Finding good pizza seems to be the ultimate quest for most of us living our lives gluten free. Sure there are some that are happy without the bread products that are so prominent in the gluten full world - but for most of us, pizza seems to be that most wanted unattainable treat (well, that and good croissant). My perfect pizza is a fluffy one with a hearty bready crust that you can bite into and chew.
All those cracker like crusts that are so prevalent in the freezer section of the grocery and in most every restaurant I've been to just don't do it for me. I've actually made a rule that unless I'm in desperate need of carbs (like so desperate I'm going to faint) - I don't ever order gluten free pizza at a restaurant. There are only two restaurants I've ever been to where the gluten free pizza crust was passable; Pala Pizza in New York City and Razzi's in the Greenwood neighborhood of Seattle.
My journey making my own gluten free crust at home started with Gluten Free Girl's recipe which also happens to be vegan. For a year or so, I followed her recipe and enjoyed some of the best pizza crust I'd had - but it still wasn't that fluffy crust I wanted. I played around with a few different flour combinations, added eggs, and then all of my changes came together when I started stuffing the crust with a bit of cheese. It made all the difference in the world - it seems to keep more moisture in the crust and it's just darn tasty.
Gluten Free Stuffed Pizza Crust (for a 16 inch pan)
Evolved from and inspired by Gluten Free Girl's Recipe
- 100 grams gluten free oat flour
- 75 grams brown rice flour
- 25 grams potato flour
- 150 grams sweet white rice flour
- 150 grams potato starch
- 100 grams arrowroot starch
- 1 tbsp psyllium husks
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 5 tsp yeast
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2-3/4 cups water
- 1/3 cup shredded cheese, cheddar or jack
- preferred toppings including sauce
In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl), whisk together the flours, psyllium husks, and salt.
In a measuring cup, combine the yeast, sugar, and 1/2 cup of warm water. Gently stir to combine and let sit until the mixture rises to the 3/4 cup mark - about 7 minutes or so.
While you wait for the yeast to rise add the eggs and olive oil to the bowl of the stand mixer.
When the yeast has risen, add that mixture to the bowl of the stand mixer.
Using the dough hook (or a wooden spoon and strong arm), begin to mix the flours and wet ingredients on a low speed. Adding small amounts of the additional water to keep the dough moist enough to pick up the flour but not so wet that it's sticking to the sides of the mixing bowl.
- You may need to occasionally stop the mixer and push down any dough that gets stuck on the sides.
- Don't feel like you need to add all 3/4 cup of the additional water. You want to add just enough to get the dough to come together and clean up all the remaining flour from the sides of the bowl. If you've made gluten full bread dough before - it should look similar.
- The dough should feel smooth and should not stick to your hands as you mold it into a ball in the next step.
After the dough has come together, remove the hook and bowl from the mixer. Remove the dough from the bowl and pat it into ball. Place it back into the bowl, cover, and set aside in a warm place for about 1 hour.
Start heating your oven to get up to at least 500 degrees. Sometimes my oven only makes it 450 degrees and that seems to work out just fine.
Once the dough has risen, turn it over onto a sheet of large parchment paper and press it down with your hands into a circle-ish shape.
Place another sheet of parchment paper over the crust and begin to roll it out. You'll want it to end up large enough so at least an inch lays over the edge of the 16 inch pan.
After you've rolled out your crust in-between the two pieces of parchment paper, pull the top piece off and slide your 16 inch pan underneath.
- Your crust doesn't need to be rolled out perfectly circular. You call also pull a bit off one area and just press it into another.
- If you use the same size parchment paper (15 inch) as I did, your rolled out crust should expand at least an inch and half on two sides depending on how long you cut your parchment paper.
Place pinches of your shredded cheese around the edge of the pan.
Carefully fold the edges over the cheese.
Now, gently mold and press the crust down around the cheese.
Cut off the corners of the parchment paper.
Bake at 500 degrees for about 15 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling out in a few areas and the top of the center of the crust has begun to get crisp.
- I'd recommend using a flavorful cheese. Cheddar or jack are both great - I used a goat milk colby jack in this one.
- Here's where you can start to pull parts dough from the areas where you've got overlap or too much and supplement the areas where you don't have quite enough.
- Make sure to mind the outside edges of the crust when folding it over the cheese. It may crack - so just mold it back together.
When your crust is baked, add your favorite toppings and bake again accordingly to your toppings.
In this particular one, we topped it with about 10 ounces of pizza sauce, 7 ounces of shredded goat mozzarella, a cup of sliced black olives, and a few fresh basil leaves.
- I like to brush my sauce, whether it be pesto or tomato, on top of the crust as well. I find it helps hold in the moisture in the crust and helps with the flavor.
- Add your cheese, meats, and hearty vegetables (our favorites are pepperoni, pineapple, and mushrooms) to the crust first and bake for about 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling.
- Add your light leafy vegetables just after the cheese begins to bubble (our favorites are arugula, kale, and basil) and bake for about 1-2 more minutes. Remove the pizza just as these light leafy greens begin to wilt.
Makes one 16 inch pizza - enough for 4 small servings.