Those of you who follow me on Instagram will know that developing this gluten free pizza base recipe has been a labour of love for me. I wanted to develop a base that isn’t too complicated and is still quick to make, but that is more pizza-like than some of the very basic no yeast recipes. And after some extensive testing, I have hit on what I think is the perfect solution.
So I am finally ready to share my creation with you and I really hope you enjoy eating it as much as my family does! This recipe should yield a lovely, pliable gluten free pizza base. Crisp on the bottom and at the edges, but with dough full of little teeny bubbles that keep it soft inside.
This gluten free pizza is even good eaten cold! It keeps its softness and doesn’t go all dry and hard like some other bases (I’ve eaten some tooth-breaker gluten free pizzas in my time). This makes it a great recipe to use for buffets and picnics too, in addition to pizza night!
Note however, that if you want leftovers you should definitely make double quantities, as this gluten free pizza is so good you’ll find it hard to not guzzle the entire thing in one sitting.
How to Make Gluten Free Pizza
Okay, normally I try to avoid too much spiel before a recipe (because, let’s face it, you guys want to get to the good stuff asap). However, for this one I want to have a bit of a chat about it before you crack on with the making.
Firstly – gluten free pizza dough does not behave like regular pizza dough. Don’t expect to be spinning this dough round your head pizza chef style (because if you try it you’ll just ended up covered in sticky dough)! It’s a much wetter dough and you’ll need to work with it slightly differently. So if you’ve made gluten free before, forget everything and approach this recipe with a blank mind.
Wet gluten free dough yields a much lighter base and is worth the handling issues. This dough is quite sticky and not the easiest the work with, UNLESS you follow my tips and then it should be quite straightforward :). You’ll see in the recipe that I’ve included a tip about wetting your hands if you need to handle the dough. With wet hands, you’ll find the dough doesn’t stick to you at all and it’s much easier to work with.
Once you’ve transferred the dough to the baking sheet, a good dusting of flour with absorb the sticky-ness and you can push and spread the dough out with your fingers to form a nice pizza base shape.
Measure Ingredients Carefully
Accuracy is key for gluten free bread and pizza base recipes. Please try to ensure your measurements are as exact as possible, as an extra 10ml water or 10g flour will change the final consistency.
The base will still work, it just will either be harder to handle (if you end up with a very sticky dough with too much water), or not be as nice and pliable (if you use too much flour).
Classic or Thin Crust
Totally up to you! I’ve tried this pizza dough for both, spreading it out to a classic base thickness or getting it really thin. The pizza holds together well, due to the inclusion of tapioca in this recipe, and is delicious either way.
No Prebaking Needed
This base is cooked as raw dough with toppings on it – no pre-baking is needed. You simply make the dough, top with sauce, cheese and toppings then bung it in the oven and await the delicious pizza result!
Tapioca Starch is Magic
Tapioca starch is my magic ingredient for this pizza base. It gives the resulting gluten free pizza base its wonderful pliability and some stretch. You can buy tapioca starch in lots of shops (it is sometimes sold as tapioca flour), or even buy online via Amazon and similar retailers.
You’ll notice that, unusually for gluten free recipes, I have not included any xanthan gum in this recipe. I discovered that tapioca starch eliminates the needs for it, as the tapioca helps with the binding. I don’t mind using xanthan in small quantities, but didn’t want to use a massive amount for this pizza base (I’ve seen some recipes using it by the tablespoon) so was happy that tapioca cancels it out.
Aside from the tapioca, you’ll likely have the other ingredients knocking around in your kitchen already. Plain gluten free flour (I use the FREEE by Doves Farm blend), salt, olive oil, dry active yeast and sugar.
How Many Pizza Bases Does this Recipe Make?
This recipe makes one (quite large) gluten free pizza base. Simply double the quantities for two bases, triple them for three and so on. I’ve tested this recipe in higher volumes and it still works perfectly.
You can make the dough for multiple bases just as detailed in the recipe bowl, then rather than tipping all the dough onto the mat simply use wet hands to scoop half/a third/a quarter of the mixture out depending on how many bases you are making.
Do I Need a Pizza Stone?
Nope. If you have one then feel free to use it, but I just preheat my oven tray to get it nice and hot before sliding the pizza (on the mat/baking paper) onto it. This helps to ensure even cooking on the base.
