OMG… This Gluten Free Pizza (New York Style) is a slice of HEAVEN. With its crisp crust and doughy, foldable interior, it has the perfect chew and is guaranteed to bring pizza joy. The dough is also wheat free, dairy free, nut free and vegan. Just add your favourite toppings! But Shhhh… don’t tell anyone it’s gluten free. They’ll never know! 🤭
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New York Style Gluten Free Pizza perfected!
I have finally found the Gluten Free Pizza of my dreams… in my own kitchen! It’s an utter slice of heaven. It’s taken time to perfect. But it’s EXACTLY as it should be… A crusty outer edge with a doughy, foldable interior and satisfying chew. No GF wheat starch or ‘Caputo’ flour. No Gluten… And definitely no dough that looks like wallpaper paste… Just pure alchemy and several weeks of testing, tweaking, testing again and a LOT of pizza eating.
Even better… This gluten free pizza base is also dairy free, egg free, nut free, soy free and vegan… Just add your favourite toppings (whatever your dietary needs), before devouring hungrily. And if you want to share… make more dough and have a pizza party! But Shhhh 🤫… Don’t tell anyone it’s gluten free (and they’ll never know).
What is ‘New York Style’ Pizza?
Pizza bases come in a variety of thicknesses and textures and all with names to match. This particular gluten free pizza base is definitely of the ‘New York’ variety…
New York Pizza is a variation of the original Italian Neopolitan Pizza, which has a thin base (hand-stretched) and is topped with a traditional, simple tomato sauce and a little Mozzarella cheese. The New York version is made likewise… With a delightfully doughy central base (always foldable to make eating on the go easier) and a crisp outer crust that is gently raised (and easy to hold).
In keeping with its Italian-American roots, the pizza recipe shared here is hand-stretched (as any good pizza should be). Topped with a simple tomato passata and a little grated mozzarella, but with any variation of alternative toppings to suit your mood.
Ingredients for making this Gluten Free Pizza Base
The starting point for my pizza base development was my Gluten Free Fougasse recipe. When I made it, I remember thinking ‘This could make great pizza if proofed and baked differently’. And it does!
Creating it has been fun all the way… I mean who doesn’t love the excuse to eat pizza as ‘work’? And this ‘work’ took time… testing many blend variations of gluten free flours; different ratios of water, flour, oil and yeast; and differing methods for mixing, proofing and baking. The pizza I share here is my favourite for texture, flavour and simplicity.
So… What can I tell you about the ingredients and why they are included?
Gluten Free Flour Blend
At the heart of any gluten free bake is the flour blend… And getting it right is essential. In creating my gluten free pizza, I’ve played with varying mixes of starch and protein flours and at varying ratios. The final combination that I settled with combines tapioca starch with millet flour and either oat (for preference) or buckwheat flour.
The starch flour and possible alternatives
The starch I’ve used is tapioca. Although I did test with other combinations of starch (incorporating corn and potato), these impacted with ‘stodginess’. Tapioca is comparatively light and hence, is my flour of choice. At some stage I will experiment with maize, rice and cassava as switch alternatives. Thus if you are unable to eat tapioca, I would suggest starting with those options (and let me know how it goes).
The protein flours – Alternatives to millet and oat or buckwheat
I tested sorghum, quinoa, teff and maize flours as alternatives to the oat and buckwheat, but all of them had ‘issues’ (for me personally) with either flavour or texture. The sorghum gave a strange, almost ‘coconutty’ overtone. Quinoa was too ‘bitter’. Teff a little heavy and over strong in flavour. And the maize added additional starch which resulted in a gummier texture.
But that’s just me… All of them technically ‘worked’. So if you want to switch the oat/buckwheat element for an alternative protein flour, then go for it!
In terms of alternatives to millet? Fine brown rice flour is the best option… But Millet worked really well both for texture and flavour, so try and stick with this if possible.
The binder used for this gluten free pizza base is rough-ground psyllium husk. The pizza has not been tested with alternatives and the psyllium is a necessary ingredient that can’t be substituted in this recipe. There is however, an alternative recipe for a delicious Crispy Pizza Base on the blog, that uses xanthan gum instead (if you need it).
The very small amount of salt is added for flavour and the amount is carefully balanced against the level of yeast activation. So I wouldn’t advise changing it.
Yeast and sugar
I use Active Dried Yeast to make my gluten free Pizza (the type that requires mixing with warm water and sugar to activate). I have increasingly moved over to using Active Dried Yeast for most bread, as the separate activation process takes the guess work out of whether it’s still ‘alive’. If you wish to use instant yeast, then it should still work fine. But bear in mind that it works at a different strength, so check the advice for the brand used. For Allinson’s yeast, only half the amount of instant (Easy Bake) yeast is required as a substitute.
