So, I was never really a pizza fan. However, my new found love for pizza started when I discovered Pizza Fusion. If you have a Pizza Fusion where you live, it is definitely worth checking out! It is a chain that started in Florida and has franchised up the East coast. They have an eco-friendly business philosophy (very cool). They also offer gluten-free and/or vegan pizzas. And real ingredients. Nothing frozen or from a can. They have regular pizza too, so it's a great place to go with friends, and everyone can get what they need or like. (and they offer an option for olive oil or pesto instead of tomato sauce, yay!)
Pizza Fusion's gluten-free pizza crust is delicious. But their GF crust (gluten, corn and soy-free!) uses canola oil and, of course, yeast- and those two ingredients make me pretty sick. I still eat it every once in a while- if I'm out running errands and absolutely starving- or if I'm just TOO exhausted to make a darn thing at home- but as much as I love it at that very moment, I pay for that choice for a couple of days afterwards.
So, I decided to figure out my own pizza crust.
The biggest challenge in pizza crust is not the gluten, it's the yeast. Fortunately, pizza crust doesn't have to rise too much; it's almost like a flatbread. The recipe below is what I've currently come up with to mimic the Pizza Fusion thin, crispy crust. It uses seltzer water in place of yeast for bubbles and rise. I think it's pretty good. I tried making it with and without a rolled edge, and I like the flat edge better; it produces a thin cracker/flatbread style crust.
And- it is easier to make than a yeasted crust!
*This recipe submitted to Wellness Weekend
Gluten Free, Yeast Free Pizza Crust
Makes two, 11" pizza crusts
2 cups gluten free flour mix
2 tsp guar gum
2 tsp corn-free baking powder
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp organic raw cane sugar (you could probably use agave, or omit)
3 Tbsp olive oil
2/3- 1 cup seltzer water
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
Combine dry ingredients in food processor fitted with the "S" blade.
With food processor running (I use the "dough" setting on mine), add the olive oil.
Slowly add the seltzer water until the dough becomes a ball. Stop processing when you get a ball.
Divide dough ball in half.
Place half of the dough ball on a non-stick work surface. I use a large, countertop SilPat for this. You can also flour your surface with a GF flour, but in my humble opinion, GF flour is too expensive to go spreading around on countertops ;)
Roll pizza dough into a large, flat circle.
Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.
Bake for another 12 minutes:
this is the flat edge I liked better
My toppings (use what you like/tolerate): I brush the crust (again) with olive oil and garlic, then added shredded mozzarella. Important: Buy a brick of cheese and shred it yourself- not only is this less expensive than buying pre-shredded cheese, but allergy note: pre-shredded cheese is coated with starch (corn, potato, or tapioca) to prevent it from clumping together in the bag.
For a vegan option, you could use soy/Daiya/nut/seed cheese, or no cheese at all.
I like kalamata olives and organic red onion on top. I don't often eat dairy, but it is the least of my reactions (symptoms are merely annoying rather than debilitating), so every once in a while (say, 3 or 4 times a year) I will, for something like this (sometimes a girl just gets hungry, y'know?!?)
Another idea would be to make smaller crusts for individual-size pizzas, since those would be easier to store in the freezer. Then on pizza night, everyone could make pizzas with their own toppings (great for allergies AND personal preferences :)