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Gluten-Free pizza doesn’t have to mean “boring”

Rice Based Pizza Crust Recipe:

3 egg whites
1 Tablespoon oil
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup rice flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons xanthan gum (found anywhere that you buy gluten-free products)
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place the egg whites in a medium-sized bowl. Beat until very frothy, with big and little bubbles. Add the remaining ingredients. Mix well until the mixture thickens to a pastry dough. This will take a minute or two.
Press the dough out onto a greased cookie sheet as one big pizza or in 1/3 to 1/2 cup clumps. Spread the dough out until the bottom appears very, very thin and it is slightly thicker on the sides. Bake without toppings for 10-15 minutes, until the bottom of the dough is lightly browned and the edges of the crust begin to color slightly.
Raise the oven temperature to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Add your toppings. Bake until the crust is golden and the cheese is melted, approximately 5 minutes. The crust will be a little thinner after the final baking.
Recipe from: “You Won’t Believe It’s Gluten-Free” by Roben Ryberg

When I first found out I was gluten-sensitive, I was devastated. All of my favorite foods — pizza, spaghetti with garlic bread, mac and cheese, etc. — contained gluten. While many of these had a gluten-free alternative that I could quickly settle into, pizza was the one thing that I never found a gluten-free version that I enjoyed. And while I still haven’t found one that I am in love with, I have found a version that I can live with.

This pizza recipe is rice flour based, but still has all the ingredients required to make it rise like a normal pizza. Depending on how thinly you roll it out, the crust can still be thicker than the typical gluten-free thin crust pizza. Best of all, the crust actually tastes good. In addition to the required ingredients, I always add dried parsley, onion and garlic powder to the crust to give it enough flavoring.

My personal favorite detail about this pizza is now easily it can be reheated. It is just as delicious after being heated up days following me making it, although if you wait too long it can get too soggy to eat with your hands.

Like most gluten-free pizza, this pizza is not super filling. Even though you are making an entire pizza it wouldn’t serve more than two, maybe three people if that was all they were eating. If I cook it for myself I have just enough leftovers for one more meal. An easy fix would be to double the recipe and make two pizzas, but this is something that I have yet to do.

Another issue I have run into with this pizza is that it is very hard to spread out on the pan to cook. If you put it at a normal level of thickness, it rises and is hard to top with ingredients, but if you try to make it any thinner, it rips, making little holes in the crust. The best solution that I’ve found is when it rises, you can pat it down so that it is thinner and then continue cooking the crust. With the problem of the crust thickness, when you try to take the pizza off the pan to eat it, it tends to stick to the pan. Using oil as a greaser for the dough helped slightly, but I haven’t found a perfect solution for this problem.

The last time I made this recipe, I wanted to make it dairy-free as well as gluten-free, so I substituted the regular milk for coconut almond milk and made it without cheese and it tasted the same as previous times I made it, save for the cheese. The almond milk may have even added a little welcome flavor to the crust.

This recipe can be made many different ways, but in my time using it, I have used two combinations that I would recommend. The first time I made a Thanksgiving pizza topped with gluten-free stuffing, mashed potatoes, corn and gravy. It was delicious, with my only complaint being that it was a little bland. With some spices, this could have been a magical invention. The way I typically top it is with pizza sauce, cheddar cheese, green pepper, spinach and onion, and this tastes delicious as well. The best part of this recipe is you can make it over and over again, switching up the toppings that you use.

If you are looking for a fun recipe for delicious gluten friendly pizza, I would highly recommend this recipe. Bring your favorite toppings and a friend and you’ll have a nice pizza night in.

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