Once you make this AMAZING gluten free pizza crust, you’ll never buy another prepackaged one again! If you’re missing a great New York style pizza in your gluten free life (that folds!) look no further. You’ve found it!
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What Makes a Great Pizza?
There are all kinds of pizzas out there: thin crust, thick crust, Sicilian, etc, etc. I’m not a pizza snob. I will pretty much eat any pizza I’m given, but I WILL NOT eat cardboard with sauce and cheese! And that, my friends, is sadly what is offered to us gluten free people.
Even if we felt like risking everything (with cross contamination) and ordering a gluten free pizza from a local pizza place, it’s nothing more than cardboard with sauce and cheese.
I LOVE my own gluten free pan pizza, but I also love New York style pizza. You know, the kind that you can fold over (if you choose to) that is slightly crispy with bubbles of dough that have risen and created craters, as well as chewy and almost a little bit doughy. This pizza has all of those wonderful traits and you can make it at home!! No more cardboard for us. Woohoo!!!!
Creating the Most Amazing Gluten Free Pizza Crust
Creating a great gluten free pizza crust is no easy feat. One of the very things that makes pizza crust chewy is the very thing we’re missing–gluten! But with a few ingredients and my gluten free bread flour blend, we’re able to mimic the effects of gluten and create a gluten free pizza crust that is just like its gluten-filled counterpart.
- Kim’s gluten free bread flour blend — there really is no substitute for this flour blend, but if you need to make things dairy free, there are suggestions right on my flour blends page.
- Additional xanthan gum — this helps with the stretch of the dough.
- Instant yeast — if all you have is active dry yeast, you’ll need to “bloom” it in the water for the recipe. The water will need to be warm, not over 110 degrees F.
- Kosher salt
- Olive oil — use extra virgin
- Water — nothing special, just tap water. It doesn’t need to be warm, unless you’re not using instant yeast.
Add the dry ingredients to the bowl of a stand mixer and mix with a whisk until combined. On low speed and with the dough hook, slowly add the liquids (water, honey, and olive oil). Once all is combined, turn the speed up to medium high and knead for 5 minutes.
Remove the dough hook and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a bowl scraper like this one (one of my favorite kitchen tools) or spatula. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow it to rise in a warm, draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 1-2 hours.
The Dough Gets Better with Age
What’s so fantastic about this dough is the recipe can be doubled or even tripled and the longer it sits in the fridge, the better it gets! You can make the dough one day and have pizzas the following day, or even up to 10 days afterwards!! How great is that?
Letting the dough sit in the fridge actually increases fermentation. Fermentation is when yeast feeds off the sugars in dough and creates gas, which helps the dough rise. The gasses produced by the yeast during fermentation is what gives bread its flavor and aroma. Generally, more fermentation means tastier bread, or in this case, tastier pizza dough. It also helps with the stretch of the dough. It’s similar to the effects of sourdough without fiddling with a starter!
Making Your Home Oven Behave Like a Pizza Oven
I used to make pizzas quite often from scratch before I became gluten free, so I always tried to recreate the effects a pizza oven would give for the best possible outcome. I’ve found a pizza steel (affiliate link) to be the best option. They’re great for mimicking the effects of a pizza oven. If you don’t have a pizza steel, you can use a pizza stone with similar results. If you don’t have a stone, you could use an overturned baking sheet. You may need to bake the pizza longer if going this route.
Put your pizza steel (or pizza stone) on the top rack of your oven, or the next one down if it’s too hard to get to. Find the max temperature your oven goes to (mine is 550 degrees) and preheat it for at least a half hour.
When you slide the pizza onto the steel, the crust will bake first at your highest oven temperature, for just a few minutes. Then you’ll switch to broil to melt the toppings until bubbly, creating the best gluten free pizza you’ll ever have!!
Rolling out the Dough and Building a Pizza
Dump the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead briefly, until it comes together into a fairly smooth ball. With a bench scraper, cut the dough into portions about the size of a deck of cards (about 5-6 ounces each). Roll each of these into a somewhat smooth ball. You can let these sit, covered in a container side by side to rest for about a half hour (while your oven is preheating). But I prefer to roll them out into individual pizzas and then cover them with a towel while my oven is preheating. That way the bubbles in the dough will have a chance to reform after being rolled out of the crust.
To make each pizza, I use these 10-inch parchment cake circles. I roll the dough out onto a lightly floured parchment round. Add sauce (my Pizza Hut copycat pizza sauce is the bomb!) and whatever toppings you want and slide the pizza, parchment and all, onto the pizza steel (or stone).
