Gluten Free Pizza Class—the results
Yesterday we had our first cooking class in the culinary facility at South Seattle Community College. Everyone was excited to get involved in this hands-on class and we had a great group of people that had fun meeting one another, sharing stories and tips along with learning how to make gluten free pizza —and those more experienced learned a few new tricks in gluten free pizza making.
My original plan was to focus on just two kinds of crust– a dairy free, gluten free option and a gluten free option— it is fairly easy to substitute for dairy. Often these classes attract people with multiple sensitivities as well so I came up with a plan to try and help everyone, which is not an easy task. Anyone who has ever taught a class like this understands how incredibly complicated it can be to satisfy all of the various needs and come off as calm, cool, and collected as an instructor. It takes hours upon hours of planning, shopping, and developing a down to the minute precision in execution.
Egg free, dairy free, gluten free pizza crust
I was hesitant to tackle an egg free, dairy free, gluten free crust but I knew one third of the class needed that option though I had never found a truly good version. A few days before the class a friend gave me some recipes she found for pizza crust omitting these elements. They were quite ho-hum recipes using flour that I knew would not work too well on their own but one of the recipes had the brilliant idea of adding just a touch of baking powder and also using ground oats as a protein source instead of ground almonds or dry milk powder (a little extra protein helps the overall structure of the crust). So I revised my pizza crust recipe ingredients just a bit and ultimately came up with a fabulous crust with nice flavor, chew, rise, and nutrition. I didn’t have time to test it all out beforehand so this one recipe was a bit of an experiment. I had tested it 99% but it still had too much chew and seemed heavy, my last attempt was to add in a touch of baking powder and that made ALL the difference in the world.
After the class, the students had the following responses to questions in the class evaluation forms:
What did you like best about the Gluten Free Pizza Class?
“I loved the hands-on class, being able to feel the texture and thickness, and of course being able to eat what we made.”
“A wonderful base of knowledge and recipes as well as tips for substitutions.”
“Practical knowledge on how to make very tasty pizzas we can eat.”
“The ability to make a delicious gluten free, dairy free, egg free pizza crust and the exchange of ideas in class.”
“I finally get to have good pizza again.”
“I feel more comfortable using all these new GF flours.”
The class had a chance to sample the pizza we made and each took home an individual size crust that met their dietary needs. I was very impressed with the combinations of toppings the class came up with while I was manning the ovens. My husband and son love meat covered pizzas and I always go for the freshness of vegetarian pizza. For a tomato sauce substitute, I made up a base of sauteed onions, mushrooms, olive oil and a bit of balsamic for those who couldn’t eat tomato. My favorite pizza was one made with the mushroom saute as the base topped with roasted garlic, fresh mushroom slices, fresh spinach, basil, and no cheese! The class also had topping choices such as red pepper slices, artichoke hearts, mozzarella, olives, salami, tomato sauce, and homemade pesto.
pizza pics at the bottom of the post + tips
Gluten Free Pizza
Egg Free and Dairy Free Substitutions
To substitute for dairy: replace the dry milk powder with finely ground gluten free oats (Bob’s Red Mill makes some). To substitute eggs: use 4 tablespoons of finely ground flax seed or chia seed whisked together with 3/4 cup boiling water. Whether you make a dairy free or egg free crust: add 1 teaspoon of baking powder for the extra rise you will need.
Wine Pairings for Pizza
Note that some wines are fined (or clarified: cloudy, protein particles removed) by using casein or egg whites, when you find a favorite wine be sure to contact the winery and ask about their fining methods.
Chianti (Sangiovese) a pizza standard
Montelpuciano d’Abruzza (Montelpuciano)
These two were recently recommended by my wine guy at Pete’s but I haven’t tried them yet:
Henry Fessy Fleurie 2009 Cru Beaujolais (Gamay)
Cannonau di Sardegna 2006 Riserva (Grenache)
More GF Pizza pictures
On Sunday after the class I decided to try make a pizza using some of the vegetable toppings we used in class. My students came up with some great combinations so I was inspired:
Next time I am going to bake the veggie pizza only 10 minutes. My recipe says 20 minutes but that is only necessary if you put uncooked meat on the pizza.
And then of course the men in the house want a meat based pizza:
then baked for 20 minutes:
I now partially bake the crust on a pizza pan on a pizza stone because the consistency of the dough requires it. Once the dough is par-baked you can top it and bake it off directly on the pizza stone if you would like, you’d probably need a big metal spatula to orchestrate it all though. You can also make a grilled pizza using a par-baked crust.