Tuesday is pizza night at our house. It just is. Oh, we know a more traditional Tuesday meal would be aligned with Taco Tuesdays. But we all taco differently around here. Tortillas both corn and rice flour, no tortilla, cheese, no cheese, lettuce, sauce, no sauce……it makes me want to run half-crazed to Chipotle and hide in the tub of guacamole.
Which I know is extra. Really.
Wow, that got weird quickly. Well, while we’ve stalled out here on the gluten-free foodie highway, can someone please explain Meatless Mondays?
If I took meat away from my family on any day I would never hear the end of it. Anarchy would ensue. Mutiny on our collective bounty. Mass hysteria. You get the idea.
Where were we? Oh yes, pizza.
Remember delivery pizza? Pizza delivered to your door, hot and cheesy, doughy crust, little tubs of fake flavored butter sauce……..with all kinds of little doughy bites available for purchase to compliment your doughy pizza crust, delivered for a reasonable price by a teen with a questionably clean car.
What were we talking about? I got lost there for a moment.
Pizza, or more specifically what makes a pizza so enticing – the dough, crust, toppings, texture, smell, appearance and taste – are all something you “settle for” when you go gluten-free or have food allergies. You usually find yourself trying to chew through a piece of previously frozen cardboard for a crust. Or, you might decide to give a few different mixes a try – “How bad can it be?” you ask yourself (out loud) in front of the sales clerk that just rang up your $4.99 Daiya cheese, $3.99 Applegate Farms Pepperoni and $7.99 bag of soon-to-be-white-chalky-gloop. She doesn’t answer. She has seen the familiar face of gluten-free optimism before. She knows. She wants to tell you, but she wants you to be happy, just for this moment. And so she takes your money. She even wishes you good luck and waves to you as you skip merrily out the door. You, are going to have pizza.
Do I sound bitter? I don’t mean to be. I’ve just been let down so many times before. I miss pizza. I do.
So, here we are. You are waiting for me to tell you I have done it! I have found a way to give you your fluffy, dense-yet-light all at the same time crust back! Well, I can’t lie to you. I have not. That is just a big old work in progress. And I have not progressed very far on it. Gluten IS indeed what makes pizza, pizza. And to remove the thing that gives your dough a chewy, elastic, and bready texture all at the same time makes it very hard to make a substitute dough. So we all must choose. Do we want light, crispy flatbread-esque pizza? Do we want a cracker? Or do we want crust that is dense and weighs about 17 pounds?
You must decide. No rush. Take your time.
Having pizza when you have made dietary changes forces you into accepting different textures. Different versions of what you grew up accepting food as. If you expect a nut crust to taste and feel like a glutenous doughy crust, you will be disappointed. But if you adjust your expectations and have an open mind, you may get to indulge in a weird kind of victory. Hey, somedays we gluten-free people need that win. Change your outlook from crust to toppings. All the toppings you want.
(I will tell you this though, one of my favorite cookbooks, The Allergen Free Baker’s Handbook by Cybele Pascal has a pretty good yeast-involved pizza dough recipe in it. If you click on the link above that says “My Amazon Store” you can pick up a copy for about $16. Well worth it.)
Why am I not using that recipe then? Believe me, I’d love to. But myself, the kids, Padmè and Artoo, and their dad, Lando, all have different dietary needs/tastes in pizza. So we are a four-crust family. Yes, sadly you read that right. Four different crusts. Allow me to elaborate…..too much. Let me sum up.
Padmè is low-carb and gluten/dairy free so she requires a nut-based crust with Daiya cheese. Artoo doesn’t really care for sauce and doesn’t want cheese – fake or real – so he usually gets a brown rice or tapioca crust. Lando, my chief taste-tester is the most challenging to cook for. He finally settled in on Bob’s Red Mill Pizza Mix. He can have dairy so his pizza must be made just for him. Me? I’m still working on the popular cauliflower crust floating around Pinterest. I want to like it, I really do. I just need to change it. A bunch. I am dairy-free as well, but don’t like Daiya cheese on a pizza, so I opt for more interesting toppings.
