Gluten Free Pizza – Oh, so good!

Gluten Free ‘Za, Photo by Kate Chan

Annual holiday cookie swap?  CHECK
Christmas cards mailed?  CHECK
Everything wrapped and shipped?  Almost a check there… two more to go. 🙂
Kiddos in bed?  CHECK! CHECK!
Adults in need of  heading off to bed too?  Oh, YES!  CHECK!

But what am I doing?  Making pizza, of course.

The word exhaustion means oh-so-much-more to me this year.  I thought since we were equally numbered 2 kids:  2 adults, that our ratio of 1:1 would save us.  Who was I kidding!!  The other night we ALL went to be at 7:15pm and didn’t wake up until the morning.  Oh yea.  We are T-I-R-E-D!  But life is fabulous.

There is nothing like laying on the living floor at night with just the Christmas tree lights on with a toddler wiggling about and a baby snoring in someone’s arms.  The Chicklet is loving the “scavenger hunt” for ornaments that she and her Baba playing while they lie there.  He asks her to find an ornament, she finds it.  And then she challenges him to find the one she is looking at too.  It’s quite cute.  And very calming.  Thank goodness, too, as life is everyone-on-the-run from before sunup until the typical 8:00PM bedtime.

Elfie is visiting

Elfie visits.  Photo by Kate Chan

Now that there are presents under the tree, our poor little Chica is tempted beyond all reason to open boxes.  (And it doesn’t help that some of the gifts have come wrapped in Buzz Lightyear paper.  She is a Buzz/Woody SUPER fan!)  So, I got a little creative.  You see, I know this elf (ahem) who has come to live with us until Christmas.  He is a buddy of Santa’s.  And he is just like a Toy Story toy in so much that he is inanimate during the day, but when we aren’t looking, he can scoot off and get messages to Santa.  Even better, he is stationed by the gifts to remind the Chica that she is not to open them *just yet*.  Since Elfie’s arrival, Z has taken to laying at his feet and contemplating life upon occasion and when she is most tempted to open gifts.  Poor little thing.  The next five days are going to be hard on her!

Despite the fact that I have TWO HUGE bags of papers to grade, lessons to write, laundry, dusting, wrapping, etc hanging overhead, I am here.  I would rather be cooking, writing or playing with the kidlets than doing any of the aforementioned fabulous household and work duties.  And since there are several other pressing things to be done, I’m off testing pizza crust recipes.

And as I was mixing and chatting with my Love, I remember the King Arthur Flour company and I wanted to order some goodies for a friend.  Little did I know, however, that King Arthur had recently entered in the gluten-free mix line.  (In fact, just the day after discovering this, I found their mixes at a local market.  But they are SPENDY!  ($12/box of muffin mix?  YIKES!)  And as most of you know, I really do prefer to make my own.  It is so much cheaper.

Since I found their GF items, I began to read a little more.  They have plenty of recipes on their site that use a basic mix that they prepare.  Their GF Flour Mix is: 6 cups brown rice flour, 3 cup potato starch (not flour) and 1 cup tapioca flour.  They “stabilize” their brown rice flour so their mix is definitely spendier, but maybe that works for someone who needs the basic mix to last longer than I do.  Anyway, since they had their mix posted and a pizza crust recipe, I thought I would try it.  (PS.  I have NO affiliation with King Arthur, have received no goods/monies, etc to post this and YES, I have their permission to post this recipe and links.)

This pizza crust is tasty. Very tasty.  The texture is great – the crunchy bottom of the crust mimics pizza-joint crusts and that is something we’ve missed.  (Thus the cast iron pizza recipe.) But this crust has depth to it as well – and it is easy to adapt/add different flavors, etc if you wish.  There are, however, a few things you should not mess with.  They are as follows:

  • You really do need to grease your pan well before baking.
  • You really do need the extra olive oil on the pan before flattening out your crust.  That is what made the crust texture sooooo much better!  You could bake it on parchment with olive oil (we’ve done that too), but directly on the pan makes for a better crunch and texture.

Beyond that, we did away with the wait time for the sponge.  (I’m impatient like that.) In order to get the yeast to rise, we added the sugar to the yeast mixture and not to the flour mix.  Other than those changes, we followed their recipe more closely but not exactly.  After all, recipes are like guideposts sometimes – you just gotta do your own thing.  Although I always recommend following the recipe the first time through and THEN making changes on subsequent batches.  You will know what you are working with better.

I’m posting the recipe as we made it.  You can find the original recipe here on the King Arthur site.

Gluten Free Pizza Crust
Very slightly modified from the King Arthur Flour recipe (linked above)
Makes:  1 medium-thin crust pizza

You can find a PRINTABLE copy of this recipe here.

1 1/2 cups GF flour mix

  • (1st time:  We used:  3/4 cup + 1 Tablespoon brown rice flour, 1/4 cup + 1 Tablespoon potato starch (not flour), 2 Tablespoons tapioca flour)
  • (2nd time:  We used our regular GF Flour mix.)

2 Tablespoons powdered milk or buttermilk powder
1 Tablespoon sugar or honey
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 Tablespoon yeast (they use 1 1/2 teaspoons)
1 cup warm water
2 Tablespoons olive oil (for dough)
2 Tablespoons olive oil (for pan)
Optional:  1 teaspoons each:  granulated garlic, fennel and dried basil.


