Let me start by saying that a great pizza crust is puffy, chewy and crispy with a bit of yeasty flavor. Let me end by saying, a gluten-free pizza crust is none of those things. In fact, the only two things a traditional yeast-risen pizza crust and a yeast-risen gluten-free pizza crust have in common is shape and function. Once I got past that and stopped trying to turn "water into wine", it was easier (I didn't say easy, 'cause it took several tries) for me to move-on and come up with a perfectly-palatable very-tasty gluten-free to please the people in my circle who require one. I'm not gonna lie, the idea to put GF beer in GF pizza dough came to me via a late-night rerun episode of Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives hosted by Guy Fieri -- just paying credit where credit is due.
For the record, I do not eat a gluten-free diet, nor do I recommend that anyone for any other reason than being a bona fide celiac adopt a gluten-free diet. Bread is the staff of life, and, depriving the body of gluten, meaning wheat or by-products of wheat, for any long-term length of time, causes. not cures. health problems -- Google it you idiot. That said, I do know two bona fide celiacs, and, when either pay a visit to my kitchen, I accommodate -- which isn't remarkably hard because lots of foods (meat, poultry, fish, seafood and vegetables), pantry ingredients and meals are gluten-free, and, for the record, there are some very good gluten-free pastas available, so know, a gluten-free pasta dish or three are helpful to keep in your back pocket. I can count the number of gluten-free recipes in my repertoire on one hand, and, for my needs that's just fine.
My criteria: Easy-peasy recipe using readily-available ingredients, &, let my dedicated GF bread machine mix the dough, &, in the case of GF, cleanliness is next to godliness. Let's chat about cross-contamintion:
I can let my bread-machine do all the work, but, if you do not keep a bread machine dedicated for the sole purpose of gluten-free baking, you can not. Why? Cross-contamination -- and it is very, very dangerous. Celiac disease can be triggered by even the smallest spec of gluten. This means if you recently prepared foods using wheat flour, the first step (and it's a must) is to fully wipe down all baking surfaces, wash all hardware and utensils, and, remove any products or gluten-containing ingredients that are nearby. So, in the event you don't maintain a gluten-free bread-machine, simply mix your pizza dough by hand in the traditional manner and proceed.
Practice makes perfect? For GF: Practice makes palatable:
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus 2 additional tablespoons oil for preparing pan and fingertips
2 cups + 2 tablespoons gluten-free all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons teaspoon sugar
1 packet granulated yeast
~Step 1. Secure the bread pan in the bread machine. Place the beer and olive oil in the the bread pan of the bread machine. Add the all-purpose GF flour, then, sprinkle the sugar, salt and baking powder around the perimeter of the pan, meaning, not over the top center of the GF flour. Using your index finger, make a shallow well in the center of the flour and add the granulated yeast to the well. Close the lid and push the "menu/select" button. Choose the "pizza dough" cycle. Push "start". When the machine signals the dough is done (it will have risen once too), remove pan of dough from the machine. In my machine this takes 1 hour and 30 minutes. When dough is done, there is 1-pound 4-ounces total dough, or, enough for one 13" x 9"-rectangular or 12"-round pizza.
~Step 2. Place 2 tablespoons olive oil on 1, 13" x 9"-rectangular or 12"-round pizza pan, and, using a paper towel, spread the oil evenly over the surface. Place the ball of pizza dough on the oiled pan. Using your fingertips, a "tapping mode" and a light touch, spread the dough evenly across the surface and slightly up the sides of the pan -- this will be remarkably easy to do and the surface of the dough should be dimply looking from your fingertips -- do not roll the dough or try to flatten it in any way, as it will compact it. Allow dough to rest, 1 hour to 1 hour-15 minutes, to allow starches in flour to hydrate, and, to allow baking powder and yeast to work a bit of magic -- do not be inclined to skip the rest period.
~Step 3. Heat oven to 360°. Place untopped pizza crust on center rack of oven for about 8 minutes, to prebake it -- it's time to remove it when it appears dry and small cracks are appearing across the surface. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool about 15 minutes. Top with your favorite toppings, BUT, placing a layer of very-thinly sliced cheese down first, to serve as a moisture barrier between a thin-layer of sauce and the crust, is something I highly recommend. After the layer of sliced cheese, followed by a thin coating of sauce, proceed with grated cheeses and toppings of choice -- less is more with all choices, this is a thin crust pizza.
~ Step 4. Bake topped pizza on center rack of preheated oven for about 14-15 minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbling. Using a long, thin spatula, slde pizza from pan to oven rack to crisp the bottom for about 1-2 minutes. Using a pizza peel, transfer pizza from oven rack to wire rack to cool about 5 minutes prior to slicing.
Transfer from oven rack to wire rack & cool for 5 minutes...
Special Equipment List: bread machine; 1, 13" x 9"-rectangular pizza pan or 12"-round pizza pan; paper towel; long, thin spatula, pizza peel
Cook's Note: In crust I trust, but, in the case of the bloatedly-overpriced-at-almost-$9.00 cauliflower pizza crusts I purchased (on a whim just to get a taste-in-my-mouth for what all the buzz is about), I'd rather eat cardboard. In order to avoid eating compromising crap, I eat less of the things I love before cutting-back on carbs, or worse, cutting-out gluten completely. "Once you get used to them, they're pretty good", is not a retort, so stuff it. The only way to justify this type of ingredient-specific-deprivation requires a doctor's diagnosis. ~ The Great Cauliflower Crust Experiment ~.
"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti
(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2021)