18 Aug

Best Ever Gluten-Free Pizza Dough Recipe

The impossible just takes a little longer.

The #1 food we struggled with giving up was pizza.  That chewy, bubbly, yeasty crust with all our favorite toppings was a much-anticipated weekly event in our house.  I have tried so many GF pizza dough recipes…but nothing came close to real pizza dough.  Many of them were hardly edible.  It’s true that gluten is a wonder in flour, causing the magical elasticity and the chemical impetus to a perfect crust.  Fortunately, there are some great resources at our disposal that make it possible for us to enjoy delicious, authentic pizza…in this case xanthum gum, a bacteria that triggers the same chemical reaction as gluten (see more on xanthum gum here).  The ingredients and proportions are very important in this recipe, although the caveat is that altitude and the weather actually impact your dough…so start with this recipe but don’t be afraid to tweak it by adding a little more flour or water as needed.  I made this recipe at sea level in Rhode Island.

I believe the key to the success of this pizza crust is mimicking the same careful mixing, hydration and fermentation of the GF flour as the Italians do for their own pizza dough.  I haven’t seen another GF pizza dough utilize these traditional techniques, so I decided to see what would happen if I was able to tweak proper pizza dough to adapt for GF flour while staying true to the ancient method.  A master baker and teacher of these methods is Peter Reinhardt, who has a great book about artisanal breads and pizzas…and now I adapted his guidance for a GF application.  Another inspiration for our family pizza nights that led to this recipe is Mango Man, and really the whole Cullum family, who hosted the best pizza nights while we were stationed at an isolated (and sometimes difficult!) post overseas.  We loved our pizza nights so much, we carried on the tradition.

My recipe makes for a very long post, but it really is a fairly quick process to prepare and then you let time do the work for you and allow the dough to rise.  It’s also surprisingly easy to do, and quite simple to incorporate into a weekly routine.

Nutritional Note: This recipe is free of gluten, sugar, cow’s dairy, chemical food dyes & preservatives. The pizza dough blend does contain some potato starch and millet flour that are not allowed on the SCD & GAPS diets, although this is a much friendlier recipe than traditional pizza dough. The recipe is Clean except for the small amount of honey needed for the yeast.

Printable recipe: I have a cleaner version of this recipe without pictures for you to print here.

Prep time: 20 minutes active prep, 3 hours to rise for same-day pizza and 2 to 4 days for delayed fermentation.  Can freeze the dough for an extended time.

Yield: one batch makes 5 each 8 ounce pizzas, a small size that will feed about 2 people.  If we have guests, I make all five; if it’s just our family of six, I make three pizzas and saran-wrap the two remaining and freeze them for a quick lunch or dinner when I’m short on time.

Ingredients:

5 cups Bob’s Red Mill Pizza Crust Mix (or 5 cups any GF baking or bread flour blend + 5 tablespoons Xanthum Gum) ($3.99)

2 teaspoons instant yeast ($0.18 Costco)

2 tablespoons honey (I use the local Windmist Farms) ($1.20)

2 1/4 cups water, at room temperature (free! although we only use Berkey filtered water)

2 teaspoons sea salt ($0.10 Costco)

2 tablespoons olive oil ($0.50 Costco)

Recipe Cost: $5.97. For total pizza cost, add in the Easy & Delicious Pizza Sauce ($4.81/pizza nite), Pecorino Romano cheese ($2.41/cup, as needed, I use around 4 cups or $9.66) for a grand total of $20.44 not including toppings. That can feed 12 people! It’s a very affordable meal.

The tools you’ll need are a stand mixer and both the standard and hook attachments:

First, measure out the flour and put it in the mixing bowl.  Make a little well to hold the yeast.

Add the yeast into the well.

Add the honey into the well, trying to get it all onto the yeast (the whole purpose of the honey is to feed the yeast, so make it easy for the yeast!).

Add in the room temperature (or slightly warm, just not cool or cold) water into the well.(Note: you may warm the water to no more than 110 degrees; with cold fermentation this is not necessary, but does give the yeast a boost).  Make sure you get all the yeast wet, if you can.

Set the timer for 5 minutes, and let the yeast begin mixing with the honey and flour and water…giving it a head start before the salt comes in (and can put a damper on things, we’re just setting our dough up for success in the rising department).  It should look like this after 5 minutes (or even bubblier if you’re lucky):

Now it’s time to add the salt and olive oil.  Put the mixing bowl onto the stand mixer, insert the standard attachment, and mix for 1-2 minutes until there is no liquid and the flour has been totally blended.