  1. Sift together remaining dry ingredients:  GF flour mix, powdered milk, baking powder, salt, xanthan gum and your seasonings of choice.  (We use granulated garlic, fennel and dried basil.  Sometimes cumin, garlic and sesame if we are making a non-traditional pizza too.And then we use some sesame oil at the end too.)
  2. Bring water to 110º-115ºF.  Add 2 Tablespoons olive oil, the sugar and yeast.  Add 1/4 cup of the dry ingredients to your proofing yeast.  Stir together and set aside.
  3. Add the remaining dry ingredients to your mixing bowl.  (You need a stand mixer or a hand mixer for this pizza crust to mix it well.)
  4. Wait about 5-10 minutes or until your yeast mixture has risen nicely.
  5. Add the wet to the dry and mix together on medium speed for 4-6 minutes.
  6. Preheat your oven to 425ºF.
  7. Generously grease your pizza pan.  Then drizzle 2 Tablespoons+ of olive oil into the center of the pan.
  8. Scrap the pizza dough onto the olive oil pool on the pan.  With wet hands, squish the dough out evenly onto the surface of the pizza pan.
  9. Bake the crust for 8 – 10 minutes or until the top is no longer shiny but opaque.
  10. Top with your favorite pizza toppings.  (The Chicklet loves mushrooms and black olives on her pizza.  What do you like?)
  11. Return to the oven and bake another 10-15 minutes until your toppings are done/cheese is melted.

After all, it might be the Holiday season…. but sometimes you just have to eat comfort food too!
Happy GF Eating!

GF: Mozzarella, Basil and Tomato pizza

An easy, peasy gluten free lunch (or dinner!) idea. If I’m working, I make this the night before and reheat it for lunch. It’s not as tasty as it is fresh though.

What’s makes this lunch or dinner delicious are the fresh ingredients. Don’t try to use dried basil for the fresh basil called for if you are trying to recreate this fresh taste. It just won’t be the same.

I’ve made this recipe many times now for several months. When I started using the mock lavash bread, we feel in love with it even more. We are crispy-crust fans and thin-crust pizza fans around here DESPITE our Chicago-roots.

Using a wet rubber spatula and parchment paper, I can spend a little time (3-4 minutes) smoothing the dough as thinly as possible on the parchment paper. Then I bake the “”crust” for 15-16 minutes until golden. We’ve even made small, individual rounds of the mock lavash for individual pitas, sandwiches, pizzas, wraps, etc. It’s fast… and tasty!

You can even put a little baking powder in the lavash dough (add about 3/4 teaspoon when you add the dry ingredients) and your bread will puff up and get more crisp as well.

Give it a try! What have ya got to lose?

Gluten Free: Mozzarella, Basil and Tomato Pizza/flatbread
1 mock lavash recipe (baked for 15-16 minutes and use fennel, oregano and basil for your seasonings in addition to the onion)
1 large handful fresh basil leaves, torn or chopped (chopped will bruise them a bit, but it’s faster for me sometimes to chop)
2 fresh, firm tomatoes, diced
2 or 3 medium fresh mozzarella balls (about 2-3 inches in diameter) (*See note below.)
1 tablespoon olive oil
up to 1 Tablespoon fresh sea salt or other finishing salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. Dice your fresh tomatoes. Set in to a colander, stir them around a bit to get the juices flowing and strain the tomatoes. (This avoids the mushy crust syndrome.)
  3. Make one lavash recipe and spread thinly with a wet spatula on to parchment paper.
  4. Bake the “crust” for 15-16 minutes. Remove from oven.
  5. While the crust is baking, cut the fresh mozzarella balls into slices that are about 1/2 inch thick. Then cut in to strips and then half again. This will make pieces that are about 1 inch in length and about 1/2 inch in width. (The size of your pieces only matters for baking time. If your pieces are larger or smaller, please adjust your baking time as necessary.)
  6. Tear or chop your basil into small slices/strips.
  7. Drizzle the 1 tablespoon of olive oil on to the prepared mock lavash crust and brush the top to evenly distribute the oil.
  8. Sprinkle on your ingredients: tomatoes, mozzarella and basil. (We’ve also added hot sopressata at this point too.)
  9. Bake until the cheese is melted and the crust edges are browned (about 14-18 minutes).
  10. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the top with finishing salt.
  11. Slice and serve.

Eat it outside in the sunshine with a fresh salad and fresh fruit. That’s what we’re doing tonight! 🙂
Happy gluten-free eating!

(*A NOTE ABOUT FRESH MOZZARELLA: Fresh mozzarella is becoming easier to find in traditional super markets. If you supermarket has an olive bar, check there in addition to looking in the dairy department or deli. The mozzarella balls are stored in a brine. After purchasing, be sure to keep the mozzarella in a fresh liquid brine as well by changing the water and rinsing daily (or every two days at least). This will keep the mozzarella fresher. However, I highly recommend using fresh mozzarella within a few days of purchasing it. as it will spoil. Spoilage will occur faster if you fail to change the brine as well.)

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