Tuesday, December 14, 2010

this post is gluten free

I can't eat gluten. Ever. At all. I am undiagnosed, or rather, self diagnosed with gluten intolerance. I spent a few years believing I was suffering from IBS due to moderate to extreme pain on a pretty much daily basis. I was told to steer clear of dairy and stress, and avoided both to the best of my abilities. However, pain continued.

that's my rice flour on the left!

Then, one fateful day last August, my older, wiser and gluten free sister suggested that I look into the possibility of my symptoms being caused by eating gluten. I sort of half thought about it, but I was suffering from IBS, I was sure of it. Still, I spoke to my doctor, and sure enough, he felt that maybe my symptoms were gluten related also. So, after opting against a biopsy to diagnose me with Celiac Disease, I just up and stopped eating gluten.

At first, I couldn't stand it. I was literally a carb addict. You might crave chocolate or potato chips, but I crave warm, buttery bread. Fresh, soft, delicious (I can almost smell it now), home made BREAD. I would daydream about it. To not eat it was a horrible, terrible thing. But, I stuck with it and ate through some pretty bland gluten free "breads" trying to find something that was somewhat similar to the taste I loved. I finally did find a bread recipe that fools me (which I will share at a later date) and the whole "gluten free" thing started to get a lot easier.

One thing that made it deliciously easy to be gluten free was perfecting pizza crust. I LOVE pizza and we take homemade pizza very seriously in this house. I couldn't stand the polenta crust that I was stuck eating. I mean, it was okay, but it wasn't real enough for me to enjoy. So, Adam came up with a great little crust that tastes great and holds together! If you are gluten free, please, BEHOLD! If you aren't, bear with me, and try this sort of pizza yourself with the crust you do like, because it really is a good pizza!

Start with a plain pizza dough recipe like this one:
1 package of yeast
1 1/3 cups warm water
3 1/2 - 3 3/4 cups of WHITE RICE flour
2 tsp of Xanthan Gum
1 tbs olive oil 1 tbs salt
1 tbs sugar (we use less, and more often just use honey)

Put the yeast in the water and let it foam up. Mix in the rest of the stuff and knead it all together for a bit. This is going to NOT be like a regular dough, but just keep pounding it all together. Put it off to the side in a bowl and cover it up with a dish cloth. It won't rise up quite like a regular dough either, but trust me, it will taste good!

Now, chop up the toppings. My faves are garlic (the more the better), onion, mushrooms, tomatoes, olives, artichoke hearts and egg (more on that later). Of course, cheese is a must and we also like feta on ours. Hot peppers also, yum! After this, roll out your crust on a floured surface (gluten free flour, of course).

Now, here's the key to avoiding a gummy crust. Prebake your crust only for about 15 minutes at around 325ish. Once that's done, top her up like a regular pizza crust, pop on the pizza stone in a hot 400ish oven and bake!

If you are adding egg, and I highly, HIGHLY recommend that you do, wait until about 10 minutes until baking is done before adding the egg. Simply bake the pizza, crack the egg on top and then finish up the job. SO. GOOD.

So good, in fact, that when I was taking these photos for this blog post, I didn't take a photo of the final result because I was so excited to eat it that I forgot the final shot. Good thing Jamie Oliver keeps a perfect pizza-on-egg photo around for times like this! Here's Jamie's gluten take on it:

1 comment:

  1. What a great cooking lesson for gluten-free pizza! I read this just before going to bed and now all I want is pizza with egg on top. I'm definitely going to give this a try, as I do love pizza.
    I'm so glad that you finally figured out that this was the best and healthiest way to eat, given your years of cramping and pain. Good for you!