Sometimes, especially if you need a little more water, it’s hard for the mixer to get all the powdered flour on the bottom.  Help the mixer out by using a spatula to make sure all the powdered flour has gotten incorporated.  IMPORTANT:  Once you’ve just mixed together your dough ingredients, leave the dough alone and set the timer for another 5 minutes.  This is a critical step because you are allowing the dough to “hydrate” and letting the yeast leaven the whole lump of dough.  After the 5 minutes is up, start mixing again on low.

If your mix looks like the above, it needs more water.  Add water 2 tablespoons at a time.  I’ll show a progression of pictures  until the right consistency is reached:

That consistency looks great.  It’s time to test the consistency: the dough should be slightly tacky and slightly stick, like this:

Now you take the dough out of the bowl with a scraper onto an oiled surface.

I always make 2 batches each time I do this recipe: one to use that day for lunch or dinner, and the 2nd batch using delayed fermentation for a dinner the next week in 2 to 4 nights.  I’m going to show you 2 different batches on the next step, the first series is a very little bit drier and the second series has 4 tablespoons more water, so is a little wetter (I’ll let you know when those pictures start).  They’re both great, and we’ll see later how that turns out.  Stretch the dough into a rectangle in front of you.

Then fold the dough in half onto itself.  You’re working the dough and really making sure it’s fully mixed, hydrated and the yeast is able to be worked into each part of the dough.

Once you’ve done this from top to bottom, turn the dough and stretch it again so that what was side to side in the first stretch, now becomes top to bottom.  Keep turning the dough clockwise and stretch out then fold in half a total of four times, until each side has been worked.

By the time you’ve done this four times, the consistency of the dough is improved and it’s in great shape to rise beautifully.  If you’d had a little wetter dough, it’d look like this when you do your stretching:

Mold the dough into a fairly even loaf-sized shape, so that you can score 5 sections and slice them with a dough knife.  If you have a food scale to weigh them (joys of military life: mine is still in a box somewhere…I have no idea where), they should be about 8 oz each. The great news is that each pizza will be an artisanal, unique creation and no one will know if one is an ounce larger or smaller than another!

GFPizzaCrust (31 of 39)

It’s time to get 5 sandwich ziplock-type bags, squirt a little olive oil into each one, then shape each of the 5 pieces of dough into a ball and put them into the plastic bag.  Zip it up then roll the ball all around inside the bag to make sure the dough is totally coated in the olive oil.

GFPizzaCrust (36 of 39)

GFPizzaCrust (37 of 39)

If you’re going to have the pizza that same day, leave the plastic bags on the counter for at least 3 hours (or could be all day until dinner time).  Keep in mind the bags may pop open from the intensity of the chemical reactions that are going on in your rising dough.  But that’s a great thing!  If you see one’s popped, just reseal it and let it continue on expanding until you’re ready to cook the crusts.

If you’re making the dough for a pizza night 2 to 4 days in advance, then put the ziplock bags of pizza dough into the crisper in your refrigerator.  Amazingly, the dough will slowly rise and ferment at the cooler temperature.  If you see a bag has popped open, re-zip it shut and let it continue to ferment until the big day.  Pull the refrigerated dough out 3 hours prior to mealtime and let them come to room temperature, then proceed with making the pizza crusts.

GFPizzaCrust (39 of 39)

If for any reason you have to cancel pizza nite, throw the bags of dough into the freezer for as long as you need.  Pull them out of the freezer and into the fridge 24 hours to thaw, then pull out 3 hours prior to dinner time and the dough will come to room temperature.

Directions for Making Pizza Crusts:

Once you have your dough at room temperature and ready to make pizza crusts, you’ll want to GF flour your pizza peel and proceed to make the crust right on the peel.  After years of pizza nights, I use 2 peels to make this whole process smoother:  a wooden peel to make the crust on, and a metal peel to pull the crusts out of the oven.   This keeps the workflow going smoothly, since as soon as you’ve got one pizza in the oven, you can begin making the second pizza and keep pizza continuously baking!  Here are the two peels I use:

GFPizzaCrust (41 of 66)

Flour the peel generously, and you’ll flour your hands really well, too.  We’re following the traditional dough-making method here, so unlike most GF pizza dough recipes that even suggest you’ll want to wet your hands to spread out the dough, you’ll be treating this dough like a normal batch and your goal is to flour the board and your hands so well that the crust will not stick to the peel.

