Saturday, September 25, 2010
Gluten Free Baby Shower.
In late August, we threw my sister-in-law Rachel a baby shower on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. The next two posts will be recipes of the food I made - gluten free pizza dough and chocolate mousse with gluten free cinnamon shortbread.
It seems like a lot of gluten free baked goods come in boxes and bags these days because those who need to avoid wheat find it easier or more convenient, just like the people who buy regular cake and brownie mixes. I hate to be so snobbish, but I always prefer making things from scratch and I can't stand mixes. They don't allow you to control anything! I'd much rather figure out a real recipe and perfect it. So upon first search for "gluten free pizza crust/dough" you get a lot of links and sites for mixes to buy. Once you start getting into the recipes, many had reviews such as "gummy, not fluffy at all..." etc, etc. Then I visited one of the tried-and-true recipe websites, Epicurious. Lucky for me, I found a gluten free pie dough recipe that had (mostly) rave reviews. We had all the gluten free flours in the gluten free pantry so I decided to use this one.
It. is. amazing. I know the comparison for gluten free stuff is always "does it taste like the real thing?!" and this one really does, it might be even better. The thing anyone baking gluten free yeast breads should remember is that the doughs will always be more sticky and wet than regular bread dough. It's just the way gluten free bread works, don't add more flour or it WILL be tough and gluey. I found the best way to work with this dough was to use wet fingers and a greased offset spatula to spread it on the parchment paper.
Anyway, if you're looking for an amazing gluten free pie crust recipe, THIS IS IT. Top it with anything, I swear you'll love it. I roasted eggplants, zucchini, yellow squash, red onion, mushrooms and red peppers a few days before the shower and then spread pesto and the veggies over the par-baked dough and topped with mozzarella cheese (I also did a pesto/tomato/mozzarella as well as pesto/chicken/roasted veg/mozzarella). A note on quantities: I doubled this recipe and made it twice to get four rectangular-sized pizzas that I cut into 8 generous pieces each (I had to serve about 20 people, every piece of the 32 pieces were gone at the end of the shower...) If you're just serving a few people, this recipe as-is should be fine.
Gluten Free Pizza Dough
Adapted from Epicurious
3/4 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup white rice flour
1/3 cup chickpea/garbanzo bean flour
1/3 cup sorghum flour
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
2 1/4 teaspoons dry yeast (or 1 package)
2 teaspoons sugar
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the flours, xanthan gum and salt.
Heat the milk and 1/4 cup of water in the microwave or in a small saucepan on the stovetop until it reaches 100 degrees F. Stir in the yeast and sugar. Add this to the flour mixture along with the egg whites and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Using the paddle attachment, beat until the dough is thick and smooth, about 5 minutes on medium.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. and throw in a baking sheet as well. The baking sheet needs to be really hot so that when you put the pizza dough on, the bottom will start cooking immediately, therefore it doesn't get soggy or underbaked.
Scrape the dough onto either one large piece of parchment or two smaller pieces (depending on if you want one large pizza or two smaller ones) and form into a rectangle, circles, or any shape you can manage, using wet hands and a greased spatula. The end formation should be about 1/4 inch thick. Drizzle the dough with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and cover with plastic wrap and let rise about 20 minutes or until the doughs look puffier and slightly risen.
Transfer the pieces of parchment with the dough on them to the hot baking sheet. Place into the oven and bake until the bottom is crisp and the dough is set, 5 to 10 minutes depending on the size. The crust is now parbaked and can be cooled completely and frozen for up to 1 month, tightly wrapped. Otherwise, use your toppings of choice and put back in the oven until the cheese is melty and golden brown or the toppings are warmed through.