Master Hacks for Making Great Gourmet Gluten-Free Pizza
Start with the Right Tools
Pans. You can use any pan you like: round, square, or rectangular.
Or you can use our favorite, a pizza stone. A pizza stone makes the crust bottom nice and crisp, yet soft on the inside. It takes about 5 minutes longer to cook the bottom and then you should let the pizza sit for 10 minutes before cutting.
If using a metal pan, check the pizza after 20 minutes. Let the pizza sit for 10 minutes before cutting, too.
Besides pans, here is a list of other useful pizza-making tools:
Stand mixer with bowl and a paddle attachment for blending the ingredients
A good pizza wheel-cutter that has the extra feature to cut the crust edge or pizza scissors
Pastry brush to be used for the pizza sauce or the garlic oil. A pastry brush has finer bristles that don’t pick up the dough while being used
Cooling rack to place the pizza pan on to cool. Having something to raise the hot pan above your stovetop or counter protects those surfaces
Cutting board if using a pizza wheel-cutter and your pizza is on a metal pan
Measuring cups and spoons for both liquids and dry materials
Plastic cling wrap for rolling out and handing or storing the dough
Rolling pin or glass bottle for rolling out the crusts
Want to Make Vegan Crusts?
Our Inspiration Bakery and Mixes Pizza Crust Mix is vegan in the box, but the recipe on the box calls for eggs.
To make vegan crusts with our Pizza Mix, you should apply a standard rule of thumb, which calls for substituting 1/2 cup applesauce for 3 whole eggs. Our Pizza Mix recipe calls for 4 egg whites, equal to 3 whole eggs. So, to make the vegan crusts, add 1/2 cup applesauce instead of the egg whites.
We also recommend adding 2 teaspoons of baking powder, double-acting non-aluminum baking powder, to help your crusts’ rise.
How About a Thick-Crust Pizza?
Our Inspiration Bakery and Mixes Pizza Crust Mix makes two 14-inch crusts. To make a thick crust pizza, follow the recipe to make the two crusts. Instead of dividing the dough in two, you leave it in one dough ball and spread it out to the size and shape you want. You partially bake the pizza for 10-12 minutes before adding the toppings, and then you finish-bake it for perhaps five minutes longer than you normally would, making sure the center fully bakes.
Select Your Yeast
Instant yeast in the jar or packets are fine to use. But if you want your pizza to rise faster in the oven, use gluten-free fast-acting yeast. Mix the yeast into the Inspiration Bakery and Mixes Pizza Crust Mix along with 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar. Sugar is a catalyst for yeast to rise.
Spice Things Up
Adding some Italian seasoning, garlic powder, or garlic salt to the mix enhances the pizza crust flavor. You can also spice it up by adding some Siracha powder or liquid but be careful you don’t make it too hot for you or guests to enjoy. Crushed red pepper also turns up the heat a bit and adds a great flavor to the crust.
Brush on Some Garlic Oil
To make garlic oil, mix 2 tablespoons of olive or other oil and 2 teaspoons of crushed garlic in a bowl. Using a pastry brush, brush onto the crust before adding the pizza sauce. You can also just brush it on the edges of the crust or all over…your choice😊
Pick Your Pizza Sauce
Marinara sauce works well as a pizza sauce topping. The tomato-tang and chunkiness of the sauce blends well with the other toppings to produce the overall taste of the pizza. The sauce also adds to the texture and flavor of the pizza crust. But don’t put too much on. Marinara sauce contains a lot more liquid than regular pizza sauce and can make the middle of your pizza doughy if applied too heavily. Regular pizza sauces are good, too.
Any sauce should be spread thinly using a soup spoon. You can also edge the crust with sauce, too. You coat the back of your soup spoon with sauce and then run it around the outside of the crust, making sure it is covered in sauce. If you like your crust edges untouched, then you can brush the edges will olive oil or the garlic oil above.
