easy gluten free pizza crust
today I want to share one of my favorite go-to toaster oven recipes: gluten free personal pizzas.
pizza has always been one of my favorite foods, and in my early days of being gluten free was the one things I "cheated" most with. in the states there are now many frozen options [Udi's is my favorite] and several pizzerias have started to offer gluten free crusts as well.
but in Taiwan... well, they haven't really gotten on the gluten free bandwagon. from time to time I can find gluten free baking mix at the import store, but never consistently. usually I have to go to Taipei, order it online, or have my parents ship some over.
this recipe was born out of trial and error [and lack of kitchen equipment] and has been made with at least 8 different brands or types of gluten free mixes. that includes the time I used pancake mix - which I wouldn't recommend but it still came out tasty.
2 1/2 cups gluten free flour [all-purpose, baking, or bread mixes work best]
3/4 to 1 cup warm water
1 room temperature egg
1 package regular yeast
salt + pepper
italian spices such as garlic powder, red pepper flakes, rosemary, thyme, etc.
measure your flour into a large bowl and mix in the yeast packet, salt and pepper, and any italian spices you have on hand. add the egg and stir around until it forms small crumbles in the flour, then drizzle olive oil around the dough two or three times and stir again. starting with 1/2 cup, add the warm water and mix well until the dough is one consistency.
the dough will be "wet" and not much at all like traditional pizza dough. don't worry, this is ok for gluten free! drizzle some more oil on the top, cover and let sit on the counter for 1 1/2 hours.
preheat your oven to 500F [or your toaster oven to 250C] and line an 8x8 baking pan with foil. drizzle olive oil on the foil. divide dough into 4 portions - no need to mix or knead it - and press one portion into the pan so that it lays even. prick with a fork and add a little more olive oil to the top. bake for 8-10 minutes until just starting to brown, remove from the pan and repeat with the other 3 dough portions.
the crusts will be baked through, crisp but with a little give. the longer you bake it, the crunchier the crust will be. [unless you used pancake mix, then it will just get burnt.] take your pre-baked crust and cover in the sauce, cheese, and toppings of your choice. bake for another 10-12 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly.
if you like, you can freeze the crusts with or without sauce and toppings. I usually let a frozen crust thaw in the fridge a little before topping and then baking, but if it's already dressed then you should be good to go right into the oven. sometimes it takes a little longer to cook, but just keep an eye on it until your cheese gets melty.
the main reason why I make these pizzas personal size is because the only thing that fits in my Taiwanese toaster oven is an 8x8 brownie pan. but I do like smaller size because one is enough per person, and when I'm just cooking for husband and myself I can freeze the extra 2 pizzas for a quick dinner another night. having a stash of gluten free pizzas in my freezer also means I can bake my own when friends come over and order the "real" stuff that I can't eat.
individual pizzas also come in handy when there's a crowd with varied preferences. the night I shot these photos I was cooking for myself, Husband, my mother-in-law, and my two nephews. Husband wanted four cheese [mozzarella, fontina, parmesan, and goat cheese] with mushroom and onions, while I wanted to forgo the mushroom and goat cheese but add olives. and of course, my nephews declared they would not eat sauce on their pizza, only cheese and pepperoni.
I still ate their cheese-and-pepperoni-only leftovers. [actually, I ate all of the leftovers.]
this recipe has been a life saver for me... or really, a stomach saver. there was a point when I thought I would never be able to eat pizza again without having to search high and low for mysteriously obscure gluten free baking additives. but thanks to this simple crust recipe, I can have pizza. good pizza.
if you try this recipe or a variation, please let me know how it turns out! I've never tried this recipe as one full-size crust, or with regular wheat flour, so I'd be curious. regardless of its gluten content or thereof, I think we can all agree that pizza is awesome.