WRITTEN JANUARY 2023
A gluten-free diet doesn’t mean a pizza-free diet.
I went on a mission to make a gluten-free pizza that doesn’t taste gluten-free. Turns out, you can even get a spotty char on the crust!
Gluten-free Pizza Dough Recipe
30 minutes hands-on effort
Prepare dough 1-3 days ahead
This recipe was developed to scale – multiply all ingredients for more pizza!
Ingredients for 2 dough balls (300g each)
|320g||Caputo Fioreglut flour (100%)|
|2g||Instant yeast (0.6%)|
|256g||Water, room temperature (80%)|
|16g||Extra-virgin olive oil (5%)|
|+||Chickpea flour or fine cornmeal|
5 minutes of work
Starting with water, use a kitchen scale to measure each ingredient directly into a large mixing bowl. Add yeast (or GF starter, if using) and stir until dissolved.
Add flour and salt and mix by hand, or with a mixer, for 2 minutes until well-combined. Add extra-virgin olive oil and knead in the bowl for 1 minute to incorporate.
Yeast does the work
Takes around 16 hours if your room temperature hovers around 28°C, or 24 hours if you’re in a colder climate. This also depends on how active your yeast is.
2. Bulk ferment
Now we wait and let the yeast do its thing! This is called bulk fermentation (BF). It officially starts as soon as you bring yeast and flour together and we move on to the next step when the dough has doubled in size.
- Do not rush this step! Give the yeast time and your future, pizza-eating-self will be glad you waited.
- Don’t stress if you don’t see anything happening for the first 6-10 hours, especially if you already tested your yeast to make sure it’s active. Yeast grows exponentially, so it really picks up the pace after it’s had time to multiply.
How long does BF take?
The time it’ll take mainly depends on how active your yeast is and your room temperature. Some people with very active yeast have reported that their dough doubled in just 6 hours!
Your turn again!
15 minutes of work
Once the dough has doubled, it’s time to portion your dough balls. Grease your hands with extra-virgin olive oil to prevent the dough from sticking, then divide your dough into 300g pieces. To form a dough ball, place a piece of dough in the palm of your hand and use your other hand to pat the dough into a round, hockey puck-shaped. Place dough balls into lightly-greased air-tight containers with enough room for the dough to increase in size further.
- We want it air-tight, so that your dough can keep its moisture. If it’s drafty, it’s going to dry out on top – not ideal!
- Dividing and shaping the dough will deflate it and this is a good thing. The dough will continue to rise in the fridge.
Why not use a dough tray?
Individual containers are easier to remove gluten-free dough from. I also like that you can make a large batch of dough and take out the amount of dough balls you need each day.
I personally love the Pyrex 2-cup capacity glass containers (not an affiliate link!)
Fridge does the work
4. Cold ferment
Transfer your dough to the fridge. You can make pizzas with your dough balls whenever you like from this point, but I highly recommend letting it continue maturing in the fridge for 1 or 2 more days for more delicious flavour to develop.
How long can dough stay in the fridge for?
Fermentation is a process that keeps on giving! These days, we mainly do it for flavour development, but it was traditionally used as a method of preservation. I have used GF dough up to 8 days after starting the cold ferment. No issues, only flavour.
5 minutes of work
5. Pizza Day!
Use a spatula to loosen the dough balls from the side of their containers. Place each dough ball on a flat surface (plate, tray or directly on your countertop), leaving space in-between. Keep dough balls covered (I use a bowl to cover each dough ball) and allow to come to room temperature:
- 2 hours, if you’re in a warm climate
- 4 hours, if it’s cold where you are
30 minutes before it’s time to make pizza, preheat your pizza oven to 400°C / 750°F stone temperature. (If using a home oven, check this out!)
Making your pizza
From this point on, be gentle with the dough to keep air in the crust. When you treat your dough tenderly, it returns the favour with a tender crust. Let’s go!
Step 1: With dry hands, generously sprinkle chickpea flour or fine cornmeal over the top of your dough ball. Sprinkle more flour onto a dough scraper or spatula and use it to gently dislodge the dough.
Step 2: Dust your countertop with more flour, then transfer your dough ball to the counter so that the top, flour-coated side is facing down and the bottom faces up. Coat the bottom of the dough ball with flour.
Step 3: Flip the dough ball so that the topside faces up. Work from the centre of the dough ball to gradually press the dough into an evenly flat pizza base, leaving 1cm of a raised border for the crust. A 300g dough ball will stretch out to become an 11” to 12” pizza.
Step 4: If your pizza base starts to stick to the counter, use your dough scraper or spatula to loosen the base with more flour.
Step 5: Dress the pizza with your favourite toppings then transfer pizza to a lightly-floured launch peel. Brush off excess flour, then launch your pizza into a pizza oven preheated to 400°C / 750°F stone temp. Bake at high-flame, rotating the pizza every 20-30 seconds to evenly brown the crust. The pizza will be ready in 60-90 seconds.
To bake pizza in a home oven, this is the best way that doesn’t require pizza-specific equipment!
1 Can I use this recipe to make gluten-free sourdough pizza?
Biiig YES! I tested my recipe with a GF sourdough starter and loved the resulting flavour. First, you’ll need a GF sourdough starter. I followed this straightforward guide at Vanilla and Bean. Mine is made of buckwheat flour and Bob Red Mill’s AP 1-1 gluten free baking flour.
Once your GF starter is active, give it a 1:1 feed and when it’s peaked, mix in 32g starter (10% of total flour) instead of yeast to form your dough. Continue with the rest of the recipe as-is!
I found that my GF starter moves slower than my rye starter, so the bulk ferment took 12 hours to reach double for me at 27°C.
2 What are the percentages?
These are called baker’s percentages. They tell you how much of all the other ingredients to use, relative to the amount of flour. This makes it easy to scale baking recipes up or down. For example, if you wanted to make 3 dough balls with this recipe:
Current recipe makes 2 dough balls, so 1.5x flour = 480g flour
Then multiply the total flour against the percentages of other ingredients:
Instant yeast (0.6% of 480g) = 2.88g
Water (80%) = 384g
Salt (3%) = 14.4g
Extra-virgin olive oil (5%) = 24g
Gluten-free v.s. regular pizza dough
These are the main differences I wish I had known when I started out making gluten-free pizza. Knowing these differences will give you a head-start if you’ve made pizza before:
Simpler to make
Forget developing gluten strength, you barely have to knead and no need for stretch and folds! GF dough is also almost impossible to overferment. I tested letting the bulk ferment go past-peak (to the point that it started sliding down the edges of the bowl) and – to my surprise – got incredibly tasty GF pizza from it.
Stretching takes longer
Imagine the way a child would pat-out a pizza base using playdoh – that’s basically how to stretch GF dough! GF dough rips quickly if you try using gravity to stretch it (of course, I had to try!) However, after getting the pizza onto the peel you can give it a delicate final-stretch to make it slightly bigger.