When I first moved to New York, I could eat pizza. Or more accurately, I didn’t know I couldn’t eat pizza. I lived in Morningside Heights, so I ate monster slices at Koronet and V&T on special occasions. When I made the trek to Williamsburg to try to unload bags of clothes at Beacon’s Closet to make a little extra money, I ate the white pie at that pizza place right by the bus stop on Bedford Ave, which was improbably good (I think the secret was smoked mozzarella).
Since needing to be gluten-free, pizza has been my white whale, that recipe that I felt like I could never get quite right. A quick google will tell you that there are plenty of gluten-free pizza crust recipes out there and at this point I feel like I’ve tried pretty much all of them. Paul started to joke that I might not remember what real pizza tastes like because I had a textural gripe about nearly every recipe I tried. Too gummy, too dense, like a bad cracker, and WAY too much xanthan gum were probably my most popular complaints.
I think the simplicity of pizza dough is one of the coolest things about it, so I wanted a pizza crust recipe with a pared down ingredient list: less flours, no gums, and no eggs. (Yup, that means this crust is vegan too.) I also wanted to make a recipe with relatively accessible ingredients. I think that potentially the hardest thing to find here is the chia meal and chia is getting pretty ubiquitous. Finally, texture. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, I wanted a pizza crust that was crispy on the outside and light and airy on the inside. It may seem overly dramatic, but I’ve wanted this for a long time and I’m pretty psyched to finally have my pizza recipe.
Also in the category of things I’ve wanted for a long time: leaving New York City, quitting my job, and getting closer to life I want. Surprise, those things are happening and I’m even more excited about them than I am about this pizza crust! I’ll be around until the end of June, so expect gratuitous greenmarket instagramming until then. After that, more cacti because we are heading to the desert.
- ⅓ cup cold water
- 1 teaspoon tapioca starch
- 1 tablespoon chia meal
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon organic cane sugar
- ½ cup + ⅛ cup warm water
- 1½ cups (204 g) Bob's Red Mill All Purpose Gluten-free Flour
- ½ cup ( 62 g) tapioca starch
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Line two baking sheets with parchment.
- Whisk together the 1 teaspoon of tapioca starch and the ⅓ cup cold water in a small saucepan. Whisk constantly over medium heat, until it becomes translucent and thick, 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat before the mixture begins to bubble. Stir in the chia meal and set aside.
- Combine the yeast and sugar with the warm water in a small bowl and set aside to proof.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, tapioca starch, and salt. Once the yeast is foamy, add it to the flour mixture along with the chia/tapioca gel, and the olive oil.
- Using a spatula, stir until combined. The dough will be like a thick pancake batter.
- Pour half the batter on to one of the parchment lined baking sheets and use the back of a spoon to spread it into a ¼ inch thick oval. Repeat with the remaining dough on the second parchment lined pan.
- Begin pre-heating the oven to 475 and place the two pans of dough on top of the pre-heating oven to rise for 35 minutes.
- After 35 minutes, place the pans in the oven and pre-bake the crusts for 9 minutes, or until the edges just begin to brown.
- Remove from the oven and add sauce and toppings as desired.
- Return to the oven and bake for an additional 5 minutes or until the edges of the crust are brown and the toppings are warm and cheese is melted (if using).
- Let cool for 5 minutes, then cut and serve. Makes 2 small pizzas.