I like pizza – and I don’t think I’m alone in saying that.
The combination of bread crust, tomato and seasonings, dripping cheese, and a plethora of toppings makes our mouths water.
It’s become an American icon – the typical birthday party menu, the morning, noon, and night sustenance for college attendees, and the mom-doesn’t-want-to-cook-tonight option for dinner.
We have Italian immigrants from the late 19th century to thank. Little did they know it would soon be dubbed America’s favorite food. They in turn have the Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians to thank. There’s evidence that they were eating flat, unleavened bread cooked in mud ovens and topped with olive oil and native spices long before the rest of us. See, I told you I wasn’t alone.
This gluten-free, casein-free pizza crust recipe found its way to my recipe files. With some tweaking, tugging, and rearranging, a pizza crust was born that has won it’s way into the hearts – and stomachs – of my family.
We use this same recipe for the crust of our Cactus Bread Dessert Pizza.
Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Pizza Crust (makes 2 crusts) (gluten-free)
1 3/4 c. warm water (80-100 degrees)
1 T. dry yeast
1/4 c. cane sugar, divided
1 1/2 t. celtic sea salt
4 2/3 c. GF Flour Mix
3 eggs (or 4 1/2 T. egg replacer powder)
3 1/2 t. xanthan gum
1/4 c. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter (you can substitute this with coconut oil)
1 t. apple cider vinegar
cornmeal, for dusting pans
1. In a small bowl combine dry yeast and warm water. From the 1/4 c. cane sugar, measure out and add 2 teaspoons to the yeast water. Save the rest of the cane sugar for later use. Stir yeast water with a fork until dissolved. Place a folded towel over the top of the bowl and let sit (sponge) for 15 min. or until bubbly.
2. Melt butter in a small pan and let cool, but not to the point that it becomes firm again.
3. Preheat oven to 400 and grease two pizza pans. Sprinkle them with cornmeal.
4. Combine the remaining cane sugar, salt, GF Flour Mix, eggs, and the xanthan gum in mixing bowl and whisk until fully incorporated. Add the butter and vinegar to the bubbly yeast water. Pour the wet mixture in the mixing bowl with the dry ingredients and mix on high for two minutes. The batter will start out soupy and then resemble a very thick cake batter.
5. Divide the dough in half and place the first half on the prepared pizza pan.
6. Spread the dough out on the pan with wet hands. The dough it quite sticky so I’ve found it easiest to wet my hands under the faucet, shake the excess water off, and then spread the dough out using my hands. You’ll need to re-wet and shake several times.
7. You can now stop here and freeze the crusts for later use. Or you continue on by pre-baking the crust for 10 minutes in your preheated (400 degree) oven. (If you do freeze your crust, you will need to let it thaw to room temperature before proceeding with this step.)
8. Next, add the Pizza Sauce and your favorite toppings.
9. Bake for and additional 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted and lightly browned.