Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Cooking Pizza with Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef

I love pizza and I have to admit, since going gluten-free I have fared well when it comes to pizza. My wonderful wife has made it her part time job to make sure pizza is still a part of my life. She has tried a number of crusts recipes, nothing worth mentioning and we finally settled on store bought crust from either Udi's or Whole Foods. While they are not bad, not bad at all, they are a far cry from that traditional chewy crust with crisp toasted edges. When Shauna and Danny Ahern published their new cookbook, I was first in line to get mine, knowing full well there was a recipe for pizza crust. I was eager to give it a go. At first, there was some confusion when I couldn't find the recipe until I realized it was disguised as crackers. Then, disappointment, the ingredients included yeast. As accomplished as I am in the kitchen, yeast continues to intimidate me and I simply don't give recipes with yeast a second glance. However, my wife, is the far more capable baker in our house and she would do anything for me. So, I gathered the ingredients, which took some effort including stops at three different places to get all the flours I needed.

Beware people, while Bob's Red Mill has recently changed their manufacturing practices to make gluten free corn grains, some of the old product is still out on shelves. Take care to make sure the corn flour and the corn meal both have the gluten-free label.

This past Saturday I came home from work without a dinner plan. Well, secretly I guess I had a plan as I had gotten everything I needed for Tina to make Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef's pizza crust. She was game. While I ran to the store to get everything else to top the pizza Tina made the crust. Shauna and Danny suggest using parchment paper in the book, when rolling out the dough. We found the dough to be quite sticky, slightly wet, and hard to remove from the parchment. Plastic wrap worked much better, which is what they suggest in their pizza crust video on their website, http://glutenfreegirl.blogspot.com/, We also found it helpful to dust the counter and the dough with the corn meal before trying to work the dough. We divided our dough in half, using half for a pizza and the other half for the original cracker recipe.

After rolling out the dough for the pizza and getting it on our pizza pan we put it in the oven on a stone and baked it for about 15 minutes, it bubbled up in spots but didn't turn brown at all. Then we topped the pizza and put it back in the oven and cooked it another 20 minutes or so, until the edges of the crust started turning brown. We kept the oven at 500 degrees as directed, but it still took 20 minutes before the edges turned brown. The pizza crust was out of this world, worth all the effort! Crisp crust, kinda chewy and not too corny tasting. I was worried with all the corn flour and corn meal I used for dusting that it might over power the crust. It was perfect to say the least and as long as Tina is will, this will be our go to crust from now on. Danny and Shauna have hit the perfect combination of flours to turn out a perfect crust, company worthy!

The crackers, well, they just didn't seem to crisp up very well and turned out more like a flat bread, a very good flat bread at that! I loved the salt and rosemary seasoning and couldn't stop eating it, even after three pieces of pizza. But even after cooking it much longer than suggested it just didn't crisp up enough to break into shards as described in the recipe. The pizza held up very well over time. I reheated the left overs on a pizza stone a few days later and it was just as good as the having it the same day. I also froze a piece that reheated really well. The "flat bread" didn't hold up at all and was quite stale and chewy the next day.

If you are gluten-free, Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef is a must have cookbook, it is full of well tested recipes and tips for living gluten-free. I give it five stars and am going to work my way through each and every recipe, just like Julie and Julia.

5 comments:

kim said...

Great post! Your pizza looks perfect...mine was rather amoeba shaped, but still delicious. We eat a ton of pizza and this will be our go to recipe as well. I noticed the same thing with the corn flour..tricky tricky. Hope everyone else caught the two version thing..one with gluten, one without!

Shauna said...

Oh this makes us SO happy! All of it. The photograph of the pizza is making me hungry!

I agree that the plastic wrap works better than the parchment. And there's so much to learn every time I make the crust. I'm glad you got over the yeast dilemma. What I love about this recipe is that you just pour in the yeast like a dry ingredient, really.

As always, you inspire us.

Julie said...

Wonderful! We are a household of Celiacs so this will make the lot of us very, very happy.

BlairSprouse said...

It is so exciting when you find a recipe that looks delish,prepare it and it is fabulous! every recipe i have tried by GF had been yuumy!
:0)

eltzholtz said...

the best pizza recipe I have ever tried even in my old life is from healthy bread in 5 min a day and it has a glutenfree section written together with Shauna, I tried to grill it too on a pizza pan with small holes in it, that was the best pizza ever