GFPizzaCrust (44 of 66)

As you can see, these dough balls have risen and are ready to pop right out of our ziplock bags!

GFPizzaCrust (42 of 66)

Open the bag, and roll your dough out onto your floured peel.  Flour your hands really well, and the top of the dough.

GFPizzaCrust (45 of 66)

GFPizzaCrust (46 of 66)

Start using your fingers to gently press the dough out into a circular crust.  Mind that the crust doesn’t stick to the peel; after the first attempt to spread out the dough, you’ll want to pick up the crust, re-flour the peel, and then continue to spread out the crust using your fingers to gently spread the dough into a small pizza crust shape.  Every few seconds, stop and shake the peel gently and make sure the crust slides back and forth on the peel (this is the art that you’ll master: beginner’s error is to spread out a perfect looking crust that is solidly adhered to the surface!).

GFPizzaCrust (47 of 66)

GFPizzaCrust (48 of 66)

You’ll notice the ends look a little “crumbly”; I smooth the edges so it looks nice and rounded, like normal pizza dough.  The wetter your pizza dough is, the less “crumbly” in appearance the edges will be.  Crumbly:

GFPizzaCrust (49 of 66)

Smoothed:

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Work the dough carefully out until you don’t have any thick areas, and certainly no thin spots or holes!  If you get one, carefully repair it immediately.  The goal is a nice, evenly spread crust:

GFPizzaCrust (51 of 66)

Slide your crust into a 500 degree oven (or hotter if you are able, pizza ovens are 750+ degrees!).  Bake the crust for 3 minutes and pull out with your metal peel.

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GFPizzaCrust (55 of 66)

And now you have a pre-baked crust that smells amazing, has a chewy, bubbly crust…and that great flavor real pizza dough has!

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Here’s what the bottom looks like:

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Proceed and pre-bake the remaining 4 crusts.  When you’re done, you’ll have 5 pizza crusts ready to dress and bake off.

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Assemble your pizza sauce (here’s my Fast & Delicious Pizza Sauce, which is so much brighter and tastier than canned pizza sauce), shredded cheese (I use a sheep’s milk Easy Cow Dairy-Free Pecorino Romano that I shred finely in my food processor), and toppings.  For this pizza night, I kept it simple with just three toppings: deli-sliced pepperoni, canned sliced black olives, and heirloom tomatoes from our local farm:

GFPizzaCrust (84 of 66)

In our house my eaters love a saucy pizza, so I use an entire soup ladle of sauce and spread it out across the crust (it might be way more sauce than you prefer; in fact, it’s harder to make pizza with this much sauce, you’ll achieve a crispier crust by using less sauce.  But I’m happy to tell you that if you love a saucy pizza, this crust can handle it!).  Please excuse the little splatter, I was applying the sauce with my left hand and photographing with my right!

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GFPizzaCrust (86 of 66)

Spread the finely shredded romano cheese all over, and then the other toppings:

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GFPizzaCrust (90 of 66)

Put the pizza in the oven, either on the rack for crispier crust or the stone for a regular crust, for about 3 minutes.  Then pull it out, slice & serve!  Notice how bubbly the crust is; and the flavor is yeasty, with great crumb and perfect chewy texture.  Even my husband agrees he’d never know it was gluten-free, and he’s a real critic :).

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You can always saran wrap any extra crusts and freeze them for easy, fast future dinners.  For our family of six, I’ll make three pizzas and freeze two crusts for an easy weekend lunch or another dinner in a pinch that I can add a big salad or a pasta to in order to make sure there’s plenty for everyone.  If we have company, I’ll make them all…or two full batches, and send our friends home with an extra pizza or two for breakfast the next morning.  Now that’s a fun thing to wake up to!

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I hope you enjoy this GF pizza dough recipe, and I’d love to hear your feedback!

