Friday, March 4, 2011

Gluten Free Pizza and a Bake Fest with Marie!

Today’s post was going to be on pizza – only pizza – but then Marie came over to bake!  Marc and Marie are driving up to Ohio to see her family so I offered to bake some goodies for their road trip.  Marie being awesome offered to help.  We went just a little crazy and baked all of this and then some!

We made two batches of jalapeño jack cheese rolls per the recipe here.  Then we made another batch with sharp cheddar cheese and a touch of garlic – think Texas toast.  There were plenty for our dinner, sandwiches for them to take and some for our freezer. A batch of pizza dough was next – recipe below.  Marc and Marie can take the pre-baked crusts and make pizza easily and quickly with her sister later.   Check out the fun shape!

Marie took over the Kitchenaid and made two batches of muffins.  The first batch was her very own signature version of the Breakfast Cake recipe.  Like Joe’s version, Marie opted for white chocolate chips and crystallized ginger but she had brought over a bag of dried cranberries and added all of them. She then added coarse sea salt instead of the finely ground I usually use.  They baked up so moist and tender.  The sea salt crystals accented the white chocolate in the most amazing way!

Next up was a batch of these muffins.  Only while Marie mixed them up per the recipe I chopped salty peanuts to mix in and she added dark chocolate chips.  Yum!

And now to pizza….

Pizza was something I missed when I gave up gluten.  At that time there were gluten free pizzas in the freezer section but they tasted like cardboard and were completely overpriced.  They just weren’t interesting enough to bother with.  Later as my sons became gluten free there were more options and they were a bit better but still not very exciting or even close to what we used to order.  Now there are much better brands in the freezer case and at a few restaurants, too.  We're fortunate to have a couple of restaurants close by that have good gluten free pizza now.

But it’s really easy to make your own crusts and you’ll save a small fortune by doing so. This recipe simply uses the cheese bread recipe (again) with mozzarella cheese and a good flavorful olive oil.  It's a thick, chewy and cheesy crust which my sons and I love.

Does it seem everything I bake is just a variation of that first recipe?  Well, when you have a recipe that is simple, that consistently works and that you are comfortable with it just makes sense to play with it as a starting point.  Especially when you’re re-learning to bake and getting a grasp on the chemistry of gluten free baking.

I buy bags of tapioca flour an armload at a time so I always have some on hand for a quick roll, bread, pizza, etc.  Using the entire one pound bag makes for large quantities and for us that works well.  If you don’t have the large people with large appetites at your house that I have here, freeze part of what you bake.  Having a few pizza crusts, rolls or muffins in the freezer makes life so much easier.  These crusts are especially easy to freeze.  When you need a fast meal you can pull out one out, top and bake for a fresh, hot pizza in no time.  If you’re going to a party and everyone else is having pizza, make and bake your own to take.  You won’t feel deprived a bit.  Planning ahead makes gluten free living so much easier.

This is a really satisfying pizza.  The crust has a ton of cheese and eggs so it’s full of protein.  A couple of slices and a salad will be a filling, stick with you meal.

Gluten Free Pizza – Thick Crust
Makes 2 12 inch pizzas or more individual sized pizzas as you choose.
1 lb.    Tapioca Starch
1 lb.    Mozzarella Cheese, grated
1 T.     Baking Powder
6         Eggs  (allow to come to room temperature)
3/4 C  Olive Oil
2 T      Finely Milled Golden Flax 
2 T      Dried Oregano - optional
Dash  Garlic Powder - optional


Heat oven to 425 degrees.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment or silicone sheets or use 12.5 inch baking stones.
I did one 12 inch pizza on the stone and made three large individual pizzas on the sheet this time.

Place all ingredients in mixing bowl in order given.  Putting the Tapioca Starch in the bottom helps keep it from forming a cloud when you start the mixer. I use my Kitchenaid stand mixer on medium for about 2 minutes. 

Divide the dough in half and pat into circles if making two large pizzas.  Be creative and make them any size you like.  You can even try heart shaped pizzas for Valentine’s Day or anytime you want to show a little love. 

Bake until lightly browned.  At this point you can either top your pizzas and pop them back into the oven to brown or let them cool before freezing.

If topping a fresh from the oven pizza another ten minutes in the oven is usually plenty of time for golden brown cheese.  If baking a frozen shell you’ll probably need closer to twenty.  

Marie and Marc, be safe and have fun!


LucisMomma said...

Those look so good! And Marie's adorable.

chacha said...

Thanks! And yes she is! =D

Terri said...

I love your blog, Chacha! I love your food, family and friends. Marie and Marc are so cute together! This looked like quite a baking feast!!!

chacha said...

Thanks Terri, I am blessed by my wonderful family and friends - you included.

gabbyfek said...

i want more muffins, please!

chacha said...

There are actually two of Marie's signature muffins left. Come by when you get home and grab them! Remind me to buy more cranberries and we'll make more this week.

Terri said...

Thank you, Chacha! I feel the same about you!

Christina said...

We have just recently started a gluten-free/Feingold friendly diet. Our son has ADHD(undiagnosed, but I KNOW) and want to try everything we can to keep medication out of his body. That is just not an option for us. His 5th birthday is coming up on the 14th of July and he has requested pizza. I cringed when he said that because I knew gluten-free pizza would NOT be easy. Thank you for the simple recipe(and many more that I am finding on your blog)!!

BTW: Would love to know what is the easiest way to free pizza crusts?

chacha said...

Hi Christina, sorry I missed your post while while I was out of town. I'm glad the pizza worked well for you. I'm not sure what you mean to free the pizza crusts - are they sticking to your pan? I often use parchment paper on my baking sheets and they never stick to that.