Okay, folks. Please don’t think that I’ve used the term loosely. When I claim this to be the best gluten-free pizza crust, I’m not messin’ with you. It is “spot on” in taste and texture.
Ever since my nine-year-old granddaughter, Sophia, was diagnosed as gluten intolerant, I’ve been searching for the best options to have on hand for when she visits. There are so many good products out there. Way more than a few years ago. Especially delicious baked goods …even some really good pasta and bread products. I’ve had real success in making some treats for her …she goes crazy over my gluten-free ice cream sandwiches and chocolate lace sandwich cookies, to name just a few. Oh wait, the gluten-free corn pups are a big hit, too. There are so many that you should check them out …just type “gluten-free” in the search box and you’ll be able to see them all. But, really, the whole pizza thing has been buggin’ me.
As a family, we all enjoy homemade pizza and now that my daughter, Jen, is also gluten-free …the importance of figuring out how to make a good gluten-free crust has become a top priority! Thanks to Dr. Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François, who co-authored the book, Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day, it is now possible to make excellent gluten-free pizza crust at home. Who knew? And I had this cookbook on my shelf the whole time.
I need to repeat myself on this one since it bears repeating. It is that important. This is an excerpt from my earlier post on gluten-free artisan bread… “I will confess that my first attempt at this didn’t turn out so well. It had nothing to do with technique. It had everything to do with my not reading the instructions carefully. As a result, I substituted a few of the ingredients with what was more readily available to me at my local store. I found out the hard way that you cannot substitute sweet rice flour for stone ground rice flour. And that potato starch and potato flour are two very different things. If you have trouble finding any of the ingredients listed for the all-purpose flour mixture, don’t worry. You can purchase them directly from Bob’s Red Mill. Also, they are all available on Amazon.” I am happy to report that since I published that post last year, every one of the Bob’s Red Mill ingredients pictured is now consistently available at my local market. Hopefully at yours, too.
Please don’t let this intimidate you. It may seem like a lot to go through but, really, if you have a serious issue with gluten or someone close to you does …you’ll find that it’s worth the effort. And the best part is that once you mix up your customized gluten-free all-purpose flour, you’ll store it in a large container and have it handy for all of your baking needs. The key is to measure each ingredient carefully …I found that measuring in grams on my food scale works out very well.
For the purpose of presentation, I used a large (not really large enough) glass bowl so that you could see the layers of ingredients in the photo. But, as the authors state …“The ingredients must be very well mixed, otherwise, the xanthan gum or psyllium will not be evenly distributed and your loaves will be inconsistent. Whisk and mix the ingredients in a 5- to 6-quart lidded container. Finish by picking up the container and vigorously shaking until the flours are completely blended.”
Let’s move onto making our pizza dough. The yeast is sprinkled in with the rest of the dry ingredients. Once the dry ingredients are well combined, the lukewarm water is added along with the eggs whites and olive oil. It is recommended that the water be right around 100° so that the yeast can be properly activated. If you have a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment to mix up the dough for one to two minutes. If you don’t have a stand mixer, give it a good stir for about two minutes until the mixture is very smooth.
The dough will be thick and creamy …almost like a thick cake batter. No reason for concern here. After a two hour rest at room temperature, the dough will thicken and rise quite a bit …even more so after it is thoroughly chilled. This recipe makes a total of 60 ounces of dough.
Over the next five days, reach in the fridge & grab about a half-pound of dough (or whatever amount you need) and proceed with your recipe. If you aren’t able to use all of the dough within five days, wrap it in half-pound packages and throw it in the freezer. For best results, be sure to use it within two weeks.
Here’s a sample of how this dough can be used to make a thin-crust Margherita pizza. The dough was tacky and a bit difficult to work with since I didn’t refrigerate it first …but it was still delicious and crispy. Keep in mind that there is a definite advantage to working with chilled dough.
Helpful Hint: If you have a surplus of dough that you can’t use within a few weeks, give this a try. Measure out and form your plain pizza crusts, partially bake them undressed for about 4 to 5 minutes just so that they can set up. When cooled, wrap them well and store them in the freezer for up to 2 months. They come in handy for those last minute pizza parties.
Since this dough is very wet and tricky to work with, I’ve found that shaping the crust between layers of parchment paper does the trick nicely. And you don’t have to worry about transferring your fragile creation from your work surface to the oven. The whole thing goes in …parchment paper included.
For the crispiest crust, you can remove the parchment paper after about 5 minutes of baking although it’s not necessary. The pizza pictured here rested on the paper for the entire baking process. So what do you think? Looks like regular pizza dough, right? I am hopeful that you’ll give this a try ..it really is as delicious as it looks.
Stay tuned for more recipes featuring this amazing dough. So many possibilities!
the best gluten-free pizza crust
Light, crispy and delicious. Finally ... a gluten-free crust your entire family will love.
Don't let the long list of ingredients & instructions intimidate you. The flour blend is whisked together in a matter of minutes, then set aside on your pantry shelf. The dough takes about 10 minutes to pull together, then after a 2-hour rise, you have enough to create at least a half-dozen pizzas and flatbreads over a period of 5 days. Thereafter, it can be frozen for up to 2 weeks.