 

 

 

Best Ever Gluten-Free Pizza Dough Recipe
Serves 8
A bubbly, yeasty, delicious pizza crust you'd never know is GF!
Write a review
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Prep Time
3 hr 20 min
Cook Time
6 min
Total Time
3 hr 26 min
Prep Time
3 hr 20 min
Cook Time
6 min
Total Time
3 hr 26 min
Ingredients
  1. 5 cups Bob's Red Mill Pizza Crust Mix (or 5 cups any GF baking or bread flour blend + 5 tablespoons Xanthum Gum) ($3.99)
  2. 2 teaspoons instant yeast ($0.18 Costco)
  3. 2 tablespoons honey (I use the local Windmist Farms) ($1.20)
  4. 2 1/4 cups water, at room temperature (free! although we only use Berkey filtered water)
  5. 2 teaspoons sea salt ($0.10 Costco)
  6. 2 tablespoons olive oil ($0.50 Costco)
Instructions
  1. First, measure out the flour and put it in the mixing bowl. Make a little well to hold the yeast.
  2. Add the yeast into the well.
  3. Add the honey into the well, trying to get it all onto the yeast (the whole purpose of the honey is to feed the yeast, so make it easy for the yeast!).
  4. Add in the room temperature (or slightly warm, just not cool or cold) water into the well. (Note: you may warm the water to no more than 110 degrees; with cold fermentation this is not necessary, but does give the yeast a boost). Make sure you get all the yeast wet, if you can.
  5. Set the timer for 5 minutes, and let the yeast begin mixing with the honey and flour and water…giving it a head start before the salt comes in (and can put a damper on things, we're just setting our dough up for success in the rising department).
  6. Now it's time to add the salt and olive oil. Put the mixing bowl onto the stand mixer, insert the standard attachment, and mix for 1-2 minutes until there is no liquid and the flour has been totally blended.
  7. Sometimes, especially if you need a little more water, it's hard for the mixer to get all the powdered flour on the bottom. Help the mixer out by using a spatula to make sure all the powdered flour has gotten incorporated. IMPORTANT: Once you've just mixed together your dough ingredients, leave the dough alone and set the timer for another 5 minutes. This is a critical step because you are allowing the dough to "hydrate" and letting the yeast leaven the whole lump of dough. After the 5 minutes is up, start mixing again on low.
  8. If your mix looks crumbly, it needs more water. Add water 2 tablespoons at a time. See the post for a progression of pictures until the right consistency is reached. It's time to test the consistency: the dough should be slightly tacky and slightly stick.
  9. Now you take the dough out of the bowl with a scraper onto an oiled surface.
  10. Then fold the dough in half onto itself. You're working the dough and really making sure it's fully mixed, hydrated, and the yeast is worked into each part of the dough.
  11. Once you've done this from top to bottom, turn the dough and stretch it again so that what was side to side in the first stretch, now becomes top to bottom. Keep turning the dough clockwise and stretch out then fold in half a total of four times, until each side has been worked.
  12. Mold the dough into a fairly even loaf-sized shape, so that you can score 5 sections and slice them with a dough knife. If you have a food scale to weigh them, they should be about 8 oz each.
  13. It's time to get 5 sandwich ziplock-type bags, squirt a little olive oil into each one, then shape each of the 5 pieces of dough into a ball and put them into the plastic bag. Zip it up then roll the ball all around inside the bag to make sure the dough is totally coated in the olive oil.
  14. If you're going to have the pizza that same day, leave the plastic bags on the counter for at least 3 hours (or could be all day until dinner time). Keep in mind the bags may pop open from the intensity of the chemical reactions that are going on in your rising dough. But that's a great thing! If you see one's popped, just reseal it and let it continue on expanding until you're ready to cook the crusts.
  15. If you're making the dough for a pizza night 2 to 4 days in advance, then put the ziplock bags of pizza dough into the crisper in your refrigerator. Amazingly, the dough will slowly rise and ferment at the cooler temperature. If you see a bag has popped open, re-zip it shut and let it continue to ferment until the big day. Pull the refrigerated dough out the morning you plan on having pizza nite and let them come to room temperature, then proceed with making the pizza crusts.
  16. If for any reason you have to cancel pizza nite, throw the bags of dough into the freezer for as long as you need. Pull them out of the freezer and into the fridge 24 hours to thaw, then pull out the morning you plan on pizza nite and let the dough fully acclimate to room temperature.
