Gluten Free Ratio Rally-Pizza

by Karen on October 5th, 2011

In our house pizza is a necessity.

I keep at least one extra crust in the freezer at all times which means a simple pizza can be ready in about 15 minutes.  We have tried many gluten free pizza crusts over the years and while this one still doesn’t taste exactly like a wheat-made crust, it is hands down the best gluten free pizza crust I have ever tasted, though new ideas are always appreciated…….

Gluten Free Ratio Rally Host

This month I am the host for the Gluten Free Ratio Rally which is a group of gluten free bloggers that tease out new recipes for a monthly topic–this month it is pizza. We start with a ratio based on those in Michael Ruhlman’s book Ratio which is for wheat-based baking. Gluten free baking is quite different and with so many available gluten free flours, our ratios can vary a bit but as you look at the recipes you can pick those using your favorite gluten free flours.

The idea is that there is an ideal ratio of flour to liquid to fat and if you know that ratio then you can increase or decrease depending on the quantity you want to make. Restaurants always use ratios in their master recipes.

Navigate here to find the ratio calculator that is designed to make your job of making your cake layers look fabulous.most of those who love to bake are the ones who get perfect ratios in terms of their ingredients. This has to be measured and, later on, gets best with practice.

Ruhlman’s ratio for pizza is a 5:3  flour:water ratio (plus a small amount of fat).

Take some time to look through the blog  links at the end of this post. We have quite an eclectic group of bloggers, you will undoubtedly find at least one recipe that you will want to try.

Pizza Memories

Life Magazine ad for Chef Boyardee

When I was a kid my dad liked to make pizza with the Chef Boyardee kit.  He adapted it a bit and we looked forward to pizza night.  I am sure it is now loaded with sodium and of course off limits to our gluten free household but back then it was fun to see my dad in the kitchen on the weekends—his other kitchen talent involved apple pie from scratch which is absolutely awesome, we loved to follow him into the kitchen !

Pizza was such a special treat. We RARELY went out to dinner as was probably the case for most families in the 70s and ordering pizza to be delivered was certainly not on my radar screen if it was even available.   Homemade pizza, even if it started with the kit, was a treat for us.

In a funny roundabout way the same is true in my household today because we have yet to find a really good gluten free pizza crust anywhere else in Seattle.  There is one place that is well on its’ way to a successful GF pizza crust, it’s called Veraci in Ballard.  The few times I have been there they have had a hard time getting it just right because their cooks are accustomed to cooking directly on the hot stone and to ensure our crust is GF we ask them to cook ours on a pizza pan —so we are kind of messing with their system of success. Many customers request their gluten free pizza cooked directly on the hot stone but then the pizza is subject to possible contact with wheat flour. I recently suggested that they partially bake the crust on a pan, remove it from the oven,  top it, then bake it until done—I haven’t been in there lately so hopefully that worked for them because they have pretty fantastic pizza. Their sauce is awesome as well as their toppings. They just need to tweak the GF crust a bit more.

My ratio turned out to be:  5:4     flour/dry milk powder : water/egg whites

but I did not use all of the water called for in the recipe and I usually only need between 235-250 g  or  about 1 cup of water  so that really puts my ratio at  5: 3.5 so that is close to Ruhlman’s.  The reason for specifying  275 g. water is it helps to heat the water to 105-115° all at once whether you will use it or not depends upon humidity, how much moisture is in your flour (especially if you don’t keep it tightly sealed) etc.  but you don’t really know how much moisture is in your flour until you begin to add the wet ingredients to the dry.  Add the water gradually to your dry ingredients so you can watch the consistency and insure the dough doesn’t get too wet–that would spell disaster!!

Dry milk powder and egg whites add in some needed protein–if I knew more about the science of it all I would tell you all about it.  Erin Swing will likely fill you in if you look at her post as that is her specialty.

For my pizza post I will link you to the one I have had posted since discovering the combination of sorghum, millet and tapioca flours.  The toppings are my take on a local specialty pizza shop version of what they call the GASP! – the amount of garlic they use takes your breath away but mine is more tempered.  GASP also stands for Garlic, Artichoke Sun-Dried Tomato and Pesto.  If I am pairing pizza with wine I will omit the artichoke ( because it causes a bad wine match) and will add a green pepper for the sweetness it imparts.  Here is the pizza we made this weekend which is not the GASP.

Green pepper, sausage, salami, sun-dried tomato and mozzarella with parmesan

A good Italian Sangiovese always works with pizza.

Follow the pizza post link above and if you prefer to use a scale here are the weights:

129 g. sorghum flour
138 g. millet flour
225 g. tapioca starch flour
55 g. dry milk powder or finely ground almonds
6 g. guar gum (or xanthan gum)
7 g. salt
21 g. active dry yeast
12 g. sugar
275 g. water (105-115°)
32 g olive oil
127 g. or 4 egg whites

The pizza recipe instructions and the same ingredients above expressed in cups is here.  When I made pizza this weekend there was time to let it rise for about 30 minutes before pre-baking the crust, this is what that rise time produces:

Prebaked pizza crust with a 30-minute rise