Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Gluten-Free...and Good, too!

I've gone through my fair share of gluten-free baking disasters. One time I was experimenting with recipes for my bread machine; the whole apartment smelled so good! I opened the bread maker at the end with visions of bread as good as "the real thing" only to find a really hot pile of dry flour. Oops. But there have been successes along the way, too. Biscuits, pancakes, and pizza dough have been a few of them. One of the best tools I've found in my somewhat roller coaster experimenting has been Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour, and Bob's Red Mill Xanthan Gum. It's a nicely uniform mixture, and has good flavor. Not overwhelmingly GF tasting, if you know what I mean. The best part is for past year I've been able to buy the standard flour-sized bag of it at Costco for a very reasonable price! If you're gluten-intolerant, or just like to mix it up a bit (my preference), give it a try. I'm including my recipe for pizza dough, because what is life without pizza? A dark existence indeed.

Gluten-Free Pizza Dough

1 pkg instant yeast
I C warm water
1 tsp honey/ agave nectar
2 tbs olive oil
3 C flour (BRM Gluten-Free All-Purpose)
1 tsp xanthan gum (BRM)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp apple cider vinegar

Add the yeast and honey/agave nectar to the warm water. Gently mix together and let it sit for about 10 min, until it's foamy. Put it into a large mixing bowl. Add to it the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, flour, xanthan gum, and salt. Mix together until it's too thick to stir. Use your hands to continue mixing it until it's a solid ball of dough. Turn out onto a GF floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes, or until smooth.
Coat the dough in a little bit of olive oil and place in a glass bowl. Cover it in plastic wrap and place in a warm spot to rise. Let it rise for about an hour. Punch it down and roll it out.
Shape the dough into a disk or just cover a cookie sheet. Bake at 400 F for about 7-8 minutes. Pull it out, brush with a little olive oil (I like to add crushed garlic to the oil), place your toppings on top, and place back in the oven until the toppings are cooked the way you like them(usually a minimum of 6-7 minutes).

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