Sunday, May 13, 2012

Kitchen Own Recipe; Gluten and Dairy Free Pizza

Gluten and Dairy Free Pizza - so good you don't need cheese! (Or a cheese substitute.)

For the Crust;
  • 1 1/2 cups Pamela's Gluten Free Bread Mix
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp gluten free yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tbsp olive oil for dough
  • 2 tbsp olive oil for pan
  • A stand mixer with whisk attachment
  1. Sieve the dry ingredients (not including the yeast) together in a large bowl
  2. Place the water, olive oil, yeast and 1/2 cup dry mixture together in the bowl of your mixer. Stir to combine as best you can, a few lumps are fine. Set aside for 30mins or until the mix is bubbly and smells yeasty.
  3. Stir in the dry ingredients, then beat on medium-high speed for 4 minutes. The texture will be like spackling compound! 
  4. Let the dough rest for 30mins.
  5. Preheat the oven to 425 °F.
  6. Place parchment paper on a large cookie sheet, and drizzle the olive oil over where the dough will be.
  7. Scrape the dough onto the parchment paper. If making two smaller pizzas, divide the dough evenly.
  8. Get your fingers very wet, and swirl them over the dough to make it into a 12" to 14" circle.
  9. Let the dough rest again for 15mins.
  10. Bake the crust for 15mins until golden brown.
  11. Remove from the oven and add toppings. Return to the oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until your toppings are cooked.
  12. Serve warm and enjoy!
Not a quick recipe, but soooo worth it!

Here is what the dough looks like before baking. It was only after I took this picture that I noticed the hand-print. Oops! One for me and one for my husband, as he can eat cheese and wanted some on his.

All fixed! It is quite strange to work with, but pretty easy to get the hang of. This was only about 9" across, which turned out a little stodgy in the middle, so the next night we baked them on separate sheets and made them each 12" across - they came out perfectly.

For the toppings;
  • 1 can tomato paste (not sauce)
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1 - 2 cups spinach, shredded
  • 1/4 cup mini pepperoni
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 egg, optional
  1. Spread the tomato paste over the pizza base with the back of a large spoon.
  2. Sprinkle the fresh rosemary evenly over the paste.
  3. Pile the spinach on top of the pizza - it will look like a lot but it will cook down.
  4. Drop the tomato on top of the spinach, it should squish and hold the spinach down.
  5. Sprinkle the pepperoni over everything.
  6. Salt and pepper to taste.
  7. If adding the egg, bake the last 4 minutes of cooking time under the broiler.
I promise you, you will not miss the cheese! The key to this is some nice fresh, tender spinach - it really cooks down into that nice gooey texture that we love from our cheese. You also must have plenty of flavor - cheese is quite salty, so make sure your herbs are fresh and your pepperoni has a good flavor.

I admit, I am a bit of a cheese snob. Coming from England, I am used to cheese being something you enjoy by itself, perhaps paired with biscuits (crackers) and wine. Something of an art, to be aged carefully, sampled, enjoyed for the smell alone, with texture being of utmost importance. Imagine then my horror at the "american pasteurized processed cheese product." And then worse, when I could not longer eat dairy... people tried to sell me "healthier" versions. Soy cheese? Or soy free vegan cheese? Yuuuuck! No thank you. (Let alone the fact that neither version is healthier for you at all, in fact evidence points to them being much much worse.)

So to find that this pizza works so well without having to resort to such atrocities in the name of cheese.. well, that makes me pretty happy. You could also use pesto in place of the spinach, or mix some basil leaves in with the spinach too.

The first night we tried with the egg. I honestly didn't miss the cheese at all, and in the end didn't think the egg added anything to it, especially as we ended up overcooking it before figuring out it should have gone under the broiler! It did run off the side a bit too.

It was still very delicious though, and it gave me the confidence to try it without egg the next night. 

I enjoyed having pizza for the first time in months very much! 

Mmmmm...! And no weird chemical concoctions in sight.

What are your experiences with going cheese/dairy free and still enjoying some old favorite comfort foods? Are you brave enough to try a pizza with no cheese?

This recipe was shared through Seasonal Recipe Round-Up; SpinachHomestead Barn HopSlightly Indulgent and Fight Back Friday.

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