Mixture #1: Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour
- 6 cups stone ground white rice flour * (36 ounces / 1,020 grams)
- 3 1/4 cups sorghum flour (16 ounces / 455 grams)
- 1 3/4 cups tapioca flour or starch (8 ounces / 225 grams)
- 1 1/4 cups potato starch ** (8 ounces / 225 grams)
- 1/4 cup xanthan gum *** (1.4 ounces / 40 grams)
Gluten-Free Pizza & Flatbread Dough
- 5 cups mixture #1: gluten-free all-purpose flour (27 ounces / 755 grams)
- 1 1/2 cups cornmeal (9 ounces / 255 grams)
- 1 cup potato starch (6 ounces / 170 grams)
- 2 teaspoons xanthan gum (or ground psyllium husk****)
- 1 tablespoon granulated yeast (0.35 ounce / 10 grams)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt (0.9 ounce / 25 grams)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar (1.75 ounces / 50 grams)
- 3 3/4 cups lukewarm water, at 100° or below (30 ounces / 850 grams)
- 1/2 cup olive oil (3.75 ounces / 110 grams)
- 4 egg whites (4 ounces / 115 grams)
- parchment paper (or cornmeal for the pizza peel)
Neapolitan-Style Pizza Margherita
- 6 ounces gluten-free pizza & flatbread dough (large peach-sized portion)
- 1/3 cup thick prepared tomato sauce
- 3 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, torn into 1/2-inch pieces
- 6 fresh basil leaves, thinly slivered or torn (plus more for garnish)
- coarse salt, for sprinkling
- gluten-free flour (for dividing dough)
- parchment paper (for forming dough & baking pizza)
- olive oil (for forming dough)
Mixture #1: Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour
Whisk and mix the ingredients in a 5- to 6-quart lidded container. Finish by picking up the container and vigorously shaking until the flours are completely blended.
The ingredients must be very well mixed, otherwise, the xanthan gum will not be evenly distributed and your baked or fried goods will be inconsistent.
* Do not substitute with sweet white rice flour.
** Do not substitute with potato flour.
*** Psyllium can be used as a substitute for xanthan gum only if the dough is to be used in recipes that are baked in a loaf pan. Psyllium causes the dough to become crumbly after refrigeration.
If you’re measuring using U.S. cup-measures, be sure to pack the flour tightly into the cup, as if you were measuring brown sugar.
Gluten-Free Pizza & Flatbread Dough
Whisk together the flour, cornmeal, potato starch, xanthan gum, yeast, salt, and sugar in a 5-quart bowl or the large bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer.
Combine the liquid ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and add the mixture to the dry ingredients. Mix well using a wooden spoon or a heavy-duty stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, until all of the dry ingredients are well incorporated.
Cover (not airtight) and allow to rest at room temperature until the dough rises, approximately 2 hours.
The dough can be used immediately after the initial rise, though it is easier to handle when cold. Refrigerate in a lidded (not airtight) container and use over the next 5 days. Or store the dough for up to 2 weeks in 1/2-pound portions in the freezer then thaw in the refrigerator overnight before use.
**** If replacing xanthan gum with ground psyllium husk, double the quantity.
Neapolitan-Style Pizza Margherita
Preheat a baking stone (or heavy-duty baking sheet) to your oven's highest temperature at 500°F to 550°F, placing the stone near the bottom of the oven to help crisp the bottom crust without burning the cheese. Most stones will be hot enough in 20 to 30 minutes.
Prepare and measure all toppings in advance.
Brush a piece of parchment paper with a teaspoon of olive oil in a 10-inch circle. Dust the surface of the prepared dough with gluten-free flour and pull off a 6-ounce piece. Quickly pat into a ball on the prepared parchment paper and drizzle with more oil. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap or another piece of parchment paper. Press with your fingers or roll out to form a 10-inch circle. Check occasionally to be sure the dough is not sticking to the top layer. If it is, gently peel back the paper or wrap and drizzle a tiny bit more olive oil.
Once the dough is the right size (keep in mind that it doesn't have to be perfect - rustic is good) remove the top layer of paper or plastic wrap. Spread the tomato sauce evenly over the dough, using the back of a spoon or a pastry brush. Scatter the torn mozzarella and basil over the surface and give it a light sprinkling of coarse salt.
Slide the pizza into the oven, along with the bottom layer of parchment paper, onto the preheated stone or pan. For the crispiest crust, carefully slide the parchment paper out from under the pizza once it's set, about 5 minutes into the baking.
Check for doneness in 8 to 10 minutes. The time will vary depending on your pizza's thickness and your oven's temperature. When ready, remove from the oven and let the pizza cool slightly on a rack to allow the cheese to set before serving. Top with additional fresh basil and enjoy.
Resist the temptation to use a lot of sauce and/or heavy toppings on gluten-free pizzas, even if the sauce is nice and thick. Gluten-free dough is pretty wet in the first place and using lots of sauce will make it difficult to get a crisp crust.
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking through the link. I have personally experienced all of these products, and I recommend them because I have found them to be of superior quality.