Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Daring Bakers Challenge - Pizza

This is my first Daring Bakers Challenge – Pizza! The real challenge here was to toss pizza dough – unless you elected to bake a gluten free pizza DOUGH, which is what I did. Although I didn’t get to enjoy the thrill of dough tossing, the very important thing I got from this challenge is that THERE IS NOW A FANTASTIC GLUTEN FREE PIZZA DOUGH! Big huge thanks to Natalie at Gluten A Go Go for this miracle.

Here is the recipe and detailed instructions for the gluten free version only, with my comments in color and pictures inserted. Please see other Daring Bakers for the *regular* dough recipe and pictures of dough tossing. I will attempt dough tossing at some point in the future!


Original recipe taken from “The Bread Baker’s Apprentice” by Peter Reinhart.

(This is a half recipe.)

Makes 3 pizza crusts (about 9-12 inches/23-30 cm in diameter)


2-1/4 cups GF Flour Blend with xantham gum or add 1 tsp xantham or guar gum
3/4 Tsp Salt
1 tsp Instant yeast
2 T Olive oil or vegetable oil (both optional, but it’s better with)
3/4 Cup + 1T. (7 ounces/210g or 210ml) Water, ice cold (40° F/4.5° C)
2 t agave syrup
gf flour for dusting



1. Mix together the flour, salt and instant yeast in a big bowl (or in the bowl of your stand mixer).

2. Add the oil, agave syrup, and cold water, then mix well (with the help of a large wooden spoon or with the paddle attachment, on low speed) in order to form a sticky ball of dough.

3. Flour a work surface or counter. Line a jelly roll pan with baking paper/parchment. Lightly oil the paper.

4. With the help of a metal or plastic dough scraper, cut the dough into 3 equal pieces (or larger if you want to make larger pizzas).

NOTE: To avoid the dough from sticking to the scraper, dip the scraper into water between cuts.

5. Sprinkle some flour over the dough. Make sure your hands are dry and then flour them. Gently round each piece into a ball.

NOTE: If the dough sticks to your hands, then dip your hands into the flour again.
6. Transfer the dough balls to the lined jelly roll pan and mist them generously with spray oil. Slip the pan into a plastic bag or enclose in plastic food wrap.

7. Put the pan into the refrigerator and let the dough rest overnight or for up to three days.

NOTE: You can store the dough balls in a zippered freezer bag if you want to save some of the dough for any future baking. In that case, pour some oil (a few tablespoons only) in a medium bowl and dip each dough ball into the oil, so that it is completely covered in oil. Then put each ball into a separate bag. Store the bags in the freezer for no longer than 3 months. The day before you plan to make pizza, remember to transfer the dough balls from the freezer to the refrigerator.

That part was easy enough.


8. On the day you plan to eat pizza, exactly 2 hours before you make it, remove the number of desired dough balls from the refrigerator. Place on a sheet of parchment paper and sprinkle with a gluten free flour. Delicately press the dough into disks about ½ inch/1.3 cm thick and 5 inches/12.7 cm in diameter. Sprinkle the dough with flour, mist it again with spray oil. Lightly cover the dough round with a sheet of parchment paper and allow to rest for 2 hours.

Well I actually goofed here and pressed the dough to 12 inches (instead of 12 cm.), which is a couple of steps further down. I put the parchment paper on the pizza stone so I would get the crust the right size. The nice thing about the gf dough is it holds its shape once it’s pressed. It doesn’t spring back like *regular* dough.

9. At least 45 minutes before making the pizza, place a baking stone on the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven as hot as possible (500° F/260° C).

NOTE: If you do not have a baking stone, then use the back of a jelly roll pan. Do not preheat the pan.

10. Press the dough into the shape you want (about 9-12 inches/23-30 cm in diameter - for a 6 ounces/180g piece of dough). DO NOT TOSS GF DOUGH!

At this point I got my ingredients mise en placed.

11. Lightly top it with sweet or savory toppings of your choice. (includes sauce and cheese)

I made a White Bean Garlic Sauce and used my favorite colorful toppings - shitake mushrooms (because it was my very own pizza and I’m the only one who likes mushrooms!), red bell pepper rings, yellow and orange tomatoes, and green onions. It’s not especially creative, but it’s what I wanted to eat.

12. Place the garnished pizza on the parchment paper onto the stone in the oven or bake directly on the jelly pan. Close the door and bake for about 5-8 minutes.

NOTE: Remember that the best pizzas are topped not too generously. No more than 3 or 4 toppings (including sauce and cheese) are sufficient.

I used only a half cup of sauce. The pizza was almost too heavy to move to the stone without risk of breaking apart.

