Pizza Night

by Brittany in

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 I have gone on about this before, but I adore pizza so much. I got my fix for a few months back in June or July while we were on Sardinia, but that was quite awhile ago and my craving reached the tipping point. For awhile it was a quiet enough craving that the memory of those Italian gluten free masterpieces would suffice (that and I was afraid to wake up to the reality that I would never come close to that pizza maker's magic). But no longer. So I tried my best. In the past, my failed attempts included crusts that were so hard I had to saw them with, not a butter knife, but a real knife; crusts so crumbly a spoon was the only realistic utensil; crusts that were too eggy, too salty, too white and bland... basically if there is a problem one can have I've had it. 

This time, two significant factors changed for me. First, I got parchment paper. I don't know why I'd never got it before, but it is an absolute must for gluten free baking. Second, Jesse got me a rolling pin! Would you believe it, since we got married, I've never owned one! I prefer to get my kitchen utensils at thrift stores, but because of my celiac disease, I've always shied away from things like rolling pins (made of porous wood typically) and sifters. And I love the marble ones, but those are so expensive new I just made do with empty wine bottles or my hands (I only really need a pin for pie crusts and pizza dough and gluten free pie crusts aren't nearly as sensitive to over handling as regular glutenous crusts). But one evening a few weeks ago Jesse noticed me struggling trying to flatten a pie crust evenly with my hands and he hopped right onto Amazon and after a little research decided I needed a French style rolling pin and ordered it right then and there. He is wonderful.

Between the parchment paper and the pin, my whole mindset towards pizza dough altered! Before I would press and press the crumbs together just forcing them to stick to each other. With that method it's no wonder my crusts simply dissolved back into the crumbs from whence they came!  This time I laid out a nicely floured sheet of parchment paper and went at the dough rolling it out and sprinkling flour on it as needed and it stretched and flattened and was just a dream!

Now it's a bit ironic and funny that Chelle's last post was in praise of following recipes but it's also delightfully representative of our personalities! You can always count on Chelle to have every detail of everything carefully thought out far ahead of time... and, well, I'm very much fly by the seat of my pants! So please excuse the vagueness of this recipe (although if you read An Everlasting Meal                as I recommended a few posts back, you won't even bat an eye)! 

Pizza Crust

3/4 cup rice flour (about... I just eyeballed the amount then added enough liquid so it rolled nicely) 

1/4 cup tapioca flour

2 tablespoons baking powder  

1 tablespoon sugar (maybe more)  

mostly almond milk 

a good pour of orange juice (to bind it all together... you could use all orange juice but the flavor may overwhelm the Italian-ness of the recipe!)  

Then knead it all together and roll adding flour as needed! I highly recommend the French rolling pin because it uniquely gives you the perfectly even and perfectly circular crust... without even having to pick up and change direction!  

For the toppings I dug around in my fridge and realized I had three types of sheep cheese: Manchego, Romano and Feta. After generously coating the crust with olive oil I shaved off bits of the first two types, covering the entire crust. Then I added mushrooms, red pepper flakes and pepperoni and topped it all off with freshly "borrowed" oregano from an obliging community garden (not sure the ethics there... but it was a very big plant, gone all leggy so I decided if no one else was using it...) and feta! Who needs tomatoes on pizza? Totally not a necessary ingredient (although delicious if you have them)!