White sauce is also great. Buttermilk ranch dressing or plain ranch dressing are both good choices. They add great flavor to pizzas that are not topped with heavy meats.
Add Some Delicious Toppings
When it comes to delicious pizza, cheese is the first topping everybody thinks of. But cheese can overbake and over-brown. So, for a plain cheese pizza, bake the pizza dough for about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and apply the pizza sauce and cheese, then bake for the remaining time, about 10 minutes. This should keep the cheese from over-browning.
There are lots of different kinds of cheeses to use and in different combinations. For example, a blend of mozzarella and parmesan cheeses in the right balance is an amazing topping. Certain cheeses also work better with certain toppings, so it’s fun to experiment to find combinations to love.
If you use vegan cheese, make sure not to put too much on the pizza. Some of the vegan cheeses will melt a lot, spreading more than dairy cheeses. Some vegan cheeses don’t melt at all. And too much vegan cheese can become overpowering, taste-wise.
Artichoke hearts, shrimp, and pineapple go well with a white sauce.
Fresh tomatoes. Bake your pizza dough for about 10 minutes. Add the cheese and other toppings and then bake for another 10 minutes. Remove the pizza from the oven and place the fresh sliced tomatoes on top. Let the pizza cool for at least 5 minutes which warms the tomatoes up but doesn’t cook them.
Smoked oysters. Make sure you drain the oil off the oysters and pat them dry before placing them on the pizza. Also try to buy a good smoked oyster, which can be purchased as organic, too.
Pepperoni can be greasy, so if you can, choose one that is less greasy. Organic uncured pepperoni with low grease and doesn’t shrink into little cups is the best choice we have found. If you don’t use it all at one time, you can freeze what’s left. Thaw your pepperoni in the refrigerator, then take it out about 30 minutes before you start making your pizza dough.
Pork sausage. Pork sausage should be partially cooked before applying to the pizza. The sausage will continue to cook with your pizza and it can be chewy or hard if overcooked. So, it’s good to experiment a little to see what partial cooking time works best. This “just done-ness” testing goes for any meat you need to cook beforehand, like a taco pizza.
Meat substitutes. Groceries offer a wide variety of meat substitutes. Some are gluten-free and vegan. If you would like to use one as a topping, you will probably want to experiment with cooking times and when to place the topping on a baking pizza because these things will vary depending on the product and your pizza-making methods. Have fun!
Notes on Toppings
Raw meat will not work as a topping.
Don’t over-topping (too many, too much) your pizza or it might bake unevenly. And remember that many veggies are moist, so they can also cause your pizza to bake unevenly. And your pizza will also bake better if you keep them at room temperature before adding to the pizza crust.
Watch Your Oven Temperatures
Heat your oven to the recommended temperature (often 425 degrees F.) for 20 minutes before putting in your pizza. As soon as you open your oven, the temperature will drop rapidly. Leaving your oven hot for at least 20 minutes before putting in your pizza helps eliminate such a dramatic temperature drop.
Also, make sure your oven temperature is correct. If you bake a lot, you may want to have your oven calibrated periodically. You can also buy a mechanical oven temperature gauge, but they can be off over time, too. There are also some good electronic temperature gauges available with probes that you insert inside your oven.
Find the Best Oven Position
The middle rack is the common choice for pizza baking within the oven, but your oven may require a position on a lower rack.
When cutting your pizza into servings, you can use scissors with any pan surface. But, if you are using a pizza wheel-cutter, you should remove the pizza from any metal pan onto a cutting board before slicing. Cutting with a wheel-cutter on a metal pan will scar your pan and may compromise the integrity of the metal or any coatings on it.
Serve Your Pizza Hot or Cold😊
We have our gluten-free pizza for breakfast, lunch, or dinner…honest! Sometimes as a main course at dinner. Sometimes for a left-over lunch. And sometimes for breakfast, often with an egg on it.
And a slice of pizza served cold makes a great snack for fast-moving friends or family members.
No matter when or how, please enjoy your next pizza…and the one after that…and the one after…!