So Olivia and I are cutting back on gluten again.  It appears we may not need to be completely gluten-free, but we definitely need to be consuming less of it.

And I had just perfected my wheat pizza crust, too. {Pout}

But tonight, I was motivated to try my hand at a gluten-free crust again.  Motivated, and armed with 32 ounces of free Starbucks coffee pumping through my veins.

I used the same recipe I had before, from Epicurious.  But I changed the way I baked it.  And it made all the difference.

The original recipe had me pre-bake the crust.  A lot of wheat pizza crust recipes also tell you to do that.  And in my experience, that always results in a tougher, heavier crust.  I like my crusts light, chewy in the middle, and crisp on the outside.  Hm.  Crisp is too harsh a word.  Melt-in-your-mouth crisp.  Not pretzel-crisp.  Like a freshly made Krispy Kreme.

My recently perfected wheat crust was one in which I slid a made pizza into a 500 degree oven onto a burning hot pizza stone and cooked it a mere 6 minutes.  So I tried that tonight with my gluten-free recipe.

I believe this picture speaks for itself.

The Ingredients:

1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 cup water
2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
2 tsp sugar

3/4 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup white rice flour
1/3 cup chickpea (garbanzo bean) flour
1 tsp xanthum gum
1 tsp fine sea salt

2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
2 TBS olive oil

2 TBS extra olive oil

The Directions:

Preheat your oven to 500.  This is as hot as my oven goes.  Put your bottom rack as low as you can and put a pizza stone on it to preheat with your oven.  Everything needs to be as hot as possible to get Awesome Pizza Crust.

Heat your milk and water in a small saucepan over medium heat until a candy thermometer registers 110-120 degrees. Remove from heat.  Stir in yeast and sugar with a whisk until the individual granules of yeast have dissolved.  Let set 10 minutes until a thick frothy foam layer has developed.  If this layer never develops, your yeast is bad.  Start over with new yeast.

While your yeast is proofing, combine dry ingredients with a whisk in the bowl of a Kitchenaid stand mixer, or something like it.  It does have to be a heavy duty stand mixer.  Attempting this dough with a hand mixer will only frustrate you.  The dough will climb the beaters and get into the motor, likely killing your mixer.  This is sticky stuff, people.

Lightly beat your egg whites, add the oil.  When the yeast has proofed, add the eggs and oil and whisk together.  Then add to your dry ingredients.  Mix with the paddle attachment on medium speed until the consistency is smooth, about five minutes will be good.  I like to shred my cheese while I wait.  But do go back and scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally.  Sticky stuff, people.

Cut 12 inch squares of parchment paper.  You’ll need two.  Spoon out equal portions of your batter onto the middle of each square.  Using a spatula, spread the dough around until it’s a circle about 9-10 inches in diameter.  If you’re not adept with spatula-wielding, feel free to butter your hands and get on in there yourself.  But I recommend becoming more familiar with your spatula.  Sticky stuff.  Not lyin’.

Let the dough circles rest/rise/contemplate their purpose in life for about 10-20 minutes.  Feel free to wash your beater and bowl while you wait.  Or cook your sausage crumbles.  Or chop your veggies.  Use your time wisely.  Don’t get on Twitter.  Or Facebook.

And yes, letting your pizza stone preheat in your 500 degree oven during these 20 minutes is crucial.  Try not to think about your electric/gas bill.  Shhhh.

Lightly brush the dough circles with olive oil.  Top with pizza sauce.  I cheat and use store-bought.  It’s only $1.  Sprinkle shredded mozzarella cheese.  Decorate with assorted toppings.  Don’t make your toppings too heavy or your crust will be saggy, soggy, and less than perfect.

If you have a pizza peel, slide the pizza, still on the parchment paper, onto it and then slide the pizza, still on the parchment paper, onto the burning hot pizza stone.  If you do not have a pizza peel (I don’t.), use a cookie sheet without sides.

Set your timer for 6 minutes.  Check when it beeps and see if the crust has color.  If it’s still white and your cheese could stand another minute, let it cook a bit longer.  Just a minute, though!  You want the crust to have a slight golden sheen to it. Slight!

To remove the pizza, slide your peel or cookie sheet under the parchment paper and pizza and remove it that way.  You don’t want to take it out while on the pizza stone – it will continue to cook.  Plus, you have another pizza to slide in there.  When your second pizza is done, just let that 500 degree stone cool in your oven.  You’ll remember it’s in there the next time you bake something. 🙂

Slide that pizza onto a cutting board, slice, and enjoy!  The sooner you eat it, the crisper the crust. So dig in!