So there you have it. Ready to try something new? Good.
I assure you, there is a crust under there. Really.
The first crust we’ll tackle is the easiest and the quickest. From bowl to oven, baked and topped in 15 minutes flat. Pretty sweet!
Brown Rice and Tapioca Pizza Crust
Serves one. Think of it as a personal pan pizza, everyone can have their own!
1/3 cup Brown Rice Flour (and yes, if you click on this link to Amazon and purchase something I get a few pennies. I blog because I love food, not money.)
1/4 cup Tapioca Flour
1 tbsp. Oil (We use Costco’s Organic Coconut Oil)
2 tsps. Baking Powder
Salt, Garlic Powder and Oregano to taste for crust flavoring – trust me, you need this.
Preheat your oven to 425. If your oven doesn’t want to go up that high, 400 is ok also, but it will take a few minutes longer to cook. Grease a pie plate or small pizza pan, springform pan or cast-iron griddle. Mix all of the ingredients together in one bowl. When everything is mixed, spoon the batter onto your greased pan. Don’t worry if it’s a bit odd looking – it’s not your typical dough, remember?
Now cover your dough with a piece of plastic wrap.
Gluten-free dough is sticky beyond belief. Toddler-in-a-candy-store-on-Christmas-wearing-shoes-made-out-of-marshmallow-krispy-treat-sticky.
With the palm of your hand, press out the dough to your desired thickness. Artoo likes a thicker crust, but don’t flatten it out past 1/4 inch or it won’t hold your toppings!
Peel off the plastic wrap – PLEASE – and put the pizza crust in the oven for 8 minutes. Not a minute longer. I’m kidding. Until the top no longer feels sticky.
It’s ready for toppings and sauce when it looks like this:
When topped with everything your heart desires, place it back into the oven to heat your toppings through. Artoo likes his pepperoni slightly crispy, no cheese, no sauce – that takes about another 5 minutes to finish baking after I have topped the crust. Use a large spatula to remove the pizza to a plate and enjoy!
And there you have it – pizza crust #1. Notice I didn’t say the word dough. Or doughy. More flatbread meets biscuit.
Cashew Meal Pizza Crust
Serves: ARE YOU KIDDING US? A PIZZA CRUST MADE OUT OF CASHEW MEAL? Aaannnnddddd unfollow………(click)
No, I’m not kidding. Pizza for one, lo carb-ish, coming up.
1/2 cup Cashew Flour (Almond flour can also be substituted, but will have a bit stronger favor so you may want to use more spices to flavor it.)
2 tbsps. Tapioca Flour (for smoothing out the crust)
1 tbsp. oil of choice
2 tsps. Baking Powder
Salt, Garlic Powder, Oregano to taste for crust flavoring.
Preheat oven to 425. Grease a pie plate, pizza pan, springform pan, or cast-iron griddle. Mix nut flour, egg, baking powder, oil and spices. Spoon into the prepared pan. Sprinkle tapioca flour on top of batter and lightly smooth over crust with your hands. As described in previous recipe, place a piece of plastic wrap over batter and press with your hand to fill the pan. Remove the plastic wrap.
Bake 8 minutes, or until top of crust is no longer sticky. Remove from oven and top with your favorite things.
Return pizza to the oven to heat all ingredients. Use a large spatula to remove pizza to plate and enjoy!
Padme likes Daiya cheese and pepperoni……
So kids, that’s about it! Easy-peasy quick-as-the-interweb rice and cheesy pizza crust. Literally rice and cheese.
Don’t worry, I’m still working on that elusive crust. And tinkering with Bob’s Red Mill Pizza Crust to make it more…..light.
Coming up soon: Sugar-Free-ish Nut Flour Coffee Cake. Low Carb, Gluten-Free and Yummy!