Living the Gluten-Free Lifestyle–Pizza

Let me guess!  You are probably researching living gluten-free or have already made the commitment for your own health or for your family.  I applaud you!  I hope the information and recipes on my Baking Free blog will help you make these lifestyle adjustments.  We all go through phases as we make important changes.  First, how can you make your kitchen gluten-free?  Of course, remove the gluten-full flour and other gluten-full products.  Then, check your condiments and mixes to ensure no gluten has been used in their manufacture.  If you aren’t going to a completely gluten-free kitchen, determine what equipment you must dedicate to gluten-free cooking and baking, so you can avoid cross-contamination.  Organize a space and mark these items so everyone in the house knows and understands what is going on!

Your next step might be to identify recipes that are gluten-free or could be made gluten-free easily.  After all, we all have to eat three times a day!  So, to be ready with easy-to-cook meals, think through your family’s favorites.  Make a list as you determine what is gluten-free or what adjustments you need to make a meal gluten-free.  For example, bacon and eggs are usually OK.  Toast or muffins probably are not unless you are using a gluten-free flour.  You can add hash brown potatoes to round out the meal.  See, that was easy.  Another meal on my list for lunch or dinner is lettuce wraps.  I really like them.  Any combo, such as tuna salad on a lettuce leaf works for me.  My family often enjoys home-made beef stew.  With only a small change we can still enjoy this favorite.  The recipe only calls for flour to coat the beef.  By just browning the meat without the coating, and using gluten-free cornstarch to thicken the gravy, this meal is gluten-free.  Rethink your recipes to come up with some meals you and your family can really enjoy.  You will feel more in control once you have go-to recipes for meals that you know are gluten-free.

Perhaps you will want pizza!  All this thinking about food may lead you to think about all the things you can’t have.  Who says you can’t have a muffin?  No one!  You will find all kinds of products in the grocery store.  Some are OK while others just don’t hit the mark.  I have found lots of the baked goods disappointing.  I’m lucky because I enjoy cooking and baking.  Now, I’m not a chef or a gourmet.  I do basic, wholesome cooking.  I bake often but nothing too difficult.  I will be sharing recipes that use Baking Free gluten-free all purpose flour on this blog.  I hope you will take my recipes and adapt them to your family’s needs.

Gluten-free baking doesn’t have to be complicated.  I strive for recipes that everyone can enjoy.  My best compliment is when someone likes what I have baked and can’t tell it is gluten-free!

Here is my first recipe posting–Pizza Crust.  It is an easy starting point to begin gluten-free baking.  Just add your favorite toppings and enjoy.  Don’t be intimidated–just give it a try!

Pizza Crust
 
Ingredients
  • 3 cups Baking Free™ gluten-free all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons sugar (divided)
  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 1¼ cup warm water (divided)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a small bowl, combine yeast with ¾ cup of warm water (about 110 degrees). Let stand for a couple of minutes to activate. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sugar after about 3 minutes--this will encourage the activation.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, measure the flour, salt, baking powder and remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. Mix together on low speed. Turn the mixer off.
  3. Pour the yeast mixture into the dry ingredients. Add the olive oil and the additional ½ cup warm water. Turn the mixer on low and mix until the dough comes together. Just a minute or two needed here.
  4. Lightly coat two 12 inch pizza pans with olive oil. Put half of the dough on each pizza pan. Lightly dust the top of the dough with flour. Using your hands and moving from the center to the edges, press the dough onto the pan to make a thin pizza crust. Do this for both pans.
  5. Lightly brush olive oil around the edges of the pizza crust. This helps to keep the crust from cracking too much. It will still crack a little--no problem.
  6. Loosely cover the pizza crusts with foil. Place both pans in the oven to pre-bake for about 15 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and spread generously with you favorite pizza sauce, toppings and cheese.
  8. Put pans back into oven--still at 400 degrees F and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until edges are golden brown and toppings are bubbly.
  9. Remove from oven. Cut and serve.
Notes
This recipe makes 2 12" pizza crusts.  If you want to save one for later use, wrap half of the dough in plastic and refrigerate for 1-2 days.