Gluten Free Pizza: How It’s Made and How to Make Your Own
Going gluten free doesn’t mean you have to give up your favorite comfort foods. It all comes down to finding suitable gluten-alternatives. The same goes for everyone’s favorite Italian food, pizza.
Pizza crust is traditionally made with wheat flour which is what gives it that irresistible spongy texture. Without wheat (or, more accurately, without gluten), pizza may not seem the same.
Though you may not be able to stop in to your local pizza shop to grab a slice, gluten free pizza does exist and it can be a delicious traditional pizza alternative! Keep reading to learn how gluten free pizza is made and how you can even make your own at home.
How is Gluten Free Pizza Made?
Quite simply, gluten free pizza is pizza made with gluten free ingredients. In most cases, gluten free pizza is made with a combination of gluten free flours and starches like rice flour, almond flour, potato starch, and tapioca starch. These are combined with wet ingredients like oil and flavorings like sugar and salt. Some recipes also use yeast to give the dough some rise.
When it comes to making gluten free pizza, there are several different techniques that can be used. One method is the standard dough method where you combine various flours with liquid and a rising agent like yeast. You can also add additional ingredients like psyllium husk powder to give the dough some of the structure and elasticity you would see in traditional pizza dough. Another option is to make a batter rather than a traditional dough.
Traditional pizza dough is made with about 60% liquid. Because gluten free flours tend to be highly absorbent, this ratio may result in a stiff, flat pizza. To make pizza crust batter, you’ll need a much higher moisture ratio around 130%. The added moisture will give the crust a better texture but will also make it harder to shape – you’ll need to work with the batter on oiled parchment and spread it with a rubber spatula or by hand. Most gluten free pizza crusts should be baked before topping.
Schär Gluten Free Pizza Crust
If all this talk of pizza is making you hungry, Schär has the perfect gluten free pizza crust to help you make your own.
Schär’s Pizza Crust is shelf-stable and made from 100% gluten free ingredients that include the following: water, corn starch, potato starch, rice flour, sunflower oil, rice starch, rice syrup, dextrose, psyllium seed husks (vegetable fiber), modified cellulose, guar gum, apple fiber, yeast, salt, tartaric acid (may contain soy).
Cooking up the perfect gluten free pizza with Schär’s Pizza Crust couldn’t be easier. Here’s how:
- Preheat oven to 425F (220C)
- Use either parchment paper or lightly greased baking sheet
- Remove pizza crust from packaging and place on prepared baking sheet
- Add your choice of toppings
- Place baking sheet with pizza on top rack in preheated oven
- Bake for 15 minutes (extra toppings may increase cooking time)
- Remove from oven and enjoy your delicious gluten free pizza
Gluten Free Multi-Purpose Flour For Pizza’s
When it comes to gluten free baking, it’s generally not a good idea to simply replace wheat flour with a gluten free flour alternative. Gluten free flours do not respond in the same way as traditional flours – they may need more liquid or more eggs to achieve the desired texture and rise. If you plan to make gluten free pizza on a regular basis, you may want to whip up or buy a batch of gluten free multi-purpose flour, so you have it on hand when those cravings hit you.
Some of the best ingredients to use in a multi-purpose blend for pizza crust include rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, and dry milk powder. You can use either white rice flour or brown rice flour to provide a neutral-tasting base. White rice flour has a slightly gritty texture while brown rice flour provides a subtle nutty, almost wheat-like flavor along with certain proteins that mimic gluten. Potato starch creates a gel at high temperatures to make the dough tender while tapioca starch gels at lower temperature, giving your crust that traditional chewy texture and elasticity. Dry milk powder helps give the crust structure and adds depth to the flavor.
If you’d rather spend the time making your own pizza dough, here’s a simple recipe for gluten free multi-purpose flour for pizza dough:
Combine 6 cups of brown rice flour with 2 cups of potato starch and 1 cup of tapioca flour (or tapioca starch). Whisk the ingredients together until they are well combined then store in an airtight container at room temperature. You can substitute white rice flour if needed, but it will have a grittier texture.