  17. Once you have your dough at room temperature and ready to make pizza crusts, you'll want to GF flour your pizza peel and proceed to make the crust right on the wooden peel. Flour the peel generously, and you'll flour your hands really well, too. We're following the traditional dough-making method here, so unlike most GF pizza dough recipes that even suggest you'll want to wet your hands to spread out the dough, you'll be treating this dough like a normal batch and your goal is to flour the board and your hands so well that the crust will not stick to the peel.
  18. Open the bag, and roll your dough out onto your floured peel. Flour your hands really well, and the top of the dough.
  19. Start using your fingers to gently press the dough out into a circular crust. Mind that the crust doesn't stick to the peel; after the first attempt to spread out the dough, you'll want to pick up the crust, re-flour the peel, and then continue to spread out the crust using your fingers to gently spread the dough into a small pizza crust shape. Every few seconds, stop and shake the peel gently and make sure the crust slides back and forth on the peel (this is the art that you'll master: beginner's error is to spread out a perfect looking crust that is solidly adhered to the surface!).
  20. You'll notice the ends look a little "crumbly"; I smooth the edges so it looks nice and rounded, like normal pizza dough. The wetter your pizza dough is, the less "crumbly" in appearance the edges will be.
  21. Work the dough carefully out until you don't have any thick areas, and certainly no thin spots or holes! If you get one, carefully repair it immediately. The goal is a nice, evenly spread crust.
  22. Slide your crust into a 500 degree oven (or hotter if you are able, pizza ovens are 750+ degrees!). Bake the crust for 3 minutes and pull out with your metal peel.
  23. And now you have a pre-baked crust that smells amazing, has a chewy, bubbly crust…and that great flavor real pizza dough has!
  24. Proceed and pre-bake the remaining 4 crusts. When you're done, you'll have 5 pizza crusts ready to dress and bake off.
  25. Assemble your pizza sauce (I recommend my Fast & Delicious Pizza Sauce, which is so much brighter and tastier than canned pizza sauce), shredded cheese (I use a sheep's milk Easy Cow Dairy-Free Pecorino Romano that I shred finely in my food processor), and toppings. For this pizza night, I kept it simple with just three toppings: deli-sliced pepperoni, canned sliced black olives, and heirloom tomatoes from our local farm.
  26. In our house my eaters love a saucy pizza, so I use an entire soup ladle of sauce and spread it out across the crust (it might be way more sauce than you prefer; in fact, it's harder to make pizza with this much sauce, you'll achieve a crispier crust by using less sauce. But I'm happy to tell you that if you love a saucy pizza, this crust can handle it!).
  27. Spread the finely shredded romano cheese all over, and then the other toppings.
  28. Put the pizza in the oven, either on the rack for crispier crust or the stone for a regular crust, for about 3 minutes. Then pull it out, slice & serve!
  29. You can always saran wrap any extra crusts and freeze them for easy, fast future dinners.
Notes
  1. Nutritional Note: This recipe is free of gluten, sugar, cow's dairy, chemical food dyes & preservatives. The pizza dough blend does contain some potato starch and millet flour that are not allowed on the SCD & GAPS diets, although this is a much friendlier recipe than traditional pizza dough. The recipe is Clean except for the small amount of honey needed for the yeast.
  2. Prep time: 20 minutes active prep, 3 hours to rise for same-day pizza and 2 to 4 days for delayed fermentation. Can freeze the dough for an extended time.
  3. Yield: one batch makes 5 each 8 ounce pizzas, a small size that will feed about 2 people. If we have guests, I make all five; if it's just our family of six, I make three pizzas and saran-wrap the two remaining and freeze them for a quick lunch or dinner when I'm short on time.
  4. Recipe Cost: $5.97. For total pizza cost, add in the Easy & Delicious Pizza Sauce ($4.81/pizza nite), Pecorino Romano cheese ($2.41/cup, as needed, I use around 4 cups or $9.66) for a grand total of $20.44 not including toppings. That can feed 12 people! It's a very affordable meal.
  5. Tools: You’ll need a stand mixer and both the standard and hook attachments; a 5qt bowl and spatula; a dough mat to work the dough on; saran wrap and sandwich size Ziploc bags; a pizza stone for your oven and two pizza peels (a wooden peel and a metal peel).
Oreganic Farms http://oreganicfarms.com/

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Comments

  1. Mary Ann White says:

    I loved the tuna casserole – and am ready to try this one… but is there a way to easily print the recipe without (sorry Sarah) all the gorgeous pictures so I can have it by me as I cook?

    • Thanks, Mary Ann! I’ve added a clean, printable recipe format at the end of each blog post so anyone can easily print…without the pictures :). Great feedback, I hope you enjoy the pizza!

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