He’s 11-years-old now and let me tell you, there have been dozens upon dozens of birthday parties, classroom holiday parties, and movie nights featuring pizza. They all feature pizza.Fortunately for us, being gluten-free started becoming really trendy around the time of his diagnosis. (He started it, I’m sure.) Some of our local pizza joints offer gluten-free, so sending him with his own pizza to the various pizza parties wasn’t a big deal.
That said, I’m a chef and should be making my own. I mean, come on!Truth is, I’ve made countless attempts and have never been happy with the results — until now. This crust is very, very good! Delicious, in fact. I wouldn’t have considered sharing it if it wasn’t. (That’s just how I roll. You’ll never see recipes I’m not happy with.)
Grilling pizza crust is awesome because it adds a delicious smoky flavor — but, you can also make this without a grill . . . .
Oil a baking pan, shape the dough on the pan, add the toppings and then bake until it’s slightly golden along the edges and toppings are hot.
This crust however, doesn’t taste like your typical pizza crust made with wheat flour – it’s different. It’s gluten-free, after all. It’s a thin crust with a nice crunch and excellent flavor, which I mostly attribute to the olive oil.
My son — the ultimate gluten-free pizza critic — loves this crust. And that’s really all I need — and it’s all you need to know, to feel confident making it.
- 2 cups warm water (about 106 degrees F)
- 1-ounce active dry yeast
- ½-ounce granulated sugar, plus a pinch
- 2-pounds gluten-free all-purpose flour, plus a bit for dusting
- ½-ounce fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus a bit for the grill
- In a small bowl, combine the warm water (about 106 degrees F) with the yeast and a pinch of granulated sugar. Stir to blend and let it sit until the top surface has little bubbles and is slightly frothy, about 5 minutes. (This is called proofing the yeast.)
- While the yeast is proofing, combine the remaining sugar with the flour, salt and xanthan gum.
- Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the the yeast mixture and the olive oil into it. Stir to blend. You will likely need to use your hands to fully combine the wet with the dry.
- Dust a clean, dry work surface with gluten-free flour, and pour the dough out of the bowl. Use your hands group it all together.
- Knead the dough for a few minutes, until it's soft and holds together. (This is not like kneading gluten-full dough -- it will not behave the same way. It will sort of break apart when you pull it, not stretch.)
- Shape the dough into a large ball, place it in the mixing bowl and cover it with plastic wrap.
- Let it "rest" in the bowl for a while in a warm place, about 30 minutes. (It will not rise the way a gluten-full dough would, but it will rise a very little bit and become a bit softer and easier to work with.)
- Now brush a stove-top grill lightly with olive oil. (You can also do this on the barbecue, but only with a thin grate -- if it's too wide, the dough will break through the spaces.)
- Divide the dough into four equal parts. Shape each of the sections of dough into balls and place two on the grill, one at each end. (You can do two at a time for a double burner grill.) Set the remaining dough aside, covered with plastic wrap.
- Gently use your hands to press the dough into flat circles.
- Use a rolling pin to flatten it out a bit more. Ideally, the circles of dough should be about ¼-inch thick. Then use a fork to poke a few air holes in the crust.
- Place the grill on the stove and turn the heat to high. Grill the dough until there are nice marks, about 4 minutes per side. (Use a large metal, flat-bottomed spatula to flip it gently.)
- Add the desired toppings and then heat in the oven, just long enough to warm them -- not to cook the crust further. If it cooks too long, it will become tough.