so, I want to share my tricks and tips with others who are still struggling.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Best Gluten-Free Thin Crust Pizza Recipe

After trying nearly a dozen gluten-free thin-crust pizza recipes over the years...I finally have a winner.  THIS RECIPE from user ukichix has the fewest ingredients, and happens to make a perfect crispy, slightly chewy thin crust.  For those with multiple sensitivities, it also happens to be casein, soy, dairy, gum and egg-free. 

UPDATE:  10/18/14

I have made quite a few improvements to the recipe, so I am posting my modified version here instead of linking to the original:

1/2 cup white rice flour
2/3 cup tapioca or potato starch
2 tablespoons sweet white rice flour
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Just shy of 1 cup hot tap water (start with 1 3/4 and add if needed)
handful of cornmeal for dusting pizza pan
Bowl of olive oil for spreading dough

  1. Let the yeast, sugar and water sit in a warm place to start bubbling.  If it doesn't start forming bubbles/foam on top after five minutes, your yeast has gone off and needs replacing.
  2. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit
  3. Sprinkle/dust a pizza pan or cookie sheet with cornmeal
  4. mix flours
  5. Stir in water/yeast/sugar mix and stir until incorporated.  You should have a wet dough that clumps instead of drips, but isn't so dry that you can handle it with your hands without it sticking.  Like thick mud.
  6. Spread it in the pizza pan with oiled fingers, and dip your fingers in the oil each time the dough starts to stick.  You want it no thicker than 1/8 inch in any one place.  A patting motion works better than a smoothing motion to spread the dough.

Let rise in a warm place for 20-30 minutes.
Bake for 15 minutes
Spread sauce, cheese, and/or toppings, and bake for an additional 8-10 minutes until done.

A few notes on the making:

1.  If you are just starting gluten-free, replace your old pizza stone.  There is no way to remove the gluten remnants from the pores of the stone, and it can contaminate anything you bake on it.
2.  Heavy duty kitchen shears work better to cut the pizza than a rolling pizza cutter or knife.

This recipe also makes a quick garlic crackerbread appetizer with spreadable goat cheese.  Here's how:
  1. Make the recipe as listed 
  2. During the first 15 minute bake, mix 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp onion powder, 1/4 tsp dried oregano, and a dash of salt and pepper. 
  3. After the initial 15 minute bake, brush olive oil mix over entire crust (to the edges).
  4. Bake for an additional 7-8 minutes, keeping a close eye on it to prevent burning.
  5. Cut into squares for homemade crispy garlic flatbread, and serve with soft cheeses or bruschetta.  
To make Italian Cheese Bread, use the garlic crackerbread recipe but add extra Parmesan and a couple handfuls of shredded mozzarella for the second bake.