If one phrase could sum up 2013 and 2014 I think it would be gluten free. Whilst seems to be the latest fad and trend among the clean, healthy, organic living movement, a small population of folks actually suffer from a condition known as Celiacs disease that reeks havoc on ones GI tract. With that being said, I have a dear friend who is borderline. Quite frankly, if she has any gluten foods, she could clear a radius like Hiroshima and that is being mild.
So with her condition our weekend soirees could get a bit dicey with the meal plans. I also am not a fan of any man (or woman) being left out of my cooking. I take pride in my cooking and it is my one true area of zen in my life. Interestingly enough considering it consists of sharp weaponry and open heat, maybe this is a doorway to my past life. I digress.
Anyway, with her inability to have the standard Friday night favorite of pizza for any family and friend gathering, I looked for alternatives. As opposed to her requirement to purchase anything pre-made in order to partake in our weekly festivities. What I found was truly awesome, and my adventures in cooking dove into a new culinary path that I thought would be calamitous to my swarm of familial critics and would result in swine slop. Worst yet,Â I would be subjected to trying to stomach the indelicacy in order to avoid waste. My voluptuousness did not just happen overnight you see.
Off to Whole Foods in search of a tasty gluten free flour. My previous GF experiences were…lets just say unfavorable. My bit at baking GF ciabatta bread resulted in more of a focaccia look and texture. Rice flour I avoided, while texture is gritty and I like in my sweeter baked goods (cookies and pancakes are amazing!) I was looking for a bit more velvetty to achieve that great pizza taste and texture. Personally I am a thin crust girl, I like a bit of chew, but the crunch adds an addictive punch of satisfaction in every bite.
Low and behold, I found the mother of all simpletons for gluten free baking.
Folks, Pamela. Pamela, meet the foodies.
Scoff all you want, but this bag has helped me deliver some simple goodness in a snap to an angry mob of THREE, all under five feet tall. Seriously folks, angry children are like gremlins after you add water. Not. Pretty.
Out came the mixing bowl,
- the Pamela’s
- fresh or organic rosemary (or a sweet mix ofÂ fresh or organic Italian seasoning),
- a dash of salt,
- 1 yeast packet, and
- EVOO. (EVOO = Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
Mix with a dough hook for the best results.
The dough feels like peanut butter on the roof of your mouth. You will be peeling dough off your hands if you don’t use enough EVOO to roll around with; trust me, you can’t use too much EVOO in this next process.
After mixing the dough and splitting in half I placed a glob to shape out on my parchment. Take care not to spread too thin or you can create gaps. Then let the dough rest. You might need to also if this is your first time with GF flours and doughs. Remember peanut butter type reaction, this can be a bit frustrating if this is your first rodeo slinging without the wheat.
About 10 minutes before your nap, I mean the rest, is up, preheat your oven to 375 degrees and if you are using a pizza stone, toss her in at the same time. This will ensure a nice and even bake time. I like to pre-cook my dough, as I mentioned, the addictive crunch adds panache to the overall flavor, so 20-25 minutes in the oven the dough goes, then place toppings and bake until warm or melty.
My last batch of true GF pizza was dairy free too! Topped withÂ hummus, capers, sliced fresh veggies (bell peppers, mushrooms, red onions), littered with fresh organic baby spinach and dolloped with roasted red peppers and tomatoes. For an even more exquisite taste, balsamic vinegar can really set your taste buds ablaze. Try some goat cheese for another dairy/dairy free alternative.