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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

THE BEST GLUTEN FREE PIZZA THAT I HAVE EVER HAD! With Dairy Free and Vegan instructions.

Posted by Bryna Bear aka Gluten Free Baking Bear

     (I just updated this recipe to make it simpler to make and better tasting.  I replaced the original brown rice flour with sorghum flour.  This makes the pizza more flexible and tastier.) 

     I have been trying every GF pizza dough recipe that I could find.  I wanted real pizza, not a crisp cracker like crust, not bread shaped like a pizza, not a soggy chewy crust, not good for gf, not good but different from regular pizza, but a real pizza just like wheat pizza dough. I have found it!  A recipe that makes REAL gf pizza dough.  You put your pizza toppings onto the raw dough and when you bake it there is an edge crust that bubbles up and has a nice chew, a real bottom crust, and real pizza taste.  Perfect gf pizza.  I am totally in pizza heaven.  My gf and gluten eating testers loved it.  It is not just good for GF it is as good as wheat pizza.
    Bread baking is not my forte.  Desserts of any sort are easy for me, but bread and bread like gluten free items are a real challenge.  I am not an inventor, more of a refiner. Usually, I take a wheat recipe and can easily recreate a gluten free version of most desserts with an occasional need to make it more than once to perfect it.  When it comes to bread or bread like baked goods it always takes me many many tries to perfect a wheat recipe into a gluten free one.  With pizza dough I decided to just start with recipes that were already gluten free.  I first make the recipe exactly as written and then tweak it.  All the pizza recipes I tried tasted really good, but just were not exactly what I was yearning and searching for.
     The New Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day Cookbook by Jeff Hertzberg and Zöe François is where I found the basis for the perfect gf pizza dough recipe.  The authors of this book are coming out with a GF bread baking book in October.  If this pizza recipe is any indication of how their other breads will come out, I definitely recommend that you buy it!  There are several GF recipes in the New Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day cookbook.  I did not try the others yet.  There is one recipe on their blog for a GF Crusty Boule that you can try.
    I could not use one of the main ingredients in the recipe, so I spent some time experimenting with substitutions.  I also reduced the water a tiny bit.  I am not sure how the dough texture comes out if you can make it exactly as written, but the way I adapted the recipe the dough is like a thick fluffy cake batter.  I will post the recipe with my adaptations.  You can buy the book to get the original recipe which might well be even better than this adapted one. 
     As is typical with most gluten free recipes, it is necessary to invent a way to work with the dough.  Gluten free dough rarely handles just like its wheat counterpart.  With this recipe I put cornmeal on parchment paper, plopped 8 ounces of the pizza dough on it and then wet my hands and spread the dough out to a 10-inch circle.  I kept rewetting my hands as needed to keep the dough from sticking as I spread it out.  I tried to cover the dough with plastic wrap and roll it out, but the dough was way too sticky; using wet hands is much easier, faster and more effective.  Just a word of caution (learn from my mistake) do not use foil instead of parchment paper.  The baked pizza sticks a lot and the crust does not get crisp, it stays a bit soggy.  I think the parchment paper allows the moisture to escape as the crust bakes, but the foil traps the moisture preventing a crisp bottom crust.
     I have two pizza stones.  I put one on the very bottom level of my oven, as recommended in the book.  I put the other stone on a rack above this level with just enough room to fit a pizza onto the bottom stone.  The bottom level was the optimum one.  The pizza crust cooked to a better crispiness with the cheese perfectly browned.  On the level just above the bottom one the crust did not get quite as perfectly crisp and the cheese was not as perfectly browned, but the pizza was still way better than any other gf pizza I had ever had.  The two stones were convenient when I was making pizza for four people as two pizzas at a time could be made.  It takes 13 minutes, in my oven, to bake each pizza, so for just two people I bake one pizza at a time using only the bottom level of the oven to get the most absolutely perfect crust.
     In the book ingredients are listed according to weight in grams and ounces as well as by cups and tablespoons, etc.  With any sort of bread like baking it is best to measure out ingredients by weight.  The results are more consistent and most likely to resemble what the recipe should come out like.  Grams are the most accurate way to measure out ingredients.  My scale can measure in both grams and ounces.
     In the New Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a Day cookbook the authors recommend making a large batch of dough that can then be used up to 5 days later (mine worked even 7 days later) to make a pizza (or other recipes in the book for breads, rolls, etc.) when the mood strikes you.  If the dough will not be used within that time you can freeze portions and then let them defrost overnight in the fridge when you want to make it.  I have not tried to thaw and bake any of the dough yet.
     I recently made a vegan version of the crust for my son and it came out just as wonderful as the egg version. 

