Everyone loves a good pizza, whether it is a weekly dinner, occasional treat or to celebrate a special occasion. Most people will either order pizza as a takeaway or in some lucky households, make them from scratch.
With limited choices of ready-made or home-delivered gluten-free pizza, making homemade is the only option. Before I created this recipe, I resorted to a tiny frozen store-bought frisbee pizza that tastes like cardboard, although I did jazz it up with my favourite additional toppings and this compensated for the tasteless crust.
The gluten-free pizzas in the photos show the results of an authentic crust and delicious toppings. You’ll never buy one again after making this recipe!
Creating a gluten-free pizza base
Surprisingly, I ended up finding out that my gluten-free naan bread recipe is super pizza friendly! As I like my pizza to puff up at the sides and have a satisfying chew, it made sense to use this recipe. The only change I made was increasing the salt slightly.
This is an uncomplicated, gluten-free pizza dough that will give you perfect pizza bases providing it is baked in a very hot oven.
Recently, I watched a CNN special with Stanley Tucci making pizza in Italy. I was so envious seeing him sampling beautifully puffed up and slightly charred pizzas topped with fresh, local ingredients. Of course, it helps to have a pizza oven that can reach temperatures of 500°C/930°F. I reckon even the worst pizza dough recipe would end up being rescued by that searing heat!!
Pizza Stone, Baking Tray or Pizza Oven – which one works best?
These round pizza stones fit a family size pizza and give a traditional crisp, evenly cooked base. They withstand very high temperatures and are easy to clean once cooled down completely.
It is better to use a baking tray with no raised sides to make sliding the pizza base on and off easier. Alternatively, a baking tray can be flipped over and the base can be used to bake the pizza. The tray should be strong and resistant to high temperatures. Usually, the tray that originally came with the oven will be suitable.
I have had two plug-in pizza oven appliances, The first one was over-worked and eventually stopped working. The second one was gifted to me last year and works a dream. It makes pizza in literally minutes. This is the fastest and the best energy-saving way to make pizzas, especially if you are planning to only make one pizza.
Most kitchen appliance stores, kitchen speciality shops or online shopping sites will sell pizza ovens at a reasonable price.
Pizza Topping Suggestions
Black or green olives
Fresh chilli or dried chilli flakes
Baby spinach leaves
- Pizza stone, or
- High-heat resistant baking tray with no raised sides, or
- Pizza oven
- Pizza peel (optional)
GLUTEN-FREE PIZZA BASE
- 350 ml warm milk
- 280 ml Greek or thick yoghurt
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- Tapioca flour, for dusting & shaping the pizza bases
- Olive oil, for brushing the dough and tray
- Cornmeal or polentas, for sprinkling on the tray
BASIC TOMATO PIZZA SAUCE
- 4 tbsp Passata or good quality tinned tomato sauce
- 1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
- ½ tsp chilli flakes (optional)
- salt and pepper, to taste
NEAPOLITAN MARGHERITA TOPPING
- 1 ball buffalo mozzarella cheese, drained and torn into small pieces
- 1 sprig fresh basil leaves, whole or torn into rough pieces
- fresh rocket/arugula leaves, to scatter over the pizza
- olive oil, for drizzling
- freshly cracked black pepper
- chilli flakes, to garnish
BASIC TOMATO PIZZA SAUCE
- In a small bowl, mix all the basic tomato pizza sauce ingredients together. Set aside.
GLUTEN-FREE PIZZA BASE
Making the pizza dough
- In a medium bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together.
- In a measuring jug, mix the wet ingredients together.
- Using a wooden spoon, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.
- Once all the ingredients have come together as a slightly sticky dough, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rest for one hour in a warm place.
Assembling the pizza
- Once the pizza dough has finished rising, knead the dough for 5 minutes. Press the dough against the bowl to catch all the excess dough and flour.
- Add more tapioca flour if the dough feels too sticky. The dough should feel smooth and easy to handle.
- Dust the countertop with tapioca flour and divide the pizza dough into equal size balls. Cover them with a tea towel.
- Using your fingers, gently press the dough ball outwards into a flat disc leaving a 3cm border around the edges. Flip over and repeat, continuously pressing out until the dough can no longer stretch without tearing. 22cm is the usual diameter of the pizza. Sprinkle plenty of tapioca flour on the counter, dough and your hands. Work relatively quickly.
Cooking the pizzas
- Preheat the oven to 250°C/480°F.
- Place a pizza stone or high-heat resistant baking tray that has no raised sides on the second-highest shelf. This helps the pizza to easily slide onto the tray and for easy removal when cooked.
- Leave to heat up for 30 minutes.
- Carefully bring the hot pizza stone or tray out and rest it on a heatproof countertop or wooden board.
- Sprinkle the pizza stone or tray with the cornmeal/polenta. This helps give a crispy base.
- Place the pressed-out pizza dough onto the tray and brush the top with more olive oil. You will need to use a well-floured spatula or two to help transfer the dough to the tray. If you have a pizza peel, this is a great help to slide it from the counter to the tray.
- Return the tray back to the oven on the second-highest shelf for 5 minutes.
- Spread two tablespoons of the pizza sauce on each pizza, followed by the torn mozzarella pieces. Return the pizza to the oven and cook for a final 4 to 5 minutes.
- Garnish each pizza with fresh basil leaves, fresh rocket leaves, a drizzle of olive oil, freshly cracked black pepper and some chilli flakes.
- Rest the pizza on a wooden board for about 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
- Keeps for 2 days chilled
- Reheat pizza slices covered in foil in a moderate oven
- Cooked pizza bases are suitable to freeze