13. Slide the garnished pizza onto the stone in the oven or bake directly on the jelly pan. Close the door and bake for about 5-8 minutes.

NOTE: After 2 minutes baking, take a peek. For an even baking, rotate 180°.If the top gets done before the bottom, you will need to move the stone or jelly pane to a lower shelf before the next round. On the contrary, if the bottom crisps before the cheese caramelizes, then you will need to raise the stone or jelly.

I baked for 3 minutes, rotated, and then baked 3 minutes more.

14. Take the pizza out of the oven and transfer it to a cutting board or your plate. In order to allow the cheese to set a little, wait 3-5 minutes before slicing or serving.

NOTE ON SAUCE: Your sauce should not be too thick as it will thicken in the hot oven. Less is more but make the less truly more by using quality ingredients.

Here’s a slice. It was easy to cut through the crisp crust.
And look how well it holds up. I’ve never been able to pick up a gluten free crust before!

I had a nice side of Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with it. I went back for seconds, and thirds!

Are you wondering about leftover gluten free pizza? I haven’t eaten it yet, but it’s still as crisp as ever in the fridge right now, 2 days after I baked it.

I became a Daring Baker at just the right time. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to be able to make gluten free pizza dough that everyone can enjoy.


LizNoVeggieGirl said...

HOORAY!!! I need to try gluten-free pizza, for sure.

Andrea said...

I love making and eating pizza but I've never tried a GF one! It looks wonderful. My favorite toppings are mushrooms and broccoli.

Anonymous said...

love you pizza dough recipe. sounds good. i especially like the roasted sweet potato salad!!! i have to try that out. i have one sitting on my kitchen table.

Amey said...

you are a daring baker indeed!
how awesome and fun to experiment with a GF pizza dough. It looks great.

Anonymous said...

Very impressive! I didn't have high hopes for a gluten-free crust and thus didn't try, but perhaps I should have after all.

Bex said...

I want to try the gluten free version now

River (Wing-It Vegan) said...

What an awesome looking gluten free pizza!! I need to cross over to the gluten free side!

Kelly said...

Is the crust crispy? Or more flaky and pie crusty? Im intrigued.

Sheree' said...

Yeah! We both just did our first challenge! How cool is that? I love your pizza. I had the same problem getting my pizza from the peel to the stone, but managed. White bean garlic sauce sounds good. recipe? Fantastic job!

Anonymous said...

Yummy and healthy - how's that for a winning combination?

Anonymous said...

:) Interesting recipe. Looks delicious. :)

Anonymous said...

Just fabulous! Congrats on your first daring bakers' success (wow, lady, you sure are baking up a storm these days!!) :)

I love thin-crust pizza, so I bet I'd like this one, too. I just have to be organized enough to start a day in advance!

Katy said...

That pizza looks delicious! Yay for making a yummy GF crust!

funwithyourfood said...

oh i like a non tomato based sauce, looks good!


Emilie said...

great work with the gluten free and welcome to daring bakers. i definitely look forward to seeing all that you come up with!

jessy said...

your gluten free pizza looks amazing, Diann! mmmmmmmmmmm! i love the sauce, and i would have picked the same toppings, too! hooray! thank you for the recipe as well - i printed it off and will try it sometime. i would love to try cooking more with gluten-free flours and this is just perfect! thanks again! :D

Janet said...

Your pizza looks fantastic! Great job on your first challenge, you toally aced it :)

Virginia said...

looks yummy! i have never had gluten free bread, let alone gluten free pizza crust!

allularpunk said...

this looks yummy! i don't really live a gluten-free life, but that crust looks really good.

Anonymous said...

I loooove pizza and your gf version looks delicious. Good pointer - about the 3-4 toppings. I always want to load up and put too many on but the individual flavors of each topping get lost in the jumble.

miss v said...

i love stone baked pizza.

Vegan_Noodle said...

Welcome to daring bakers!! I've never had gluten free pizza but would gladly try a bite of yours!

Anonymous said...

I just love that you're a Daring Baker Diann! Your pizza looks so darn delicious...I should have double-batched the dough it's sooooo good!

Natalie, aka "Sheltie Girl" said...

You did a beautiful job on your pizzas!

Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

Eat4Fun said...

Congratulations on completing your first DB Challenge!

Your GF pizza looks absolutely delicious! :-)

A.M. said...

Yay for doing your first DB challenge, and yay for finding a gluten free pizza crust recipe you really like!

Liz Ranger (Bubble Tea for Dinner) said...

wee, you're a new Daring Baker too! Easypants first challenge, eh? Delicious, though. I cannot believe that's a gluten-free crust! and yummy white bean sauce!