Yummy Gluten-Free Pizza Crust

Gluten-Free Pizza Crust Recipe

Gluten-Free Pizza

Note: This post got a tad long…if you just want to hurry right on to the pizza-crust-making part I won’t be offended! There are some tips I found helpful along with the recipe. If you are brave enough to wade through the tales of all my trials and errors, you may just find something helpful 🙂 Either way, good luck and happy eating! I’d love to know how your crust turns out!!

If you’re like me then you LOVE pizza. If you’re really like me you then you’re probably here because you can’t eat gluten. Either way, gluten-free is definitely the way to go when it comes to delicious, homemade pizza! Think about it, how many times have you seen someone refuse to eat their crust? That’s because it’s just regular-old-pizza-crust. Try this gluten-free recipe and stop picky eaters in their tracks!

I’ve had pizza on the brain ever since I cut gluten and dairy out of my diet. Out of all the foods I can no longer eat, I’ve missed pizza the most. It turns out that my true problem is with gluten. I was honestly very relieved when I realized I didn’t have to give up dairy for good. I could go my whole life without eating another grain of wheat, but life without dairy? No way! Coffee just isn’t the same without milk, and I’m a huge fan of cheese and yogurt. I’ve been scheming up ways to make a gluten free pizza, but it’s been way too hot lately to bake. The other night it was finally cool enough to turn on the oven.

My husband was totally on board to make gluten-free pizza for dinner. After listening to me talk about pizza non-stop for months now, we were both excited! We’ve made tons of pizza over the years, and have perfected our crust recipe. We found that baking spices into the actual dough really adds a lot to the finished product. This was our first attempt at making a gluten free pizza though, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.

gluten-free pizza crust

Gluten-Free pizza crust dough

Our first attempt was a bit of a disaster. We used a mix of garbanzo bean and brown rice flours. Since we’d never tried/ worked with garbanzo bean flour, we decided not to use a lot of it. Even with the small bit of flour, it made the dough really gummy and hard to work with. We ended up adding more brown rice flour to even things out. The resulting dough still had a heavy garbanzo bean taste to it, so if that’s not your thing, you may not want to use garbanzo bean flour (unless in tiny amounts). I ended up putting half of the dough in the fridge and made it the next day. That batch surprisingly did not taste like garbanzo beans, so maybe that helped!

Since we were new to being gluten-free, I didn’t know to add starch to the pizza mix. We ended up making thin crust pizza dough, so this didn’t seem to be a problem. It was definitely very crispy though, so if you are looking for a softer crust (or something other than thin crust) then I would recommend using at least 1/3 part starch in your total flour ratio.

I have since perfected (in my very humble opinion!) my pizza crust and to be honest the exact flour mix I use is different every time based on what flours I have on hand. The basics, however, are always the same. I like to make it 2 parts flour and 1 part starch (so 1/3 cup of starch for every 2/3 cup of flour). In my experience, this has proved to be a good ratio for both texture and taste. I like to use a mixture of brown rice and sorghum flours along with a starch (usually potato or tapioca starch). A few table spoons of blue corn meal is also a good addition. No matter what you choose, I highly recommend using at least two types of gluten free flour with your starch. This will help keep one flavor from being too overpowering. It can also help with the texture of your crust, as some GF flours can be coarser or finer than others.

I also like to add spices such as basil, oregano, garlic, pepper, and onion powder to the flour mixture to give it some extra character. Fresh onion, spinach, and olive slices are also great additions when baked right into the dough. In the past we’ve even added pizza sauce when the dough felt a little dry.

This recipe produces two medium sized pizza crusts, and is enough to feed 4 to 6 people. It can easily be doubled – or more! I like to triple the recipe and make a bunch of mini pizza crusts to freeze and use later.

Once you bake the crust, don’t forget to load it up with pizza sauce and all of your favorite toppings! We love adding lots of vegetables and turkey pepperoni in this household 🙂

Gluten-Free Pizza with all the Toppings

Load it up with your favorite toppings!

 

Gluten-Free Pizza Crust
1/2 c brown rice flour
1/2 c sorghum flour
1/2 c tapioca starch
OR
1 c gluten-free flour mix
1/2 c gluten-free starch
herbs & spices – to taste (optional)
1 pkg. instant yeast
1tbs sugar or 1tsp honey
2 tbs olive oil
1 c warm water

  • Combine the flour, sugar and yeast together in a large mixing bowl. Add your favorite herbs and spices, such as, basil, oregano, garlic, and onion powder.
  • Add the olive oil and warm water (this is where you add the honey if that’s what you are using instead of sugar. Mix the ingredients together until the dough is too stiff to stir with a utensil.
  • Knead the dough by hand. If the dough is too dry, add pizza sauce 1 tablespoon at a time until it’s the right consistency. If the dough is too wet, gradually add flour.
  •  Divide the dough in half, cover, and let rise for 10 minutes. See baking instructions below.