To activate the yeast, you also need a very small amount of sugar. I always use honey as it is natural and dissolves quickly. But if you are vegan, this can be subbed weight for weight with either maple syrup or caster sugar.
Other wet ingredients
In addition to the above, the dough requires warm water, a drop of cider vinegar and a little olive oil.
The level of water is finely balanced for hydration of the flours and psyllium husk. For the buckwheat version you need a drop less, as stated on the recipe card. And it MUST be hand warm (about 38 to 39 C, but can be tested by hand). The specific warmth is essential to activating the yeast. If too hot, the yeast will die. Too cold and it will not activate.
The acidic cider vinegar helps to increase the bubbling of the yeast for best texture. It can however, be substituted with white wine vinegar or lemon juice as preferred.
The amount of oil in the gluten free dough is also balanced. Any more and the dough becomes stodgy and heavy.
Is this Gluten Free Pizza Coeliac friendly and allergen safe?
Absolutely yes! My New York style Gluten Free Pizza has been specifically developed to be safe for Coeliacs (Celiacs), as well as being tested with alternative flour options for anyone who cannot tolerate the Avenin in oats.
But it is also free from other key allergens including eggs, dairy, soy, corn, rice and nuts (unless you opt to use flours or ingredients alternative to those on the recipe card).
Does this pizza recipe contain gluten free wheat starch?
No. absolutely not!… It is completely wheat free. I say this with emphasis, because there has been a recent trend towards using flour made with gluten free wheat starch, particularly in pizza and bread products. This is often known by a particular brand… ‘Caputo Fioreglut’.
The flour is certified gluten free as the gluten has been ‘washed out of’ the wheat starch. However, having previously reacted to Schar GF wheat starch products (as a coeliac specifically and with no wheat allergy), I remain somewhat sceptical of the rise in popularity. While I fully accept that it is certified safe (and indeed will still eat a restaurant pizza that uses GF wheat starch from time to time), Caputo is not something that I have brought into my kitchen. Instead, I prefer to create bakes that are at least as good as ‘normal’ versions without resorting to ‘washed-out gluten’. No compromise on flavour or texture. Just gluten free – wheat free deliciousness. 👌😁
Making the Gluten Free Pizza base… mixing, stretching and proofing
Making my gluten free New York style pizza dough is really simple. Once you have the ingredients, there’s nothing clever about it. You activate the yeast with the water and sugar… Then add the oil and vinegar, before adding all the other dry ingredients and beating with a mixing spoon until thick.
Next… (equally simple):
- After mixing, let the dough sit for about 20 minutes. This serves two purposes: 1) It importantly allows the fours and psyllium to fully hydrate to achieve a ‘kneadable’, stretchable dough. And 2) It starts the dough-proofing process.
- Once the dough is fully hydrated, it can be hand-stretched. This is done on lightly-floured baking paper (cut to the size and shape required), gently eased (with flat palms and/or knuckles) into shape. The baking paper allows for easy transfer later to the hot baking tray, but is removed part-way through baking once the dough has firmed enough. The central flat part of the dough is stretched to about 3mm thick when the circle is complete, with an outer ridged border of roughly 1 to 1½ cm.
- After stretching, the pizza base is left to rise for about 10 to 15 minutes, before baking on a hot tray (pre-heated with the oven).
How to top a pizza … Layers of loveliness to baked perfection
I confess I am no pizza-layering expert. So I did some research while developing my gluten free base, on the best way to achieve the authentic Italian-New York flavour, texture and appearance. And yes! It made a huge difference to the final result. This is what I learned…
- After the base has proofed – Brush the edges with a little olive oil to help them colour in the oven.
- Then top with a little tomato Passata (not too much as the dough shouldn’t get too wet), mixed with a tablespoon or two of concentrated tomato puree (tomato paste) for richness and a sprinkle of herbs. Use the back of a spoon to gently spread the tomato sauce across the surface until it reaches the raised edge (which acts as a border to the toppings).
- Next… Transfer the pizza base to a HOT baking tray (or pizza stone) and bake for about 10 minutes in a hot oven. This will allow the dough to maximise the oven spring and to start to set its structure. In turn, it also ensures an intense tomato hit without too much wetness.
- Then… Remove from the oven, and (with the help of a spatula or fish slice) ease the pizza base from the baking paper so that it is in direct contact with the hot tray.
- Immediately top with a little sprinkling of cheese (grated/shredded mozzarella) and other toppings as you desire.
- Pop back in the oven and bake for a further 15 minutes (or thereabouts) until golden and delicious.
