Gluten-Free Pizza

My wife has Celiac disease, which means we are a gluten-free household, for the most part. I do 100% of the cooking (yeah, it’s not 90%’ish… I do 100%) and have adapted to gluten-free. I still treat myself to good french bread on ocassion and make my kids sandwiches with good ‘ol white bread, but I have converted to gluten-free for a great many things.

Gluten-free pizza has been the bane of my existence. I don’t care what people say, when somneone says “this gluten-free pizza is good” it is because they have been traumatized by all the bad gluten-free pizza and anything remotely good is a relative improvement. When you go from a disaster to a fiasco, it’s an improvement.

I have tried every imagineable pizza crust and gone through countless recipes with alternative flours that are gluten-free. I give up, nothing is going to come close to what amazing gluten does to pizza.

The Thomas Keller C4C pizza crust is pretty good, really close to the real stuff, but I find working that dough to be a challenge. In the final equation I think the problem with most gluten-free pizza crusts is that they try too hard to be traditional pizza crust. C4C is as close as you will get to traditional and it’s still not even close.

img_0521I recently tried a product from Brazil call Chebe that is gluten-free and free of pretty much everything else that causes food allergies (lactose, nuts, etc.). I love this product and would use it even if we were not a gluten-free household.

Flavor and texture are very much like a yeast dough but distinctive enough that it doesn’t remind you that you are eating a gluten-free product. It does not rise therefore doesn’t need to rest, which makes it really convenient for a busy kitchen. Mix it, kneed it, use it. It bakes consistently and evenly. The result is a really enjoyable crust that is flaky and “doughy” with the right amount of salt and chewiness.

One word of advice, increase the oil component to 3-4 tbs rather than 2 tbs. Trust me on this, you will like it better than if following the directions to the letter. I am also evolving how I make this based on experience, and I’ll admit that the featured image I use in this post is not the best version I have made. The last time I made this pizza the crust had the appearance of traditional pizza rather and I think I do need to let the dough ball rest for at least an hour before using it.

I also found that this crust was more difficult to work with than the last time, further supporting the idea that it needs to rest.

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