Regular Pan-Crust Pizza

  • Using two greased 9x9x2″ baking pans, press the dough into the bottom of the pans and 1″ up the sides for the crust. Cover the pans and let the dough rise until it’s doubled in size (approx. 35-45 minutes).
  • Bake the crust at 375 degrees for about 25 minutes or until brown.
  • Top with pizza sauce, cheese, and your favorite meats and vegetables.
  • Bake for another 20 to 25 minutes at 375 degrees

Thin-Crust Pizza

  • Roll the dough out onto two 12″ round pizza pans. Do not let them rise.
  • Bake at 425 degrees for about 12 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Add the pizza sauce and toppings while the crust is still hot.
  • Bake at 425 degrees for about 12 minutes – 15 if you like it crispy.
Gluten-Free Pizza

Gluten-free pizza straight from the oven

Some basic pizza crust tips I have found helpful:

  • Use at least two types of flour in addition to the starch. I know I have mentioned this, but I’m saying it again because it really makes all the difference! It can be hard to find/ keep multiple types of gluten free flour, but it it truly helpful. You can always freeze the flour to help it keep longer. Some of the flours I have used: brown rice, millet, sorghum, buckwheat, blue corn meal, garbanzo bean flour. I know there are others, but those are the ones that come to mind at the moment.
  • Don’t be afraid to change up the ratio. This recipe is a basic guide, but everyone has different tastes. I have found that using a little bit more starch and less flour in your mix makes it easier to roll out.
  • If your crust falls apart or is crumbly after baking, you may want to add some sort of binder to the dough next time. A little bit of xanthan gum or unflavored gelatin helps. I also like to use 1/2 Tbs of chia seeds mixed with 2 Tbs of hot water. Let this mixute sit for 5 mintues before adding it in with the wet ingredients. If you use the chia mixture in your crust be sure to use a little less water from the main recipe.
  • Get creative! As I said, I like to add spices to my dough mix. The possiblities are endless. However, this crust kicks some serious booty without any help too 😀

Our gluten-free pizza was so good that my husband and I even thought about making it again for the third night in a row! Let me know how your crust turns out!

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Iced Orange-Berry-Limeade

Icedorangeberrylimeadedrink

It’s been so hot around here that my husband and I have been looking for ways to cool down. What better way to beat the heat than with a nice cold drink? Lemonade sounded really good, but all we had were limes, oranges, and wild blackberries. Still craving that frosty beverage, we decided to give it a shot despite our lack of lemons. The result? This delicious Iced Orange-Berry-Limeade!

Icedsummerbeveragefreshfruit

Iced Orange-Berry-Limeade
1-2 fresh limes (to taste)
1 fresh orange
2 dozen fresh berries (I used wild blackberries)
Ice cubes
Water

  1. Squeeze the lime(s) and orange into a large glass. It helps to use a fork to break apart the inside of the lime.
  2. In a separate bowl, mash up the blackberries. Pour the mashed pulp into a strainer and let all the juice drain into the glass.
  3. Add in your ice cubes.
  4. Top off the rest of your glass with water. Use sparkling water or a soft drink instead (ex. ginger ale, Sprite) to make it fizz. Makes one large drink.

One sip was all it took to fall in love. It was so hard not to finish the whole glass in one gulp! I wish we had enough fresh fruit to make a whole pitcher (or five). You can even customize this icy drink by using your favorite fruits. Don’t be afraid to experiment either. When it comes to making fresh fruit juice, you really can’t go wrong!

HomemadeIcedorangeberrylimeade

What’s your favorite way to find relief when it’s hot outside?

Crunchy Granola Goodness

CrunchyGranolaGoodness

So Good, So Crunchy

There are a million and a half ways to do granola: soft, crunchy, chewy, even “bar” form. Don’t even get me started on all the possible flavor combinations either! I have to admit I love all things granola, but it can sometimes be expensive, or if you buy the wrong kind, like eating cardboard. The “high price, low taste” thing is really weird because it’s so easy to make! Granola is hard to mess up too. Even if the consistency isn’t exactly right, it still (usually) tastes good.

It’s also the perfect dairy and gluten free snack (yay, something I can actually eat!). It can be really difficult to find tasty cereal when you don’t eat gluten, so I usually go with granola. Since good granola can be hard to come by, I thought I’d share my version. This granola recipe is part Better Homes and Gardens, part experimentation and part “accident,” but it’s all good!

As the name suggests this recipe produces crispy, crunchy granola that goes great with milk (or if you’re me- milk alternatives). I spread my granola out on a baking sheet to keep the chunks small and “cereal-like,” but it could easily be shaped into thin bars. This recipe makes approximately 6 cups of yummy granola. Any less than that and it’d probably be gone in one sitting!

