Tuesday, 31 May 2011

My favourite pizza crust

I like to make pizza about once every week or so. Before starting the BTD, my favourite pizza was served at Cat's Social House on Granville Island in Vancouver, and it was full of things I'm not allowed to eat: chicken, bbq sauce, corn, wheat, and a few other things I can't remember.

The pizza I make at home is very simple and straightforward, topping-wise: mushrooms, kale or spinach, goat cheese, mozzarella. And a little sauce. That's it.

Making a wheat-free pizza means loving thin-crust pizzas, which fortunately, I do. You just can't get that same fluffiness from a rice flour pizza, no matter how much yeast you use. It also gives me the opportunity to get creative and fun with the flavourings by adding herbs and spices for extra flavour.

Pizza Crust

Makes enough for two crusts. They freeze well.

  • 1 Tbsp. yeast
  • 1 1/3 cup warm water (you can use milk, but arrowroot gets slimy when mixed with dairy)
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 2 cups brown rice flour
  • 2/3 cup arrowroot starch
  • 2 tsp. xanthum gum
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1 tsp garlic powder (or one clove garlic, minced)
  • 1/2 tsp each dried oregano, basil and marjoram
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Combine the warm water with the sugar and yeast in a small mixing bowl, stirring gently to dissolve the mixture. Let it sit for about 10 minutes so it can get bubbly.
  3. Combine the brown rice flour, arrowroot starch, xanthum gum and herbs in a larger mixing bowl, in the bowl of your stand mixer if you don't want to mix everything by hand.
  4. Add the oil and lemon juice to the yeast mixture, which should have some air bubbles by now.
  5. Pour the yeast mixture into the flour mixture and stir well, or mix well with a dough hook. Mix until well combined.
  6. The dough will be somewhat sticky, so sprinkle some rice flour on it and let it rest while you get your pizza pan ready.
  7. Use a pizza stone or pizza pan with the holes in the bottom. Do not use a regular cookie sheet for this - it won't get crispy enough.
  8. Divide the dough in two and set one half aside. Roll out the other half on a well-floured surface until it's about the size of your pan, then just like a pie shell, roll it onto your rolling pin and unroll it on the pan.
  9. Don't worry if it's not perfectly round. We're going for rustic here.
  10. Before adding your toppings, put it in the oven for 10-15 minutes, until it gets a little golden. This will help the bottom stay crisp so you don't have to torch your lovely toppings waiting for the crust to cook.
  11. Remove from the oven and let it cool for a couple of minutes while assembling the rest of your toppings.
  12. Once the pizza is all assembled, put it back in the oven for about 15-20 minutes. Once everything is golden and lovely, remove from the oven, let it cool for 5 minutes (it's hard, but at least try to let it cool), then slice and munch!

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