Gluten Free Pizza Recipe Time!
Here’s my homemade gluten free pizza recipe! If you scroll down past the ingredients and method, you’ll also find lots of pictures detailing the step by step process. I’ve included these to help as a visual aid, should you need them.
I hope you all enjoy this gluten free pizza recipe! If you have any feedback or need extra help, please do get in touch via my social media channels or email me at email@example.com.
For the pizza dough:
- 1.5 tsp (7.5g) caster sugar
- 160ml warm water
- 8g dried active yeast (gluten free)
- 180g gluten free plain flour (I use FREEE by Doves Farm) - plus a little extra for dusting
- 50g tapioca starch (sometimes called tapioca flour)
- 1 tsp (5g) fine salt
- 1.5 tbsp (22ml) olive oil
For the tomato sauce:
- 200g tomato passata
- 0.5 tsp dried or fresh oregano
For the topping:
- 125g grated mozzarella cheese
- Anything else you like! Some ideas: sliced peppers, mushrooms, olives, prosciutto, pepperoni, chicken, capers or anchovies.
- Combine the warm water, caster sugar and dried active yeast together in a measuring jug, give everything a good stir and then leave the yeast to activate for 10-15 minutes (no stirring during this time). When a thick layer of foam has formed on top of the liquid (see image below), the yeast has been activated and you can move onto the next stage.
- Add the tapioca starch, plain gluten free flour and salt to a large mixing bowl. Stir really well to fully combine the flours. Now add the olive oil to the dry ingredients and stir through.
- Next pour the contents of the jug (foam and liquid) into the bowl with the flour and mix everything with a spatula or wooden spoon until you have a thick mixture. The consistency should be a cross between a dough and a thick paste (see images below) - it will not resemble classic pizza dough, as gluten free dough needs to be wetter, but have faith and don't worry if it seems like a sticky mess! Ideally, it will come away from the sides of the bowl slightly when you stir it, but if not do not stress, it'll still make great pizza.
- Place a clean tea towel or cloth over the top of the bowl and set aside to allow it to rise. This will take 30-40 minutes, depending on how warm the room is, so pop it in a nice warm place if you want to get a quick rise. I often start heating the oven up about 10 mins before the end of rising time, as this helps the process along (and you need a nice hot oven for pizza making).
- Heat your oven to 230C (fan) and place a large oven tray on the top shelf to allow it to get nice and hot.
- When your dough has doubled in size, it's ready to use. Take a silicone baking mat or large piece of non-stick baking paper and place on your worktop. Flour the mat/baking paper well with extra gluten free flour and keep a little excess flour to the side.
- Tip the dough bowl upside down so that the dough falls onto the mat - use your hands to scoop any excess from the bowl and add to the dough on the mat. Sprinkle gluten free flour over the top of the dough and flour your hands well, then use your hands and fingers to push the dough into a pizza base shape. You can make it as thick or thin as you like - the tapioca will help it hold together well once baked. I tend to make the middle quite thin and then form a little pizza crust rim around the edge. TIP: if your dough is really sticky, wet your hands before you handle it as this will stop it from sticking to your skin and create less mess.
- Optional: spritz a little olive oil on the parts of the dough that will form this crust. This will help them to brown in the oven.
- Leave the base to rest for 5 mins, to allow it to rise a little, during which time you can make the tomato sauce.
- Add the passata and oregano to a small saucepan, cover mostly with a lid but leave a small gap to allow steam to escape, then cook over a medium-high heat for 5 minutes to help it thicken. Remove from the heat and set aside with the lid off.
- Prepare your ingredients and now let's assemble that pizza! Pour the tomato sauce onto the base, then use the back of a spoon to spread it around gently (don't press too hard). Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese over the top, then add your chosen toppings.
- Take the hot oven tray out of the oven, carefully slide the pizza on the mat/baking paper onto the tray and pop it in the oven to bake. Cook for 12-15 mins until the crusts are golden and the toppings are crisp, then serve and enjoy that yummy yummy gluten free pizza!
Step By Step Recipe Pictures
For more tasty gluten free meal ideas, why not try some of my other recipes too:
Enjoy! Laura x