Welcome to my blog, through which I hope to be able to share my experiences of gluten free cooking, baking, experimenting and eating.
When my daughter was diagnosed (age 6) with Coeliac Disease, our world of eating changed overnight. From breads, pastry and pasta to cakes, biscuits and puddings.......... suddenly most of what we knew was 'off the menu'. I think I must have tested every available gluten free product on the market, seeking out replacements to try and keep things as normal as possible. I was disappointed to find that what was available was often dry, crumbly and flavourless.
Not one to shy away from a challenge, I decided to turn my kitchen into a laboratory, turn all I knew about cooking on its head and start creating!

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Pizza Hearts - gluten free


Like most kids (big and small) we love pizza in our house. The versatility of a plain, soft bread base to pile on just about any combination of yummy toppings means that everyone gets their favourites, and it's the same meal even when we're all eating something different.

Strangely though, I have not sought to concoct my own gluten free dough base........... until now.

We have tried a number of commercial gluten free pizza mixes and pre-prepared bases. We have also tried pretty much every restaurant offering of gluten free base in the clamour of the big chain-restaurants to finally recognise the need to cater for the gluten-free customer. I speak from a lot of experience when I say that every one of them has a different texture and flavour - some pretty good and some needing a complete re-think.


This week, I decided to finally make my own! It's pretty good if I say so myself. I used a couple of 8 year old 'victims' to test it (one gluten free and one not), as well as trying it myself with my husband. Ok....... so that's not a large sample, but everyone ate it.............. lots of it......... The kids gave it the thumbs up. Even my husband reckoned that it was the best GF base he had tried.

The dough is amazingly pliable and bread-like (once it has been gently kneaded with an extra dusting of flour), to the extent that next time I might even give it a shot as a 'stuffed crust'.

A soft airy bread-base, it rises beautifully too and makes for a great deep-pan version if that's how you like it. Or just roll more thinly if you prefer less bread.


I'm so chuffed with my pizza dough that I am sharing it at this month's Family Foodies challenge, hosted by Louisa over at Eat Your Veg and Vanesther at Bangers & Mash. Themed 'Love', but especially with all those little people in mind, I have made my pizza's into diddy little hearts as a special show of care and love towards my beautiful gluten-free daughter. She was very excited when she saw them........ Mummy made her special hearts.............. Not just any old hearts, but pizza ones!!!!!

We had a whole bunch of toppings between us, but the hearts photographed here have a delicious combination of cheeses, prosciutto, sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts and olives. The olives are courtesy of Fragata who kindly donated them for a give-away which I recently won from Katie over at Apple & Spice. Thanks Katie! Thanks Fragata! They are delicious.......


Pizza Hearts - gluten free (makes equivalent of 4 individual-sized pizzas)

Ingredients

100g tapioca flour
90g potato flour
60g white rice flour
40g brown rice flour
40g corn flour
40g ground almonds
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon gluten free baking powder
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
14g easy bake yeast (I used Allinsons)
1 teaspoon caster sugar
30g dried milk powder
225 ml hand-hot water
1 large egg
1 tablespoon olive oil

Toppings - Any of your choice. I used :
Passata - sieved tomato
mozzarella cheese 
cheddar cheese - grated
sun-dried tomato
green olives
pine nuts

Method

  1. Line 2 to 3 baking trays with baking paper.
  2. Weigh and mix together in a large bowl all the flours, almonds, xanthan gum, baking powder and salt, making sure any lumps are broken down
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the yeast, sugar, milk powder and warm water, whisking briefly to combine. Leave to stand for about 10 minutes until frothy.
  4. In a further small bowl beat together the egg and olive oil.
  5. Preheat the oven to 200 C/400 F/Gas 6.
  6. Pour the egg and yeast mixes onto the flour and using the back of a silicone/wooden spoon, gradually bring the ingredients together and 'knead' with the spoon until you have a smooth dough. The dough will be quite sticky.
  7. Liberally sprinkle a work surface with rice flour and tip out the dough. dust your hands with rice flour and gently bring the dough together, working slightly so that it feels a little less sticky and slightly more pliable.
  8. Making sure that there remains a sprinkling of flour on the surface to prevent sticking and also flouring your rolling pin, roll the dough to a thickness of about 3 to 7mm (depending on how thick you want your final pizza) and shape as you wish. If you want 4 even-sized pizza bases, divide into 4 balls before rolling. I used a large cookie cutter to make heart shapes.
  9. Place your dough bases on the prepared baking sheets and bake in the oven for about 8 minutes.
  10. Remove from the oven and top with your favourite toppings (I usually use a base layer of Passata and then pile the rest on top).
  11. Place back in the hot oven for a further 10 to 15 minutes (depending on the size of your pizza), until cooked and golden.
  12. Remove and enjoy.
Gluten Free Alchemist © 2013-14 unless otherwise indicated

10 comments:

  1. These are so cute and it's lovely that your daughter was so excited by them.

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    1. Thanks Corina. I think we were all quite excited by them! I reckon pizza tastes even better when it's heart-shaped...........

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  2. These look delicious and I completely agree with you about the varying quality of gf pizza in the shops and high street. Some are pretty good and others taste like sweet cardboard. Love the heart shapes.
    Pleased you got the olives :)

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    1. Thanks Katie. Sweet cardboard is a good description! Some are also pretty slimy! But not these ones....... I think we'll be going more home-baked more often!!!!

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  3. Well done you on perfecting a gluten free pizza base, and I'm extremely impressed by your gorgeous mini hearts. My kids would go crazy for these! What a delightful Family Foodies entry, thank you so much.

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    1. Thank you Lou. They were fun to make and yum to eat!

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  4. Thank you so much for posting this pizza base recipe! It was light & fluffy, so easy to make...gone are my days of buying firm chewy pizza bases from the store! I think I will attempt your dumplings recipe next...

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    1. I'm really pleased you liked it Donna. And thank you so much for the feed back.It is so good to hear that someone else has made the recipe successfully! If you do make the dumplings, let me know how you get on.....

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