Monday, October 13, 2014

Pizza Night!

It has been quite the long day – early morning, work mishaps, paperwork, half a dozen metro card swipes…so I end my night peacefully with a relaxing cup of tea, a coconut cookie, and my blog. See why I call it Tasty Meditation? Here we go…

This weekend, I used my normal bribe of home cooking to lure my boyfriend over for a dinner/movie night – this bribe works about 99% of the time, the exception being if dinner consists entirely of Brussels sprouts and kale (which I love – and cook very well, mind you – but it isn’t Kristopher’s cup of tea).

He requested his favorite of my dishes – homemade pizza with my great-grandmother’s pasta sauce. My family’s secret pasta sauce recipe I will keep to myself for a while, but I will happily share my pizza.

This recipe originally came from my very first (and still my favorite) gluten free cookbook, “1,000 Gluten Free Recipes” by Carol Fenster, which can be purchased here

The alterations I made to the recipe were intended to get a little more flavor infused into the crust. I love garlic and herbs, so if you’re like me you’ll love the extra something-something these additions give the pizza.

A side note: making dinner together that night would give me an opportunity to try out my new birthday present from Kristopher – a tabletop photography tent with studio lighting – perfect for taking pictures of my beautiful food! Be prepared for some amazing photos in the future. (Isn’t he a thoughtful boyfriend? This is why I spoil him in the kitchen)

Gluten Free Pizza

Single serving crust:
1 ½ tsp active dry yeast
1 ¼ tsp sugar
1/3 cup almond milk (feel free to use whichever milk is appropriate to your dietary needs)
1/3 cup plus 4 ½ tsp potato starch (NOT potato flour)
4 ½ tsp sorghum flour
1 tbsp tapioca flour
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/4 plus 1/8 tsp sea salt
½ tsp oregano
2-3 cloves garlic (pressed)
1 1/2 tsp canola oil
1 tsp cider vinegar
White rice flour for dusting

Tomato Sauce
Olive Oil
Fresh basil leaves
Extra toppings of choice
Nonstick cooking spray

1.      Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
2.      Heat milk to 110 degrees F. Be careful not to overheat because it will kill the yeast when you combine them in the next step.
3.      Combine yeast, sugar and milk in a small bowl and set aside to foam for 5-10 minutes. I also find it helpful if the room is somewhat warm.
4.      In another bowl, combine all crust ingredients. Mix thoroughly using a spoon or your hands if necessary. Note that this dough (like many gluten free doughs) will be very sticky. Using a little white rice flour will help prevent it from sticking, though I have sometimes skipped this step completely. Beware that if you use too much extra flour it will make the dough too starchy and will change the chemistry of the dough. Don’t be tempted to add more flour to create a wheat-dough consistency.
5.      Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the dough on top. Take a second piece of parchment paper, spray one side with nonstick cooking spray, and play the spray side down on top of the dough. Gently roll into a flat pizza shape with a rolling pin. Carefully peel the top piece of parchment paper off. If some of the dough sticks, wipe it off and simply place it where it would have gone on the pizza. Bunch the outline of the pizza slightly to create a crust.
6.      Cook for 10-15 minutes or until the crust begins to brown.
7.      Take out of the oven. You now have your crust!
8.      Drizzle a little oil in the middle of the pizza and spread around. Add sauce, cheese, oregano, basil leaves, and any extra toppings that you choose. Spray the crust around the edges with nonstick cooking spray to get an extra crunch.
9.      Bake for another 15-20 minutes or until the cheese begins to brown. Let cool for 5 minutes before cutting into slices.


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