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Each month, the Gluten-Free Homemaker hosts a gluten-free cooking challenge. Normally, I don’t post very many of my allergen-free recipes here on this blog, but since it’s my Birthday Bash, I thought you wouldn’t mind a peek into this aspect of my life.
It’s more than an aspect, I guess, it’s probably more like a controlling interest. Every day, I have to make sure my Certain Little Someone eats a healthy well-balanced diet that is free of wheat, dairy, eggs, soy, sesame, beef and peanuts. He also avoids tree nuts just to be on the safe side. If you’ve looked around this blog at all, you know that those first three items – wheat, dairy and eggs – feature largely in my cooking. It is quite a challenge to come up with creative, healthy, and yummy foods that he also likes to eat and are safe for him.
Thank goodness I like a challenge! I actually rather enjoy experimenting with new recipes for him, and coming up with different ways to present old recipes I’ve come to rely on. And so, I was excited to try the gluten-free challenge this month, which was pizza crust.
I had read an idea in a magazine somewhere to make a breakfast or dessert “pizza” by spreading yogurt over a pizza crust and topping it with fruit. It sounded pretty good to me, and also sounded like the perfect opportunity to try out a gluten-free pizza crust.
Turns out it was a failure all around. I made a regular version (with regular pizza dough and regular yogurt), and an allergen-free version (with a gluten-free pizza crust and coconut milk yogurt). Neither one was a big hit. I may try again and make a few changes, but I’ll wait a while until it fades from memory!
This is not to discourage you from trying! I still think it’s an excellent idea, and perhaps you can learn from my experience. (And if anybody has tried something similar, please share how you did it!) I’ll give you the recipes I used, but first, here’s how I would do it differently next time:
- I would add more sugar or honey to the gluten-free crust.
- I won’t put any chickpea flour in the crust, because for some reason the flavor was too strong.
- I would spread more yogurt on both pizzas.
- I would use some different fruit (I didn’t have the fruit I really wanted to use at the time I made them): more berries, especially, also kiwi and pineapple.
- I would use more fruit.
- For dessert, I think it would be yummy to drizzle chocolate sauce and top with whipped cream.
- I would roll both crusts thinner. Too much bread and not enough topping.
You don’t really need a recipe for the non-gluten-free version: just use your favorite pizza crust recipe, roll it thin, bake it, then spread it with flavored yogurt (6-8oz), and top with chopped fruit (strawberries, grapes, bananas, mango, pineapple, blueberries, raspberries, shredded coconut).
And now, for the gluten-free crust recipe, which I found in the Allergy-Free Cookbook and adjusted slightly:
Gluten-Free Pizza Crust
2 1/4 cups sorghum flour blend*
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp active yeast
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1 1/4 cups hot water
2 TBSP olive oil
Using a stand mixer with the kneading attachment, combine the dry ingredients. On low speed, mix the ingredients until blended then add the water gradually until a soft ball of dough forms. Add olive oil and beat for a couple minutes. Turn speed up to medium, and knead, adding additional rice flour as necessary until the dough forms a smooth pliable ball. Grease a large bowl, and place the dough in it, turning to coat. Let rise 30 minutes in a warm place. Sprinkle a pizza pan with rice flour, and use damp hands to spread the dough around the pan. Bake at 400F for 15 minutes or until the crust is golden in color.
It kinds of looks like the Sahara Desert:
*Sorghum Flour Blend
1 1/2 cups sorghum flour
1 1/2 cups potato starch
1 cup tapioca
1/2 cup chickpea flour
It’s not as QUICK as my usual pizza dough method (which is either a no-rise yeast dough, or my artisan dough) because of the rise.
I strongly dislike kneading bread dough, and I don’t really consider it EASY. But if kneading is old hat to you, then you should have no problem.
It’s as CHEAP as any gluten-free crust, I suppose. Not as cheap as using one basic flour like rice or oat, but probably more effective.
The flour blend I used makes this a relatively HEALTHY choice, as does the limited sugar (although, like I said, I think it could use more).
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