Sunday, November 30, 2014

Coming Soon

Updates! Where the house is in it's painfully slow progress, how being a family of 5 is, canning for fun, attempting to re-simplify our diet and lower the grocery bill and processing heirloom breeds of chicken for our years meat supply. I'm giving myself a deadline so check back in a week for the first installment. What, you didn't think I was going to give it to you all in one go did you? I'm just not that kind of girl!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Homemade Gluten Free Pizza Crust

My older son has been gluten free for almost 3 years now and anyone gluten free or living with one can tell you that there are some really great products out there now! Pasta, cake mixes, cookies, crackers, pretzels and cereal are all things that we buy and are pleased with in the gluten free department. But, pizza had remained something to be desired either in taste, texture or both. Before I started eating gluten free myself (most of the time...) I had certain crust criteria I was fond of. Crispness, chewiness, thin but not too thin. When I tried gluten free pizza for the first time I was disappointed. I knew it wasn't going to be the same but I was not impressed. I have tried many restaurants crusts, store bought dough and recipes for homemade but still I was in search for one just right, one good enough to make pizza not seem like a facsimile of a sham. A few months ago I tried a recipe (this recipe) and it was good! Texture was decent, it didn't flop around when I picked up a slice or try to break my teeth when I bit into it. Flavor was mild and was a good background for the toppings. But, I am a tinkerer of a cook and also fearless to improvise when I am short an ingredient. Magically a few nights ago I discovered the best crust yet. Are you ready for this? It was crisp, chewy, thin but not too thin. It held shape from plate to mouth in hand, didn't hopelessly stick to the pan. It's still not regular pizza, but it is good. Here's how you can have good pizza too:

Flour blend:
1 cup sweet white rice flour (yes, it really does matter if it's the sweet)
1/3 cup sorghum flour
2/3 cup brown rice flour
1 cup potato starch
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 Tablespoon instant yeast
2 Tablespoons honey
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 1/4 cups warm water (110-115 degrees)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place all dry ingredients in stand mixer bowl and blend together. Dissolve honey in warm water and add oil. On low speed add wet to dry then mix on medium speed for 1 minute. It should come together in a ball and not be too sticky. Oil 2 large pizza pans well and your hands. Divide dough evenly and press into about a 12 inch circle with a slightly raised edge (this step takes time, press from the center out and keep it very even until about 1/4 inch thick). Pre-bake for about 10 minutes. Top as desired and bake another 10-15 minutes ( go for longer cause I like that crisp crust!) Let cool for about a minute and then remove from pan on to a board to cut. It may stick just a little to the pan but nothing a good spatula and a little loosening won't fix.

Now, the flavor is something I am still working on because it still tastes gluten free. Next time I plan to replace the water with warmed beer and add some fresh finely grated Parmesan. If it is a success I will add in the variation. Now go try this pizza!