FeaturesFeb/Mar 2012 Issue

Gluten-Free Masterful Pizza

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Sometimes when I bake, the culinary muses sit on my shoulder and whisper, “Add a sprinkle of salt” or “Put in a bit more liquid.”

Not long ago, a real-life muse appeared in my kitchen: Rebecca Reilly, master of gluten-free baking. Preparing for a shtick in an upcoming celiac cooking conference, Rebecca and I created recipes with flour flying as we tested, nibbled and baked. We billed ourselves as “The Dueling Chefs,” our goal being to show our audience different ways to make gluten-free pizza.

Out of this effort came a versatile dough that can be used to make focaccia, pizza and pizza pockets. This gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free recipe contains millet flour for crunch, a tasty tip suggested by Rebecca.

The kitchen muses have taught me that equipment and technique are as important as ingredients. For pizza, use a stand mixer or a heavy-duty hand mixer. I also use a pizza stone—not a must but it produces a fabulous crust. If you use a stone, pick up a pizza paddle with a long handle. It allows you to slide the pizza in and out of the hot oven without burning your fingers.


Photo by Oksana Charla.

Photo by Oksana Charla.

Gluten-Free Master Dough

This recipe makes enough for two 12-inch gluten-free  pizzas, six pizza pockets or one large focaccia. I often use it to make one pizza and 3 pizza pockets. No need to let the dough rise; it puffs up nicely in the oven.

2½ cups gluten-free high-protein flour blend of choice
½ cup millet flour
1 tablespoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons chopped dry or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary, optional
5 teaspoons instant active dry yeast
1⅓ cups warm water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon cider vinegar

1. Preheat oven to 450° F. If using a pizza stone, place it on the lowest rack before preheating the oven. Do this 30 to 60 minutes ahead so the stone is very hot. If you’re not using a stone, it’s not necessary to preheat the oven for an extended period of time.

2. In the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the high-protein blend, millet flour, xanthan gum, salt and rosemary, if used. Blend well. Add the yeast and blend.

3. In a small bowl, combine water, oil, honey and vinegar. Add to dry ingredients.

4. Beat at medium-high speed for 3 to 5 minutes or until the dough thickens.

 


 

Gluten-Free Pizza with Gourmet Flair

MAKES two 12-INCH PIZZAs

This gluten-free pizza is as pretty as it is delicious. Colorful presentation and simple ingredients make for understated elegance. There’s no need to let this dough rise before baking. However, if you like a thicker crust, let the dough rise for 10 minutes before adding toppings and bake the pizza an additional 3 to 4 minutes.

1 recipe Master Dough
2-4 teaspoons good quality olive oil, divided
4 tablespoons good quality pizza sauce, divided
8 medium tomatoes (red, yellow and orange), thickly sliced
2 handfuls small, pitted, cured black olives, such as Nicoise
½ cup cubed Manchego or dairy-free cheese, optional, divided
-Freshly grated Parmesan cheese or dairy-free Parmesan cheese
-Fresh rosemary, for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 450° F. If using a pizza stone, place it on the lowest rack and preheat the oven. Do this 30 to 60 minutes ahead so the stone is very hot. If you’re not using a stone, it’s not necessary to preheat the oven for an extended period of time.

2. Scoop half the dough onto a lightly oiled sheet of parchment paper. Cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap. Use fingertips and palm to lightly press the dough into a 12-inch circle. Use fingertips to create a rim of dough around the edge.

3. Drizzle half the olive oil over the surface. Top with 2 tablespoons pizza sauce.

4. Scatter half the tomato slices, olives and cheese over the sauce. Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan.

5. Repeat with remaining dough and ingredients.

6. Slide each pizza (with parchment paper) onto pizza paddle and transfer to a preheated stone, sliding pizza and the parchment off the paddle and onto the stone. If using a baking sheet, slide each pizza and parchment onto a baking sheet and set it on the lowest rack of preheated oven. Bake 20 to 24 minutes, depending on the thickness. The bottom of crust will be brown.

7. When done, slide the pizza paddle under the parchment and slide pizzas out of the oven. (Don’t worry if the paper tears a little.) Sprinkle pizzas with fresh rosemary and serve.

Each slice contains 110 calories, 4g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 4mg cholesterol, 183mg sodium, 53g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 15g protein.

 


 

Gluten-Free Red Grape Focaccia

MAKES 1 LARGE FOCACCIA (15 SQUARES)

Thick, yeasty gluten-free dough with a slightly sweet bite makes this a delicious appetizer. If dairy is tolerated, crumble goat cheese over the grapes before baking.

1 recipe Master Dough
2 teaspoons fennel seeds, toasted in a dry skillet
2 teaspoons good quality olive oil
3-4 cups red seedless grapes, rinsed and drained
-Coarse salt
1 tablespoon apricot preserves

1. Preheat oven to 450° F. If using a pizza stone, place it on the lowest rack and preheat the oven. Do this 30 to 60 minutes ahead so the stone is very hot. If you’re not using a stone, it’s not necessary to preheat the oven for an extended period of time.

2. Mix fennel seeds into the dough. Scoop the dough onto a lightly oiled sheet of parchment paper that’s the size of a pizza stone or a baking sheet. Cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap. Use fingertips and palm to lightly press the dough into a free-form rectangle that is nearly the size of the stone or baking sheet. Dot the dough with your fingers to make small wells in the surface. Brush with olive oil.

3. Scatter grapes over the top and sprinkle with a few grinds of coarse salt.

4. Slide focaccia and parchment paper onto a pizza paddle or baking sheet. Set on the lowest rack and bake 25 to 30 minutes, depending on thickness of the dough.

5. Microwave apricot preserves for 15 seconds or until melted. Remove focaccia from the oven and brush preserves over the grapes. Cut into squares. Serve warm.

Each square contains 135 calories, 3g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 161mg sodium, 25g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 2g protein.

 


 

Gluten-Free Pizza Pockets

MAKES 6 POCKETS

Also called calzone, these gluten-free pizza pockets can be filled with an array of flavorful ingredients. Here’s a tasty way to hide vegetables for a treat that kids will enjoy. Have plenty of your favorite pizza sauce on hand for dipping. Prepared pockets may rise while you’re still working on them—that’s OK. If dairy isn’t tolerated, omit the ricotta cheese.

½ cup chopped gluten-free pepperoni
1 cup frozen broccoli florets, microwaved 2 minutes to soften, cooled
½ cup part skim ricotta cheese, optional
½-¾ cup grated sharp cheddar cheese or dairy-free cheese
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 recipe Master Dough
-Pizza sauce, for dipping

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment.

2. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients, except Master Dough and pizza sauce, to make filling.

3. On an oiled sheet of parchment, divide dough into 6 equal balls. Place one ball onto another oiled sheet of parchment. Cover it with oiled plastic wrap and use your fingertips to smooth it into a 7-inch circle.

4. Spread 2 to 3 tablespoons filling mixture over half the circle, leaving a ¼-inch margin around the edges. Using the parchment, fold the uncovered half over the filling until dough edges meet and form a pocket around the filling. Press edges together to seal. Trim parchment to remove excess paper.

5. Slide filled dough pocket with remaining parchment onto prepared cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining dough balls.

6. Place pockets in preheated oven and bake 20 to 22 minutes. Cut and serve with pizza sauce for dipping.

Each pocket contains 444 calories, 19g total fat, 7g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 36mg cholesterol, 796mg sodium, 53g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 15g protein.
Food editor Beth Hillson (glutenfreemakeovers.com) is author of Gluten-Free Makeovers, available at LivingWithout.com.

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