When my sister mentioned a week before Thanksgiving she was going completely gluten free I wanted to reach through the phone and slap her silly. Power to her for the life-style change, but I’m the one in charge of all the holiday family meals. I’m the one that had to figure it all out! How about more than a week’s notice, please? Luckily for both of us my curious and experimental nature had already lead me to some dabbling in gluten free recipes.
Now I’m not much of a fad person myself, but I do respect the will-power of those who chose restrictive life-styles (for whatever reasons). I also empathize with those living with food allergies. However, what is often left out of the conversation are those, like me, that do not have these restrictions, but find themselves thrust suddenly into that world. Emilie and I were discussing this not too long ago just after the New Year.
Who doesn’t love to accommodate their friends and family, but can you imagine how bad your host(ess) might feel if they didn’t know of your recent vegan conversion and watched you pick at your bacon wrapped steak and butter topped asparagus all evening? Forewarned is forearmed! Don’t feel bad about giving someone a heads up about your allergies or special diet. When Emilie and I were visiting a friend in San Francisco one Spring Break, I made sure to mentioned that it was Lent, which, after receiving a family dinner invite on a Friday night, allowed enough notice for a Lent friendly meal that everyone could enjoy. When my friend Sue is in town, I know to keep a container of soy milk on hand for her coffee since she is allergic to dairy. Now that my sister is gluten-free, I have engineered gluten-free versions of our favorite family holiday recipes. However, there are still folks that might feel uncomfortable at the potential inconvenience. Emilie has a great tactic for that. She offers to bring a dish! This tactic not only ensures there will be at least one thing you can eat, but provides an easy opening to mention what you are not able to eat as well as eases any feeling of inconvenience, because you’re bringing the dish. Not a bad idea huh?
With that said, many of you are like Emilie and me: food lovers. We like to eat and cook new things, unfamiliar things. Our friends are lucky, because we’re the most likely to have that paleo vegan, gluten-soy-nut free recipe in our back pocket. We’re always experimenting. My favorite food “fad” to experiment is, as I’ve mentioned, gluten-free substitutions. So, without further adieu, for your back-pocket I present this gluten free, thin crust pizza dough!
Gluten Free Pizza Dough
makes 2 9″x 9″ personal pizza crusts
- 2 ½ cups Gluten-Free Flour (see recipe)
- 2 tablespoons dried milk powder or dairy-free creamer
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon corn starch
- 1 tablespoon honey or granulated sugar
- 1 5/16 ounce package of instant yeast
- 1 cup warm water
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (for dough)
- olive oil for pan
- 1 tablespoon cornmeal for dusting
- In a large bowl, blend together the gluten free flour mix, dried milk, baking powder, and corn starch. Set aside.
- In another bowl, add yeast, olive oil, and warm water along with ½ cup of the dry ingredients.
- Stir to combine and set aside for about 30 minutes. Mixture should be bubbly and smell yeasty.
- When yeast is ready, add to the remaining dry ingredients.
- Using a stand or hand mixer, mix at medium-high speed until dough forms. It will not be like the pizza dough you’ve probably made in the past. Instead it will be sticky, like spackling.
- Cover the bowl, and let the dough rest for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to 425° Fahrenheit .
- Divide dough in half. If not using right away, grease two sheets of plastic wrap and wrap the two halves separately.
- For a single personal pizza, grease a 9” x 13” baking sheet with olive oil and dust with cornmeal.
- Place one of the pizza halves on the baking sheet. Wet your fingers and begin working the dough outwards beginning from the center. You should be able to get a 9″ x 9″ crust.
- Let the dough rest for 10-15 minutes before baking the crust in the oven for 8-10 minutes.
- Your crust is now ready to become a pizza. After adding desired toppings, bake pizza for about another 10 minutes.