Topping your gluten free pizza YOUR way
There are no limits to how you top your gluten free pizza… But for ‘New York’ authenticity (and so that you can still eat it by hand, if you choose), it is best to ‘go easy’ on the weight and wetness. Other than that, feel free to throw on anything you love. From veggies to olives, any variety of cheeses or their vegan alternatives, cooked meats, pepperoni, fish, tofu, seeds, edible leaves, herbs, spices, chutneys,… even a cracked egg. Literally ANYTHING goes.
And if you aren’t a fan of the tomato base, then simply switch it! Instead of tomato sauce, try Pesto (homemade, jarred, red, green or any other variety); Olive Tapenade; barbeque sauce; or Salsa Verde.
You can even go sweet with chocolate sauce, dappled with melted marshmallows. (Do they do that in New York?) 😘
Baking Gluten Free Pizza – a note on oven temperatures
The general wisdom for pizza-baking is that it should be cooked at very high temperatures. Indeed, there has been a proliferation of dedicated home pizza ovens brought to market in recent years, specifically for the purpose. And I’m sure they work fabulously.
But… I don’t have a pizza oven and neither do most other people. And the prospect of shelling out upwards of £200 for just one type of meal honestly doesn’t entice me, no matter how well they cook.
So… THIS gluten free pizza is created for everybody… and it’s cooked in the oven. My best pizzas were baked in a properly preheated oven to 220 C (428 F)… Bear in mind that all ovens vary slightly, so keep an eye on the bake and once you’ve made it once, you’ll know of any adjustments are needed.
It’s probable that the base can also be baked in a pizza oven, but it’s not something I’m in a position to try. So if you do give it a go, let me know.
Equipment for making gluten free pizza
The equipment needed to make the gluten free pizza base is pretty standard for most kitchens. You won’t even need a mixer! Here’s the key equipment list:
- Kitchen scales, preferably digital and in grams for accuracy. Because some of the measurements are small (for yeast and salt), it is better to use scales with a micro setting (I have these ones), although I have given approximate quantities in teaspoon sizes as well.
- Measuring Spoons
- Mixing bowls
- Firm Wooden or Silicone Mixing Spoon
- Good quality, non-stick Baking Paper
- Large baking tray or Pizza Tray (make sure it’s oven safe to a high temperature). I use a perforated pizza tray similar to this one, for even heat distribution. But you can also buy multi-pan kits for family use.
- Cake Lifter (or pizza peel or fish slices) to help transfer the soft, uncooked dough to the hot tray for baking.
- Pastry Brush to oil the ridged border.
How to store leftover Gluten Free Pizza (and will it still be yummy cold?)
Now, I’m happy to wax lyrical about how AMAZING this Gluten Free Pizza is to eat hot. But the real test for me is what the pizza is like when eaten cold. Why? Because it’s very rare to find a gluten free pizza that is still edible as leftovers. Most are either rubbery or rock hard frisbees that break the teeth or are only fit for the bin. And in my pizza world, leftovers should be something to covet and fight over.
Thus… in creation, a slice or two of each and every pizza was saved and allowed to go cold for several hours before being eaten… with NO reheating.
And yes… THIS gluten free pizza is to die for even when cold… Still soft and lightly doughy… Perfect for the lunch box, picnics and (in my house) breakfast!
Simply wrap the cooled leftovers in foil and store in the fridge.
Ready to make delicious New York style Gluten Free Pizza?
The recipe for my Gluten Free New York Style Pizza is below (scroll a little further). If you have any additional questions, feel free to get in touch. You can leave a comment at the bottom or message me on social media (Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest). And do share your yummy pizza photos with me too… I love seeing what happens with my recipes after they leave my kitchen.
If you love pizza and pizza flavours, we also have lots of other gluten free recipe inspiration to enjoy:
- Stuffed Crust Pizza
- Gluten Free Pizza Muffins
- Puff Pastry Pizza Pinwheels
- Wholemeal Gluten Free Pizza Rolls
- Gluten Free Crispy Pizza (no psyllium)
- Easy Pastry Pizza
- Pizza Galette
And for everything else, check out our hundreds of recipes via the main Gluten Free Recipe Index. Whatever your skill level, it’s the perfect place for gluten free foodies.
All shared for free with my love
Gluten Free Pizza (New York Style)
- cake lifter or pizza steel or fish slices
- pizza cutter or sharp knife
- 6 g honey (or maple syrup or caster sugar)
- 4.5 g Active Dried yeast (full, just rounded teaspoon for x1 recipe)
- 145 g hand warm water – at 38 to 39 C (100.4 to 102.2 F) NOTE : If using Buckwheat flour instead of oat flour use 5 to 10g less water.
