Photo and column by Lindsay Kucera/The AS Review
I dare someone to tell me that they don’t like pizza. Even if someone did, we all know they would be lying. Everyone loves pizza. It’s a fact; like it’s a fact the earth is round and chocolate is an important part of a balanced breakfast.
The reason everyone loves pizza is that there is a pizza for everyone. We can find crusts we like, sauces and toppings that suit our personal tastes. I am of the persuasion that no one should be without some kind of pizza in their life. You may argue to the contrary, but I won’t be listening; I’ll be thinking about pizza.
So, when a few people approached me and requested a gluten-free recipe, I knew what I had to do. I consider myself lucky not to be gluten intolerant, or lactose intolerant, and since I am predominantly a cheese-loving baker, I can’t imagine going on with my life without glutinous breads and tasty cheeses. My friends who are intolerant of these things roll their eyes when I say this, since clearly their lives are going on without them and now I can see why it might not be so bad. Gluten-free pizza dough does taste different, though nowhere near the dry, cardboard awfulness that I expected. The batch I made was light and flavorful, with an extra punch of garlic. And since it doesn’t make my poor friends horribly ill when they eat it (as my standard pizza dough would) this recipe gets my seal of approval.
Makes: One large pizza
For the dough:
2 cups gluten-free flour, plus additional for dusting (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon gluten-free yeast (Red Star is gluten free)
1 teaspoon Xanthan gum powder
1 cup of warm water (approximately 100-110 F)
Optional: 2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup tomato sauce
2-3 tomatoes, sliced
1-2 fresh balls of mozzarella, sliced
fresh basil leaves
In a large bowl, mix the flour, salt, yeast, Xanthan gum powder and olive oil and stir together. Slowly add in the warm water, mixing together until the dough is moistened through and elastic. Add in the garlic and knead the dough for a few minutes. Drizzle the dough with a little bit of oil, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise for 90 minutes to two hours.
Roll the dough out on a lightly--floured surface until the dough is about half an inch thick. Transfer to a lightly-greased baking sheet, and bake just the crust at 350 F for about five minutes. Remove the crust, and top with the tomato sauce, mozzarella and tomato slices. Salt and pepper to taste. Bake for approximately 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and top with the fresh basil.