Makes enough for 4-5 individual pizzas 


1¼ cups + 1 Tbs./160g/5.5 oz
Sorghum flour
3 cups/385 g/13.5 oz
Tapioca Flour
2/3 cup/95 g/3.4 oz
Sweet Rice Flour
1 Tbs.
Yeast (I used Saf-Instant)
1½ tsp.
Himalayan Sea Salt
2 tsp.
Xanthan Gum
2 ¾ cup 
Water - warmed to 110° F
2 large
Eggs - lightly beaten
For Vegan mix 3 Tbs. Ground Flax Seed + ½ cup Water (allow the mixture to rest until it thickens then add to the other ingredients.)
1/2 cup/115 g/4 oz
Vegetable Oil (such as canola or olive) or Melted Unsalted Butter
For Vegan or Dairy Free use the oil

1)  Add the flours, yeast, salt and xanthan gum to the bowl of a stand mixer and mix well with a whisk.
2)  Add the water, eggs or flax eggs, and oil or melted butter.  Using the paddle attachment, beat until smooth - about 2 minutes.
Dry and wet ingredients ready to mix.

Smooth batter after mixing for about 2 minutes.
3)  Oil a large bowl or container and transfer the batter into the bowl or container.  Cover with a dish cloth and let it sit for 2 hours at room temperature.  It should rise to double in bulk.
Dough in oiled bowl.

Dough after rising.
I should have used a larger bowl.

Vegan dough before rising.
Note the flax seed flecks.
4)  You can use the dough right away, but it will be easier to handle if it is chilled.  Keep the dough up to 5 days in the fridge in a covered container.  Use 8-ounce portions of the dough for each pizza.  Freeze dough in 8-ounce portions in baggies for longer storage.  Thaw in the fridge overnight when ready to use the dough.


1) Put a rack on the very bottom of your oven.  Put your pizza stone on this rack.
2) Preheat the oven to 500° - 550°.  It can take half an hour to reach the right temperature.  Use an oven thermometer to check the that the oven is hot enough.  The pizza crust will not be crispy and rise well if the oven is not hot enough.
3) While the oven is heating up prepare the pizza.
4) Cut off a piece of parchment paper about 12-inches long.  Sprinkle it with cornmeal or brown rice flour to keep the dough from sticking.
Parchment paper sprinkled with rice flour.
I also tried this with cornmeal.  I prefer the cornmeal.
5) Plop 8-ounces of the dough onto the center of the prepared parchment paper.  The dough should be about the size of a grapefruit.
6) Wet your hands and spread the dough out into a 10-inch circle.  Keep wetting your hands as needed to keep the dough from sticking to your fingers.  Keep an elevated lip of dough (about 1/2-inch high) around the outer edge of the circle.  Trim the parchment paper so that there is only about 1-inch of it showing around the dough.  This will keep the paper edges from burning while the pizza bakes.
Raw dough spread into a circle with wet hands.
Note that there is a small lip of dough around the edges.
7) Put the topping of choice on the RAW dough.  I used homemade sauce, mozzarella cheese and vegetables (onions, peppers, mushrooms and chopped broccoli), a little drizzle of olive oil (or garlic olive oil), some parmesian cheese and oregano.  For vegan or dairy free pizza I used Daiya mozzarella cheese and Go Veggie dairy free parmesian cheese in place of the dairy cheeses.  I also made a pizza with cooked butternut squash, spinach (put the spinach on the bottom to keep it from burning), mozzarella cheese, a drizzle of garlic olive oil and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.  The butternut pie was different and delicious.  Be careful not to use too much sauce or the pizza will not crisp as well.
A raw pizza ready to be baked.

A raw no tomato sauce pizza.

A raw vegan pizza.
8) You will need something to slide the pizza onto the stone.  I bought a pizza peel at Marshalls for about $16.  You must use a forward jerking motion to slide the pizza off of the peel.  If you do not have a peel you might use a flat baking sheet and slide the pizza off onto the stone with a forward jerking motion.
9) It will take 10-15 minutes for the pizza to bake, depending upon your oven.  Mine took 13 minutes.
10)  Take the pizza out of the oven with the pizza peel or grab the paper with tongs and slide the pizza onto a flat baking sheet.

Baked pizza.

Baked Vegan Pizza.
11)         Cut the pizza pie with a pizza slicer and serve.  Enjoy!



     Scrambled eggs were put onto the raw crust, topped with mushrooms, onions, broccoli and cheese and then baked as a pizza.  It made a different, delicious and satisfying breakfast.


     A stromboli is a sort of turnover made with pizza like dough and filled with deli meats or vegetables and cheese.  To make the stromboli a small blob of dough was spread out into a cigar like shape.  The dough was topped with sautéed mushrooms and onions and cheese.  The vegetables and cheese were topped with a blob of dough and the dough was spread out into a thin layer over the top (using wet hands).  The edges were sealed as well as possible by pressing the top and bottom dough along the edges.  Very tasty and stromboli-like.
Dough formed in to a stromboli with cheese and veggie filling.

Baked stromboli.

Inside of the stromboli.


  1. i had the veggie pizza at bryna's home. it was great!! it's in a class with the best that i've had regardless of whether gluten free or not. in, fact i could not tell that this was gluten free.


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