Thursday, February 2, 2012

Gluten-Free Pizza Crust Experiment #4

Pizza Crust No. 4 is a Winner
If you've been following the blog, you already know that I'm on a quest to find the easiest, tastiest pizza crust to make at home. Yes, I know I can buy a frozen one quite easily, but aside from the astronomical costs of these things (I took out a home equity loan for a GF pizza party), I think the flavors are just not right. Either they taste like cardboard or they are overly seasoned to cover up the bean-flour taste. There has to be something out there, right?

So, continuing the quest with #4, I decided to find out if a simple, quick crust can be made. This time I had no recipe (yes, I threw away the bag already) and just went with it. I had one cup of Bob's Red Mill Pizza Crust mix in a bag from a previous attempt that was just begging to be used. (I know I used this mix in a previous test, but it was mixed with another flour and I wanted to try it on its own.) The rest was improv, and wow, it's in the top 2. This crust is light and crispy around the edges, slightly chewy toward the middle and has a mild taste. Daughter said it tasted better than numbers 1 and 3 and I have to agree. I think this one is my favorite for two reasons: It is the easiest by far and it has the most basic pizza crust flavor. I can see adding all kinds of toppings and it would work with all of them. You could even bake it with cheese first, then top it off with whatever you like. This made a large 10-inch round pizza with eight nice-sized pieces. It could feed two to three hungry people easily. This makes it the most cost effective also since there are at least three-four cups of mix in each bag.

Quick, Easy Pizza Crust
1 cup Bob's Red Mill Pizza Crust Mix
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1 TBS olive oil
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt/oregano/basil/pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Add all ingredients in a large bowl and mix until blended well. Use a fork, it will get very thick. Knead it a little with your hands to smooth it out a bit.
3. Turn out onto a greased cookie sheet and spread it out with your fingers.
4. Cover the dough with wax paper and roll out to a pizza-crust thickness (about 1/4 inch). Don't forget to create a bit of a crust edge with your fingers.
5. Bake for 10 minutes.
6. Cover with marinara, cheese, etc. and put back in the oven for 10 minutes.

The big difference in this recipe is that I did not use the yeast packet that came with the mix and instead added the baking powder. I have used yeast in two of the four crusts and aside from the fact that neither one has risen much, I'm not sure it adds much to the mix and I don't like the flavor. The recipe also calls for water but I had a little bit of milk left and decided to give it a go. That was also a good choice. Daughter asked me to make this one again for dinner so I'm checking this one off as a keeper.

Next time, I'll do this one with added Parmesan in the crust for flavor and a bit more saltiness.


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