Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Gluten Free Miracle!

I just discovered something that is going to change our lives.  Or, at least our lives as they pertain to pizza.  And that's a pretty significant portion.  

This isn't going to look amazing.  In fact, it looks like a wet sponge.

Let me explain.  Frozen gluten free pizza crusts suck.  Not only are they basically just slightly thick tortillas, they cost like $9 for pure disappointment.  Plus, most of them are all of about 6 inches across.  What, gluten free people don't get to gorge themselves on large pizzas?  Sure, there are some exceptions- I don't want hate comments from anyone for implying that your favorite crust isn't so hot.  But of the ones I've tried (few, since most have eggs), I haven't been impressed.  I mean, this is 2010 and pretty much everyone and their mom wants to eat gluten free.  So what's the hold up on the GF pizza crust technology, folks?!  

I like making and freezing my own GF crusts, but I can only make and freeze 2 at a time since i only have 2 baking sheets to freeze them on.  Then I have to figure out how to seal the frozen crust in an airtight package for the freezer.  I've done foil, plastic wrap, super large baggies, etc.  My sort of oval, sort of square crusts never fit too well.

So this is where I'm coming from.  And now I've found a way to make my own frozen GF crusts at a rate of about 3-4 in 5 minutes.  This is pizza revolution.  

Here's my seriously simple solution to these issues.  After making a double batch of dough (recipe below), I just put the dough in an oiled large baggie and squish it around until it's flat and extends fully to all sides of the bag.  If you've worked with GF dough before, then you know that spreading it can be a nightmare on dough street.  Your hands stay clean with this method!  Then I seal and freeze the bags stacked on a flat surface.  To use the crust, I can peel the baggie back (for reusing the bag again) or just cut it off.*

*I realize that wasting a plastic bag might feel really wrong (It usually does to me).  But I use recycled plastic bags and figure that if I bought a crust it'd be in plastic and a non-recyclable box, too.  So it's still a little better than store-bought.

Crazy Easy GF Pizza Crust
The recipe I use is an adaptation of Mary Frances' recipe on Gluten Free Cooking School.  My adaptations are just because of what ingredients I typically keep on hand rather than anything wrong with her original recipe.  I'll give it to you with my changes because that's how I tested it. I encourage you to make double batches always.

1 Tbsp. instant yeast
1/2 c. brown rice flour
3/4 cup millet flour
1 cup tapioca starch
2 tsp. xanthum gum
1 tsp salt
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. oregano
1 1/3 c. almond milk (water works in a pinch)
2 tsp. olive oil (Plus 2 Tbsp. for baggie)
2 tsp. cider vinegar

Dough instructions:
Mix together all dry ingredients (everything except milk, olive oil and vinegar) in your mixer with a paddle attachment.  Or use your arm with the whisk attachment.  Mix together the liquids in a big jar and then add the liquids to the dry ingredients.  Mix for about a minute or until everything is evenly distributed and a sticky, soft dough has formed.  

Freezing instructions:
Add 1 Tbsp. olive oil to each large sized baggie.  Squish around until oil coats the inside.  Divide the dough between the bags and pat out until dough fully extends to the edges of the bag and is evenly distributed.  Stack the baggies on a baking sheet and freeze overnight.  Then retrieve your baking sheet and store the dough in your freezer until you decide to have a pizza party.

Cooking instructions:
Preheat oven to 400F.  Cut off the plastic bag and place frozen dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Parbake for 8 minutes before topping and baking another 15 minutes or so (this time is dependent on your toppings).  Then you know what to do.


eileen said...

That is an excellent, excellent plan for making and freezing pizza dough! I am totally going to use that idea. Thanks, Liz!

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness, thank you so much! I have a hard time finding good gluten free vegan recipes for things like this because, like you say, most of them contain eggs. And replacing them with vegan alternatives doesn't always work so great...