Versatile Gluten Free Pizza Crust
Now that you have your multi-purpose gluten free flour blend, you can use it to prepare gluten free pizza crust. This recipe takes just 15 active minutes to prepare, less than 15 minutes to bake, and it yields a 12-inch pizza (or a 9-inch pizza with thicker crust).
- 1 ½ cups gluten free multi-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons nonfat dry milk powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup warm water
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons yeast
- Combine the multi-purpose flour, dry milk powder, baking powder, xanthan gum, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk until well combined.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the warm water, 2 tablespoons oil, sugar, and yeast.
- Stir well then whisk in ½ cup of the dry mixture until it is smooth and lump-free.
- Set the mixture aside for about 30 minutes until it is bubbly with a yeast smell.
- Pour the mixture from the small bowl into the dry ingredients and beat on medium speed for about 4 minutes until thick and sticky.
- Cover the bowl and let rest for another 30 minutes while you preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment and drizzle the remaining oil over it and turn the dough out onto the oiled pan.
- Wet your fingers then spread the dough from the center outward, pressing it into a 12-inch circle (or 9-inch circle if you prefer thicker crust).
- Let the dough rest for 15 minutes while you prepare the toppings.
- Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until the dough is just set – the surface should be opaque, not shiny.
- Top the crust with sauce, cheese, and toppings as desired.
- Bake for another 10 to 15 minutes until the cheese is melted then slice to serve.
Tips: If you want to bake your pizza on a pizza stone, place it on the center rack in the oven while you preheat it. When ready to bake, slide the parchment with the crust directly onto the pizza stone.
3 Other Delicious Uses for Gluten Free Pizza Dough
Gluten free pizza can be delicious, there is no arguing that fact, but there are other ways to use the dough as well. Below you’ll find three tasty recipes using gluten free pizza dough including calzones, garlic knots, and even cinnamon sugar pull-apart bread. Enjoy!
1. Three-Cheese Calzones
- 1 pound gluten free pizza dough
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- ½ cup pizza sauce
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or melted butter
- Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment.
- Divide the pizza dough into four portions and stretch each into an 8-inch circle.
- Toss together the mozzarella, ricotta, and parmesan cheeses in a bowl.
- Spread a little sauce on each dough round then sprinkle with the cheese blend.
- Fold the dough in half and pinch the edges together to seal.
- Brush the tops with oil or melted butter and bake for 12 to 15 minutes to brown.
2. Cheesy Garlic Knots
Servings: about 2 ½ dozen
- 1 pound gluten free pizza dough
- 1 clove minced garlic
- Pinch salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
- Preheat the oven to 400°F and grease a large baking sheet.
- Divide the dough in half and set half aside – roll the other half into a 10-inch square.
- Cut the square in half and slice each half into 15 strips and cover with a clean towel.
- While keeping the unused strips covered, tie each one in a knot and place them on the baking sheet 1 inch apart.
- Repeat with the other half of the dough then bake for 20 to 25 minutes until browned.
- Mash the garlic with the salt then stir in the olive oil.
- Toss the baked knots in the garlic oil mixture and sprinkle with parsley and parmesan to serve.
3. Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread
Yield: 3 small loaves
- ½ recipe gluten free pizza dough
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 ½ tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 1 stick butter, melted
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 ½ tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 375°F and grease three mini loaf pans with cooking spray.
- Combine the granulated sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and stir well.
- Cut the pizza dough into 1-inch pieces and dip them in melted butter.
- Shake off the excess butter then roll the pieces in the cinnamon/sugar mixture.
- Fill the loaf pans with the dough pieces and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until sticky and browned.
- Remove the pans to a cooling rack and cool to just warm then remove from the pans.
- Whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla extract in a small bowl.
- Drizzle the vanilla icing over the loaves and serve.
With the right ingredients you can throw together a delicious gluten free pizza (and more) for the whole family to enjoy!