Thursday, September 1, 2011

Gluten Free, Yeast Free Pizza Crust

Necessity is the mother of invention -Unknown
Ah, pizza. I must admit, I never really cared for pizza even before I was gluten/soy/dairy/everything free. Some of my friends tease that I have a tomato phobia- which may be true. I cannot stand tomato sauce. Nope. Not at all. Not spaghetti, lasagna, pizza, or ketchup. And definitely not raw tomatoes ((shudder)). Pesto sauce, alfredo sauce, or just plain ol' olive oil and garlic- mmm, now we're talking.

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.
Put dough on pizza pan or baking sheet, brush top with olive oil.
Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.
Add sauce, cheese, and toppings, and return to oven:
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?!?)
I learned it is very difficult to take a good photo of pizza : ) 
Note: Since this makes two pizzas, I am curious if it might work to freeze the 2nd pizza crust after baking for the first 10 minutes, to use later. I did freeze pizza slices after they were made, and that worked great. But I didn't try freezing the "naked" dough, before adding the cheese and toppings. If you try that, I'd love to hear how it turns out.

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 :)


  1. I've been searching and searching for a yeast-free, gluten-free pizza crust and happily stumbled upon your blog. I just made this for dinner and it was delicious! Thanks for sharing :)

  2. I know what you mean about searching and searching! I'm so glad you found this one, and liked it! BTW, it also makes very good crackers; I'm actually making those today : )

  3. Replies
    1. I use a combination of brown rice flour, tapioca flour, and mung bean starch. You can take a look here:

      I've experimented with a lot of different GF flours, but I am sensitive to nearly all of them. The rice/tapioca/mung seems to be the safest for me.

    2. Thank you! Is there an organic gf flour you recommend ( I have systemic candidiasis thanks to antibiotics)? Bobs gf all purpose flour made me sick, most likely b/c it was not organic.

    3. Hi Caitlin, I don't tolerate Bob's Red Mill GF all purpose either, but I use Bob's Red Mill Organic Whole Grain Brown Rice Flour. I'm looking at the package now, and it is organic. But you cannot use just brown rice flour by itself, you'll have to mix it with a combination of starches- I use tapioca starch (same as tapioca flour) and mung bean starch (found in Asian food markets). Many people use potato starch (NOT the same as potato flour) or arrowroot starch instead of the mung bean starch. You can check this post for the recipe/ratios if you like:

  4. What if I don't have seltzer water?

    1. Hi Tracy,
      The seltzer is the key ingredient in this recipe, since you are essentially substituting the bubbles from the carbonation instead of bubbles from yeast. Seltzer is pretty easy to find; it is also known as club soda. (not tonic water, that has sugar in it and a different taste). Just plain, carbonated water- that's all you need!

    2. Great recipe Tasha; I've been making my gf from your site for at least a year and just stopping by to show my gratitude. I hope to see more recipes from your site. I am always looking for allergy free and low carb ideas which are hard to come by:)

  5. I'm so happy I have found this recipe and your blog ;)
    I just added this link to a post with my pizza recipe.
    Take a look:

    1. Hi Ella,
      I don't know how I missed your comment before- I just looked at this post, and your blog is beautiful! Your colors, and your photographs are just lovely! Thank you for sharing my recipe, and for letting me know :) I'm really glad to find your blog. Tasha

  6. Just came across with this. Going to make it this evening With the seltzer water - what is the quantity. Is it 1 cup or two thirds of 1 cup? Thanks.

    1. Hi Moviddy79,
      I would start with 2/3 cup, and see how the dough comes together. If it forms a nice smooth ball, it is ready. If it is still a little dry and crumbly, and doesn't seem like it will hold together when you roll it out, add a little more seltzer water. I find that the amount varies slightly each time I make it, but it falls somewhere between 2/3c to 1c each time.

    2. Can I use a stand mixer instead of a food processor? My food processor is too small!

    3. Hi Hope,
      I do not have a stand mixer, so I have not tried that. But it's probably worth a try! Just mix however you might normally mix dough (probably with a hook). Otherwise, you could certainly mix with your hands in a bowl. This dough is not as "doughy" or elastic as a traditional dough, and it is a little denser when mixing. Let us know how the stand mixer works out! Tasha