Gluten Free Pizza with Mozzarella, Olives and Anaheim Peppers
-Photography, Susan Powers-
While Susan took beautiful pictures of Zoë, and Zoë chatted with us in her lovely, sunny kitchen, I mentioned in passing that I can’t eat gluten. Zoë said, “Oh, then let’s test my gluten-free pizza dough recipe!” And off she went to another room, returning with a container of gluten-free dough, ready to roll and top.
I could happily move in with Zoë François!
The pizza she prepared for us – crispy chewy cheesy heaven – is a recipe in development, so she couldn’t share it quite yet. But no matter, given she’s already published a fantastic gluten-free pizza crust in Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day, featured below.
Be aware that without gluten, this dough has a completely different feel than a traditional bread or pizza dough. There’s no stretch, no bounce, no kneading. To achieve a thin, crisp crust, roll the dough out piecrust-style, between a sheet of parchment paper and a sheet of plastic wrap. Peel away the plastic and then slide the crust – parchment and all – right on to the hot pizza stone. The paper will turn black but that doesn’t matter. The crust will emerge lovely and brown, not burned, topped with perfectly melty cheese.
I almost hate to say this, because I don’t want to imply that gluten-free food is somehow lesser than food made with wheat, but I think you’ll know what I mean when I say: No one will even know that this pizza is gluten-free. It is just…delicious.
The pizza crust, ready to be “rolled” out.
Now that’s a chef’s bookmark!
The trick to “rolling” this dough, a layer of parchment on top.
Louis hoping in vain for a morsel to fall to the floor.
The delicious, fresh sauce is spread over the crust.
Ready for the oven.
Gluten-Free Pizza Crust
From “Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day” by Zoë François and Jeff Hertzberg
Makes enough dough for 8 pizza crusts. This recipe is easily halved or doubled.
- 2 c. brown rice flour
- 1 1/2 c. sorghum flour
- 3 c. tapioca starch (tapioca flour)
- 2 Tbsp. granulated yeast
- 1 Tbsp. kosher salt
- 2 Tbsp. xanthan gum
- 2 2/3 c. lukewarm water
- 4 large eggs
- 1/3 c. olive oil
- 2 Tbsp. honey
1. Mixing and storing the dough: Whisk together the flours, tapioca starch, yeast, salt, and xanthan gum in a 5-quart bowl, or a lidded (not airtight) food container.
2. Combine the liquid ingredients and gradually mix them with the dry ingredients, using a spoon, a 14-cup food processor (with dough attachment), or a heavy-duty stand mixer (with paddle), until all of the dry ingredients are well incorporated. You might have to use wet hands to get the last bit of flour to incorporate if you’re not using a machine.
3. Cover (not airtight), and allow the dough to rest at room temperature until it rises, approximately 2 hours.
4. The dough can be used immediately after the initial rise. Refrigerate in a lidded (not airtight) container and use over the next 7 days. The flavor will be best if you wait for at least 24 hours of refrigeration.
Gluten-Free Pizza with Fresh Mozzarella, Olives, Basil, and Anaheim Peppers
From “Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day”by Zoë François and Jeff Hertzberg
Makes 1 pizza
- 1/2 lb. (orange-size portion) Gluten-Free Pizza Crust (above)
- 1/2 c. canned Italian-style chopped tomatoes, well-drained by draining through a strainer, or use any prepared tomato sauce you like
- 1/4 lb. sliced fresh mozzarella cheese, buffalo-milk variety if available
- 6 basil leaves, roughly torn
- 1/8 c. sliced Mediterranean-style black or green olives
- 1/2 Anaheim pepper, thinly sliced crosswise
- 1 Tbsp. grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (optional)
- Olive oil for drizzling on top of the pizza
- White or brown rice flour for dusting
1. Thirty minutes before baking time, preheat the oven to 500 degrees F, with a baking stone placed on the middle rack.
2. Prepare and measure all the toppings in advance.
3. Dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with rice flour and cut off a 1/2-pound (orange-size) piece. Dust the piece with more rice flour and quickly shape it into a ball; this dough isn’t stretched because there is no gluten in it – just press it into the shape of a ball. You will need to use lots of rice flour to prevent the dough from sticking to your hands or the work surface, but avoid working lumps of flour into the dough.
4. Sprinkle rice flour onto a 14-inch square piece of parchment paper. Flatten the dough with your hands into an even circle, sprinkle generously with more rice flour, cover with a 14-inch piece of plastic wrap, then roll the dough between the parchment and plastic wrap to produce a 1/16- to 1/8-inch-thick round. Peel away the plastic wrap, leaving the crust on the parchment paper
5. Distribute a thin layer of tomatoes over the surface of the dough.
6. Scatter the mozzarella over the surface of the dough, then the basil, olives, pepper, and Parmigiano-Reggiano, if desired. Drizzle the pizza with about a teaspoon of olive oil. No further resting is needed prior to baking.
7. Slide the pizza and parchment directly onto the stone. Check for doneness in 10-12 minutes. Take a peek at the bottom of the crust – if you’d like it to be browner, slide the pizza and parchment off the stone and directly onto the oven rack for a couple of minutes. (Parchment paper will turn black, which is fine.)
8. Allow the pizza to cool slightly on a rack before serving, to allow the cheese to set.