The perfect gluten free pizza crust that is chewy, crispy, my go-to pizza crust every week! Simple ingredients that come together in only a few minutes. Top 8 allergy variations included!
Pizza is perhaps the most difficult thing to make gluten free. With the exception of bread, as it is all bread, pizza is a meal that is really is all about the crust. No matter if you like it thick, thin, crispy, chewy, it doesn’t matter. A good pizza crust should have all of these elements.
Which leads us to gluten free pizza crusts. When first having to give up wheat, I started by simply substituting the wheat flour with my gluten free flour blend and didn’t do much else to the dough.
How wrong that was.
See, gluten does so many important things in a pizza crust that we can’t just do a one to one swap and expect our gluten free crust to be as delicious.
Let’s look into the science of a gluten free pizza crust so you can have the gluten free pizza of your dreams.
Gluten Free Pizza Crust Binders
Binders in baking help to strengthen the protein structures, which results in a higher elasticity dough. They also help to trap air bubbles in the dough, making it rise. Without a binder, the dough will turn out more like a cracker than a pizza crust as the air just passes through the dough with nothing to trap it. While gluten is normally the binder, we have to do a few different things.
First, I like to add an egg to the dough. This is the best way of binding the dough together, adding protein, and providing structure. If you are allergic to eggs, a flax seed egg will work just as well. Just know that you’ll see little flecks of flax in your dough.
Make your Pizza Rise
Due to the lack of gluten, a gluten free dough will never trap the same amount of air that a traditional wheat dough can. To compensate, it is essential to have the dough produce more gas and thus get a better rise on the crust.
The majority of our rise will come from the chemical reaction of baking powder and apple cider vinegar. Just a small amount of each will help produce a great rise.
How to Give a Gluten Free Pizza Crust Chew
A good crust needs a certain about of chew to it. In a traditional wheat crust, this comes from the gluten formed by the wheat. A level of chewiness can also be achieved in a gluten free pizza crust and it comes from a surprising source: the potato.
Potato flour is made from peeled and ground potatoes. The starch in the flour attracts and retains moisture, making sure our dough remains moist, and it also provides that chew. This also helps our pizza crust achieve a more tender crumb.
If you can’t find potato flour, you can also swap in plain instant mashed potatoes.
But what if you are nightshade free and need to avoid potatoes? No worries, just omit the potato flour and add 1/4 tsp of xanthan gum to the dough when you are adding the other dry ingredients. You’ll also want to add about 1/3 cup more flour to compensate for the potato volume. It won’t have quite the same chew, but it is close.
Gluten Free Pizza Crust Tips
There are a few other important things to note about making gluten free pizza crusts that I’ll just list here.
Because of the rice flour in most gluten free flour blends, your dough will not get as dark in color when baking. Therefore, you need to judge when it is done based on feel and look.
You can freeze these pizza crusts after baking them in the oven for the first 10 minutes and before putting your toppings on. They will stay good for about 3 months in the freezer.
Your dough might be too dry or too runny depending on what brand of flour you use. Your dough should be sticky and pretty wet, but holds its shape when dumped onto the parchment (see photo).
Did you make this recipe?
Gluten Free Pizza Crust
- 1 1/2 cup warm water, 110° (divided)
- 2 tsp yeast
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 egg
- 2 1/2 cup gluten free flour blend
- 1 tbsp potato flour
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- In a large mixing bowl, combine yeast, sugar, and half a cup of warm water. Stir and let rest 10 minutes to proof.
- After proofing, add your egg and olive oil as well as the remaining one cup of warm water. Add your flour in the center of the bowl. On opposite sides of your flour, add the salt, baking powder, apple cider vinegar, and potato flour. Gently stir to combine until a dough begins to form. Shape into a ball with the spatula, cover, and let rise for 45 minutes in a warm place.
- Preheat your oven to 425°F / 219° C. Prepare a baking tray or pizza tray by lining it with parchment paper.
- Turn out your dough onto the parchment covered baking tray. Using a piece of plastic wrap, or wearing a food safe glove, gently press the dough out to your desired size and shape. I usually press my dough to make a 10-12inch pizza.
- Bake the dough in the oven for 10 minutes. Then remove from oven, top with desired toppings, and place back in the oven for 15-20 more minutes, depending on how thick your crust and what toppings you added.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!