- ¾ tsp cider vinegar (or white wine vinegar or lemon juice)
- 6 g olive oil
- 60 g tapioca starch
- 40 g millet flour
- 30 g oat flour (or buckwheat flour – See water note above) (or quinoa/sorghum/alternative protein flour if preferred)
- 8 g rough-ground psyllium husk (not fine powder)
- 4 g fine sea salt (SCANT half teaspoon for x1 recipe)
Toppings – tomato sauce
- 3 tbsp tomato Passata (sieved tomatoes)
- 1 to 2 tbsp concentrated tomato puree (tomato paste)
- ½ tsp dried Italian herbs (or oregano + thyme + basil, etc)
Toppings – the rest
- 4 to 5 tbsp grated pizza mozzarella (the drier, grated variety)
- 2 tbsp cheddar cheese (optional)
- vegetables/toppings of choice (onion; mushroom; peppers; courgette; cherry tomato; olives; Buffalo Mozzarella; meats etc etc)
- ½ tsp dried Italian herbs (or herbs of choice) – optional extra
- salt and pepper (to taste)
Stretching the Dough
- fine ground polenta; maize; brown rice or millet flour. to sprinkle (polenta gives an authentic feel)
- A little extra olive oil for hands and brushing the edges of the pizza dough
- In a large mixing bowl, weigh the yeast and honey (or maple syrup/sugar) with the hand-warm water.
- Gently whisk together with a fork to blend and dissolve the yeast, then set aside for 10 minutes or so in a warm place (or set over a bowl of steaming water), to activate and become frothy.
Mix the flour blend
- While the yeast is activating, weigh the dry ingredients (flours, psyllium husk and salt) into an airtight container (or separate bowl) and mix well until fully blended.
Making the dough
- Once the yeast is activated, add the vinegar and olive oil to the bowl and stir through to blend.
- Add the dry flour mix and using a firm wooden or silicone spoon, beat well and vigorously until smoothly blended (with no lumps). The mixture will initially look very liquid, but as you continue beating, it will start to thicken (some flour switches will cause quicker thickening than others).
- Once smooth and starting to thicken, set aside for 5 minutes, before stirring or folding through as a final mix. The mixture should now be quite thick.
- Scrape the dough together into the centre of the bowl and set aside for about 20 minutes in a warm place (covering the bowl with a large plate or cling film), to proof and to complete hydration.
Preparing the baking paper
- While the dough is proofing, prepare a large sheet of baking paper by cutting it to shape and very slightly larger than needed for the baking tray.
- Liberally sprinkle the baking paper with fine ground polenta (or maize flour, brown rice flour or millet flour).
Hand stretching the dough to make pizza
- With oiled hands (or using lightly oiled food gloves), scoop the dough from the bowl (you may need to use a spatula to release/scrape any stuck dough from the bottom) and compress it into a ball (do not 'knead' however, as it needs to maintain a little of the air from the first proof).
- Place the dough ball in the centre of the prepared baking paper and using flat fingers and/or knuckles, gradually press the dough outwards into a circular shape.
- Continue to press the dough until it is the size required. (Use the baking paper shape as a guide and turn the paper to help keep the circle even). The central flat part of the dough should be about 3mm thick when the circle is complete, with an outer ridged border shaped to about 1 to 1½ cm in thickness.
- Once shaped, set the dough bases aside to proof for about 12 to 15 minutes.
- IMMEDIATELY turn the oven on to 220 C (428 F) so that it has plenty of time to preheat to temperature.
- Place the baking tray(s) in the oven to preheat so they also become super-hot.
Baking the pizza
- Prepare the tomato sauce by mixing the Passata with the tomato paste and herbs.
- After the dough base has proofed (it should be gently puffy at the edges), gently brush the raised border with a little olive oil. Do not press down as the dough needs to maintain its rise.
- Next, spoon the tomato sauce onto the central area of the dough and carefully (and lightly) spread it across the surface using the rounded back of a large spoon, stopping at the raised edge.
- Take the pizza baking tray from the oven (shutting the oven door to maintain heat) and immediately transfer the pizza base (still ON the baking paper and with the support of a cake lifter, pizza peel or a couple of spatulas) to the tray.
- Bake for about 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and carefully ease the pizza base from the paper, sliding it onto the metal surface direct.
- Sprinkle a thin layer of cheese across the cooked tomato sauce and top with other toppings of choice, herbs, a little extra cheese and a sprinkle of salt and peppper.
- Return the pizza to the oven straight away and continue to cook for a further 10 to 12 minutes (approx) until golden on top, with crisp edges.
- Transfer to an apropriate plate or pizza board, slice and serve.
© 2019-2024 Kate Dowse All Rights Reserved – Do not copy or re-publish this recipe or any part of this recipe on any other blog, on social media or in a publication without the express permission of Gluten Free Alchemist