Friday, November 13, 2009

GF Pizza Night~ A Photo Tutorial

The food that I've missed the most since going gluten-free in 2000 is....PIZZA!! Not the typical gluten-free pizza in a box, found in the Whole Foods no...a real, cheesy, thick or thin crust, hot out of the oven, make-you-salivate kind of pizza that you find in Rome or New York or...good old Pinky's Pizza in Walnut Creek,CA (which sadly,has now closed) where I grew up. That's the kind of wheat-filled pizza I'm talking about, my friends!

Okay, somebody slap me - I've regressed to my previous life. Excuse me.

I still have years of wonderful memories stored in my heart and mind focused around eating at various pizza parlors all over the Bay Area. While growing up, they served as staple meal locations - after soccer games, little league victories, golf tourneys, horse shows and birthday parties. Pizza equaled friends, fun and a night out! So, I hang onto those lovely days past and the aroma of goodness that still fills my senses.

Now, this is not intended to be a sad, walk-down-memory-lane kind of a post - because the good news is, a very delicious and successfully baked gluten-free pizza was created in my very own kitchen last week...almost as good as Pinky's.

I've tried many of the GF frozen crusts that you can buy at certain grocery stores or on line, and as I've blogged before, I've also found two pizza restaurants in San Diego that bake up a mean GF pizza. But baking one from scratch, in your own kitchen, in your own oven, with love and careful preparation, is really quite fun and rewarding...if it works!

I've baked pizzas from scratch with the numerous flours (usually required) during various GF baking classes that I've taken over the years, but putting all the ingredients together and praying it works out in your own oven is a different story -Well, fear be gone! After the first try that turned out quite well, I'm ready to go back in the kitchen this weekend for more.

Follow along with this photo essay/tutorial and then bake your own!

After the dough is mixed, it's important to spread it evenly and as we discovered, not too thick in the middle, in a 13" diameter

Next...use your favorite GF pasta/pizza sauce and spread around on to the dough, adding a bit more sauce in the middle.

Now the fun begins...load up your toppings, layer by layer (this pizza included GF ham slices, artichoke hearts, sliced zucchini, fresh-chopped green onions, spinach and fresh-grated mozzarella)

After baking in the oven at 400 for 30 minutes, Voila! The finished product ~

This delicious and healthy pizza was so easy and contains half the fat grams of the prepared, frozen variety. It's a fun project you could do with children, for a fun night of cooking with friends (don't forget the wine) or anytime you are longing for the food that satisfies and conjures up delicious memories, while making new ones.

The recipe that was chosen for last week's inaugural effort came from Bette Hagman's GF Cookbook, The Gluten-Free Gourmet.

Quick and easy pizza crust -

Serves 6

- 1/2 Cup milk

- 2 Large eggs

- 1/3 Cup of cornstarch

- 2/3 Cup rice flour

- 1/4 Teaspoon of guar gum

- 1 Teaspoon salt

- 1/4 Cup of olive oil

Beat the milk and eggs together. Add the flours, guar gum and salt. Mix in the olive oil.

Spread onto a greased 9" x 13 " pan or pizza stone or (as I did) spread with a spatula in a 12-inch circle about 1/4 inch thick - leave a thicker crust around the edges/outside of the circle to keep the sauce and cheese from running over onto the pan.

Spread sauce evenly over the unbaked crust and top with your favorite toppings.

Bake in preheated oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.

Serve with a simple salad, tossed in olive oil and vinegar and you have the perfect meal.

Mangia Mangia!!


Jen said...

I dearly miss pizza too. You said it so well, the smell, the fun surrounding it and the fabulous wheat filled crust that holds in all those great toppings. This crust recipe looks doable. Thanks for sharing it. I will have to give it a try.

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