Pizza is one of those gluten-y foods that I’ve learned to live without over the past year or so. Truth is, there a lot of really lackluster gluten free pizzas floating around out there. I value every bite of food far too much to kiss a bunch of soggy, overpriced frogs before reaching that crispy, golden prince.
Lucky for the Celiac community, Bob’s Red Mill gluten free pizza crust is an absolute king, in this cheesy (oops, there I go again), incredibly lame metaphor. The crispy outer crust surrounds a light, bread-like center. To ensure my pizzas would hold up on the grill grates I left the crust pretty thick and almost Sicilian-like. But if you’re cooking the pizza entirely in the oven, you can afford to stretch it out further so it resembles a traditional, thin crust pie.
In terms of preparation, Bob’s mix couldn’t have been easier. This was my first experience baking with yeast, previous attempts having been thwarted by my fear of killing it. But if I could keep the ultra-sensitive leavening agent alive, you certainly can too. The trick is to use water that’s comfortably warm to the touch, but not too hot that it burns your fingers. Beyond that step, it’s pretty difficult to screw this up. Unlike gluten flours, the rice, millet, potato, tapioca and sorghum flours that comprise Bob’s pizza crust mix can’t be ‘over-worked’. So knead till your gluten free pizza loving heart’s content!
1 bag Bob’s Red Mill gluten free pizza crust
2 tbsp olive oil
1 head of garlic
1 lb fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
Handful fresh basil
2-3 large tomatoes, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper
Roast Garlic: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut a whole head of garlic directly down the middle (long ways) so that each individual clove is sliced in half. Rub each half with olive oil, and wrap in foil. Roast in the oven for 45 minutes, then remove to cool. When it’s cool enough to handle, squeeze each half of the garlic head so the cloves fall out. Mash into a paste with the back of a fork.
Prepare crust: In a large bowl, combine packet of yeast (enclosed) with 1 ½ cups warm water. Let sit for 2-3 minutes. Add eggs and oil, and whisk to combine. Add entire bag of mix, and stir for about a minute until a consistent dough forms. (From the package instructions it sounds like you can use a hand mixer here, but I used a combination of a whisk and a rubber spatula.)
Divide the dough into however many pizzas you plan to make (I did 4), cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rest for at least 20 minutes so the dough can rise.
Pre-Cook Crust: After dough has rested, turn it onto a well-oiled cookie sheet. With wet hands, spread each piece of dough into the shape of a pizza. (I kept mine pretty thick so it would hold up on the grill, but you can certainly go thinner if cooking entirely in the oven.)
Bake for 7-9 minutes, until edges of the crust start to become golden.
Finish on Grill: Brush both sides of the pizzas with olive oil, and place top-down on a medium-heated grill. Cook until the crust has charred grill marks (3-5 minutes). Flip each of the pizzas over. Spread each crust with roasted garlic. Top with mozzarella, whole basil leaves, and tomato slices. Close grill and cook for about 5 more minutes, or until cheese is melted.
Remove from grill and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
Alternative Method - Finish in Oven: After pre-cooking the crust, remove from oven, add toppings, and return to oven for an additional 15-20 minutes.