Celiac.com 01/11/2005 - Pizza crust is an essential item in the gluten-free kitchen, especially for families with celiac children. This class demonstrates how to make an excellent pizza crust with a variation on the recipe for focaccia bread. Alternative flours will be used and their health benefits detailed.

This recipe is adapted from Bette Hagmans first book The Gluten-Free Gourmet. Healthy flours and the tricks I have learned over the years are part of this revised recipe. You may use brown rice flour if you cant find the amaranth, buckwheat, or teff flour, although the health benefits of these alternative flours make them well worth the search.

This recipe makes two 13-inch pizzas, or four 10-inch pizzas.

Ingredients:

1½ cups brown rice flour
½ cup amaranth, buckwheat, or teff flour
2 cups tapioca flour
2/3 cup instant non-fat dry milk powder (dairy-free: 2/3 cup ground almond meal)
3 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons active dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1½ cups water (105-115F.) or less
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 egg whites at room temperature (egg-free: see "flaxseed" in tips section)
Olive oil for spreading pizza dough

Grease two 13-inch pizza pans, using organic shortening. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flours, milk powder, xanthan gum, salt, yeast, and sugar. In a measuring cup, combine the water and 3 tablespoons olive oil. Add olive oil-water mixture to dry ingredients, then egg whites, mixing well after each addition. Beat on high speed for 4 minutes.

Divide dough into two (or four) equal portions. Place each portion on a prepared pizza pan. Cover your hand with a clean plastic bag. Drizzle about a tablespoon of olive oil over your hand and one portion of dough. Spread the dough out evenly over the pizza pan, forming a ridge around the edge to contain the pizza toppings. Repeat process for second portion of dough. Let dough rise for about 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 400?F. Bake pizza crusts for 7 minutes (until lightly golden) and remove from oven. At this point you can either cool the crusts, wrapping and freezing them for future use, or you can spread tomato sauce on the crust and top with your favorite toppings.

Focaccia Bread

While infinite versions exist, my preference for focaccia bread is a flat, round, chewy, bread brushed with olive oil, rubbed with garlic and sprinkled with rosemary. Follow the same instructions as above though you may want to allow the dough to rise another 15 minutes or so before baking the bread. You may want to bake the bread longer for a more golden crust. Another topping variation is olive oil, sliced shallots, and chopped green or black olives.

Plain focaccia bread is also good served with a tapenade or dip.

Reprinted with permission from:
Cooking Gluten-Free! A Food Lovers Collection of Chef and Family
Recipes Without Gluten or Wheat
by Karen Robertson

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