Crunchy Granola Goodness Recipe
4 c Gluten Free Oats
1 c Nuts (I used walnuts, pecans and almonds)
1/2 c Flax Seeds (or milled flax seeds)
1/2 c Agave
1/2 c Maple Syrup
1/3 c Oil (I used olive oil)
1/3 c Almond (or other nut) Butter
1-2 tbs Ground Cinnamon
1/4-1/2 c Dried Cranberries

  1. Combine all ingredients* in a large bowl and mix until all the dry ingredients are “wet.”
  2. Spread the mixture out onto two greased 15x10x1″ baking sheets. This will result in small granola clusters that are great for snaking or as a cereal substitute.
  3. Bake at 300 degrees (F) for 50 to 55 minutes. Most recommend turning the granola after about 20 minutes, but I like to just let it bake untouched.
  4. Remember to keep an eye on it towards the end and make sure it’s not burning!

*Note: If you are using something other than dried cranberries you may want to wait to add any dried fruit until you are done baking. I made the mistake of making this with raisins and they all burnt to a crisp within 5-10 minutes of baking. It was a weird batch to say the least!!

crunchy granola

The ingredients listed in this recipe are simply what I had on hand. Try adding other nuts or dried fruit. Some great additions to granola are: cashews, sunflower seeds, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, raisins, dried blueberries or strawberries, banana chips, honey, brown rice syrup… Ok, you get it right? The possibilities are endless!

The last time I made this I crammed all the granola onto one baking sheet and made the whole batch at once. I baked it for the full 55 minutes because it was all packed together. It was still a little bit softer than I was going for, so I threw it back in the oven for another 5 minutes. The result was a giant granola bar! Since I’m not a giant myself, I broke it all up into small chunks, yum! How do you like your granola? My favorite is with almond milk!

crunchy granola with almond milk

Granola with Almond Milk

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Cornbread

After my gluten-free, dairy-free biscuits were a success, I decided to bake something else (I also desperately needed to use up some eggs!). I was in the mood for bread, but I didn’t want to use yeast, so I decided on cornbread. Once again I headed to my trusty New Cook Book by Better Homes and Gardens. I like using their recipes as a starting point since they are usually very basic. We like to eat really healthy, so I usually end up changing every recipe I come into contact with.

To make the cornbread gluten-free (GF) I substituted brown rice flour and tapioca starch for the all-purpose flour. We picked up some polenta from the awesome bulk section at our local grocery store the last time we were there. Polenta is coarser than cornmeal, and gives cornbread more texture.

I’m staying away from dairy (for now), so I substituted the milk in the recipe with almond milk. It’s thick-ish consistency makes for a good non-dairy substitute. It’s also a little sweet which means you can use less sugar in your recipe. I also replaced the regular sugar with brown sugar, but you could always use honey or agave instead.

With all the substitutions and changes, my yummy cornbread recipe turned out as follows:

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Cornbread From Scratch
2/3 c brown rice or sorghum flour
1/3 c millet or quinoa flour
1/3 c tapioca flour/ starch
OR
2/3 c gluten free flour(s) of your choice* + 1/3 c starch (potato, corn, and/or tapioca)
1c corn meal, blue corn meal or polenta
1-3 tbs brown sugar
1 tbs baking powder
1/2 tsp xanthan gum, guar gum, or unflavored gelatin
2 eggs
1 c almond milk (or other dairy-free alternative)
1/4 c olive oil or coconut oil

  1. Combine all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Make a well in the center of the dry mix and add all the wet ingredients – mix well.
  3. Pour the batter into a greased baking pan.
  4. Bake at 425 degrees for about 20 to 25 minutes.
  5. Let cool and chow down!

*I recommend using at least two different kinds of gluten free flour in your recipe – in addition to the starch, or starch mix, of your choice. It may be a bit of a pain to keep multiple gluten free flours around, but the more variety you have, the better the taste and nutritional value! I’ve used as many as 4 different gluten free fours in the recipe and it’s always tasted great! I really like brown rice, sorghum, millet and buckwheat flours for baking. (Note: Despite it’s name, buckwheat does not actually contain gluten (or wheat) so it is safe for GF baking!)

When I took this out of the oven my husband said, “Sweet, cornbread!!”

Wait, one last thing! I didn’t have any on hand, but one 12 oz. can of sweet corn is a great addition to this recipe. You can also get away with using less sugar this way too! Green chili cornbread is also a favorite in this household. Simply add a 4 oz. can of diced green chilies with the rest of the wet mix. If you decide to add corn or green chilies (or both!), you need to compensate for the added moisture by using less milk. I recommend starting with about 1/3 or 1/2 cup of milk and adding more a tiny bit at a time until it reaches the desired consistency. You may also need to add 5 – 10 minutes to the baking time.

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Biscuits

Surprisingly, not taste free!