Bake for about 3-4 minutes, depending on how high your oven goes. Then quickly switch to broil (high, if your oven has different broil settings). Keep watching it as it takes no time at all (1-2 minutes). A tip for sliding the pizza out of the oven easily is to use tongs to grab it.
Can I Make and Bake Crusts Ahead of Time?
I get this question a lot and the answer is YES!! You can bake the crusts without any toppings beforehand and load your freezer with them! To do this, bake for only 2-3 minutes without broiling, remove from the oven and allow to cool. Wrap well and freeze.
When ready to make a pizza, pull out a crust from the freezer, load it with toppings, and place it in the oven under the broiler for a few minutes. The crust is already baked, so you don’t need to bake it any further and you’re just heating up the toppings and melting the cheese until crusty.
Can I Make Whole Pizzas and Place Them in the Freezer?
I love these questions because it brings out creativity in you and me!! And the answer to this is a resounding YES!!! I love this idea because you can have a hot pizza on the table in minutes with no prep work!
Roll out the dough onto parchment, add the toppings, and place the pizza on a flat surface (or baking sheet that will fit in your freezer). Freeze the pizza until solid enough to wrap in plastic wrap and freeze. I like to put mine on a cardboard round, such as a cake round like this one.
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F with your pizza steel (or stone) on the middle rack. Slide the pizza onto the steel (or stone) and bake for about 10 minutes, or until crust is puffed and cheese is melted.
Amazing Gluten Free Pizza Crust
- 3 cups (420 g) Kim's gluten free bread flour blend
- 1½ tsp xanthan gum, in addition to what’s already in the blend
- 1 tbsp instant, or fast-acting, yeast
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1½ cups (360 ml) water
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp honey
Mixing the Dough
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, add all the dry ingredients and whisk to combine. Combine the olive oil and honey with the water and whisk to combine. With the mixer on low, slowly add the water mixture. When fully incorporated, turn the mixer up to medium high and mix for 5 minutes. It will be thin and seem like stretchy cookie dough.
- Scrape the sides of the bowl to mound the dough into one large heap of dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Place in a warm, draft-free area to proof for 1-2 hours, or until doubled in size.
- Put the dough in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or up to 10 days.
- Remove the bowl from the refrigerator and flip it over onto heavily floured surface. Knead for a few minutes, adding more flour as necessary, until dough is fairly smooth. It is a slightly sticky dough.
- Using a knife or bench scraper, cut dough into approximately 3-4 pieces (this will depend on the size of pizza you want and how thick/thin you want your pizza). Roll into balls as best you can.
Shaping Crusts and Baking Pizzas
- Sprinkle parchment round with extra flour and place dough ball on top. Add more flour on top of dough and roll out dough to edges. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit for 30 minutes.
- While the dough is resting, position pizza steel (or stone) in oven at the highest level (closest to the broiler). Preheat your oven to as high as it will go (mine goes to 550° F), allowing to preheat for at least 30 minutes.
- Remove the plastic wrap from the top of the pizza crusts and spread pizza crust with sauce. Sprinkle with cheese and any other toppings of choice.
- Place each pizza on a pizza peel (or an overturned baking sheet) and slide onto pizza steel (or stone), parchment and all, and bake for about 3-4 minutes. Switch oven to broil (on high) and broil for about 1-2 minutes. Remove with tongs. Enjoy!!
- These pizza crusts can be parbaked if you want to stock your freezer with them to make pizzas later. Bake them at 550 degrees F for only a few minutes and cool. Fill a gallon freezer bag with a couple of them, and place in freezer. To bake from frozen, preheat oven as above, top with toppings of choice, and bake for just a few minutes until bubbly.
- Whole pizzas can also be made ahead of time. Roll out the dough, add sauce and toppings, and place on baking sheet or any flat surface. Freeze until firm enough to wrap in plastic wrap on a cardboard round (such as a cake round). Freeze for up to two months. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 450 degrees and bake (removing cardboard) on pizza steel or stone set on middle rack until crust has puffed and cheese is melted, about 10-12 minutes.
- Feel free to make pizzas in the size of your choice, but you will need parchment to go under them or they will stick.
- For a different flavor and texture experience, instead of mozzarella cheese try shredded white American. It sounds crazy, but it is unbelievably creamy and so yummy!
This recipe was originally posted on September 17, 2018 and has been updated with new information, new photos, and a new gluten free bread flour blend.