Due to food allergies, I recently started a gluten and dairy-free diet. I’ve only been on this new diet for a few weeks, but it hasn’t been as bad as I had imagined. Although don’t get me wrong, finding foods that don’t contain wheat flour, milk, cheese, or butter (hey, all my favorite foods!) can be challenging and expensive.

All I’ve wanted to eat lately is biscuits! Biscuits, however, are made up of flour (wheat), milk, and butter (Mmmmm, gluten AND dairy). My stubbornness finally got the best of me, and I set off to try and make biscuits I could actually eat.

Whenever I’m in the mood to bake I go straight to my New Cook Book by Better Homes and Gardens. I love that all their recipes are already pretty healthy and super simple. I took a look at their Baking Powder Biscuit Recipe to see what I would need to substitute so that I could eat them (For those of you lucky enough to consume gluten and dairy, check out my note at the end of this post!).

Not satisfied with plain old biscuits, I decided to make cinnamon-sugar biscuits and biscuits with mixed-spices. Since I wasn’t sure how they would turn out, I split the recipe in half and made the two different types of biscuits in two separate bowls. I will admit it took a few times of trial and error to get these right. At first I replaced the wheat flour with just brown rice flour… that was a huge mistake! They tasted really gritty and well, like big globs of rice. Not what I was going for!

I’ve since found that these biscuits, as well as gluten free (GF) baking in general, taste a lot better with a mix of flours. Since GF flours tend to be a bit heavier than regular wheat flour, it helps to add in some type of starch (tapioca, arrowroot, corn…) to the mix to make your baked goods a little bit fluffier. The ratio of flour to starch depends on what your are baking and who you ask! I tend to favor a mixture that is at least 1/3 starch. (Note: if you have problems with sugar or are watching your sugar intake, remember that your body basically processes starch as sugar, so make sure to watch your intake or consult with a physician/ dietitian)

Gluten in flour is a natural binder and is what typically keeps baked goods from just crumbling apart. Since GF flours are obviously lacking gluten, it is sometimes necessary to add a different type of binder such as xanthan gum or unflavored gelatin to the mix. Eggs and/ or a mixture of chia seeds & water also work as binders that you can use for other recipes.

After what felt like a million batches, I finally came up with this basic recipe that is both good and really simple to make! The base of each type of biscuit is the same (Note: the following recipe will make 5 biscuits):

Gluten and Dairy-Free Biscuits:
2/3 c Brown rice flour
1/3 c tapioca flour/ starch
OR
2/3 cup Wheat-alternative flour of your choice* + 1/3 c starch of your choice
1 1/2 tsp Baking powder
1/4 tsp xanthan gum or unflavored gelatin
2 tbs Olive Oil
3/8 c Almond (or rice) milk**

Cinnamon-Sugar

Cinnamon-Sugar

Mixed-Spices

Mixed-Spices

Cinnamon-Sugar Biscuits:
Add 1 tablespoon of sugar (I used brown sugar), honey or agave; sprinkle with cinnamon and mix together (I have to admit, these were by far the winner of the two types of biscuits, but both were really good!).

Mixed-Spice Biscuits:
Season your biscuit mix with a blend of your favorite spices. I added a pinch each of garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, basil, parsley, carrot crumbs, pepper and salt. It’s also very good with fresh chopped green onions, red onion, and/or garlic. If you can have dairy, parmesan cheese is excellent as well!

  1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and knead the dough.* It’s not the same sticky, messy type of kneading as bread dough, so don’t be afraid to use your hands.
  2. Shape the dough into even sized biscuits. They don’t puff up a lot, so make them about the size you want them to end up.
  3. Bake the biscuits for 10-12 minutes at 450 degrees (Fahrenheit) on an ungreased baking sheet.
  4. Let cool and enjoy!!
  5. Try not to eat them all at once (optional).

*You can pretty much use any type of GF flour, but I strongly  recommend using a mix of at least 2 types of flour (in addition to the starch). This will help to keep one type of GF flour from overpowering the biscuits taste wise.

** If you use 1/2 c of milk or milk alternative (instead of 3/8 cup) you will end up with a moist dough that you can just spoon onto your baking sheet (and 6 biscuits instead of 5).

The directions in the original recipe say to mix the dry ingredients together in one bowl, make a well in the middle, and add the wet ingredients (pre-mixed in another bowl). Since I like to save dishes, I just add all the ingredients together in one bowl and mix them up at the same time. I chose the knead-the-dough method and it took less than 15 minutes to whip up and shape both types of biscuits. Let me know how your biscuits turn out!

Note: for those who can eat foods containing gluten and dairy, simply replace the wheat-alternative flour with regular flour, the olive oil with butter (I like leaving the butter in chunks so it melts in while baking!), and the almond milk with regular milk…and VoilĂ , old-fashioned biscuits everyone will enjoy!