Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sourdough Pizza

Gluten free and Dairy free

I'm back. I know I haven't posted anything for quite a while. I haven't had internet access for the past few months. Been missing my blog. But I've been baking away and have some recipes for you.

Pizza. This is something I know people who can't have gluten really miss. I know some friends who haven't had pizza in 10 years, even 20 years! I've been experimenting with Pizza for at least the last year, trying to get it right, and I have finally come up with a recipe that works really well.

Sourdough is the trick. It just seems to give it the right flavour. It's magic.
And Psyllium Husk Powder helps tremendously as well with the taste and consistency.

First, read my recipe for Sourdough Starter. It needs to be made in advance before you can make the pizza.

I also add packet yeast to my pizza dough as well as the sourdough starter, as I always have difficulty with rising gluten free dough, and using both together seems to work very well where I have failed in the past. and as I said the sourdough gives the pizza the right flavour.

2 cups gluten free flour ( I use 1 cup rice flour and 1 cup any other mix of gluten free flour)
1 Tblsp Psyllium Husk Powder
1 sachet dried yeast (about 1 Tblsp)
1 tsp salt
1 Tblsp sugar (or golden syrup)
1 Tblsp olive oil
1 cup sourdough starter
1 - 1 1/2 cups water

Tomato Sauce
Toppings of your choice

1) In a bowl, combine flour, psyllium husk, yeast, salt and sugar.
2) Add the olive oil, starter and water until you get a soft sticky dough. I find a soft wet dough works better than a stiff dough.
3) Scoop the dough onto a greased pan, and using floured hands pat and spread the dough into a circle, or whatever shape you want, and to whatever depth you want, depending if you want a thick base or a thin base. (This amount for me makes two medium pizzas with a medium depth crust)
4) Cover with a cloth and leave in a warm place to rise for about an hour.
5) While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to190C/375F/Gas Mark 5. And prepare your toppings. Here is my recipe for Pizza Tomato Sauce.
6) Bake the pizza dough crusts first for 15 mins.
7) Spread tomato sauce over crust and add toppings of your choice. Drizzle olive oil over the pizza and sprinkle oregano and black pepper over.
8) Bake for 20 to 25  mins.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Pizza Tomato Sauce

olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
salt and pepper
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 Tblsp red wine (optional)
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tin tomatoes (or fresh tomatoes, peeled and chopped)
1 Tblsp tomato puree


1) Heat up some olive oil in a saucepan. Add chopped onions and garlic and fry on low heat until softened.
2) Add salt, pepper, oregano and basil, then pour on vinegar, red wine and lemon juice and simmer for a couple of minutes.
3) Add tomatoes and tomato puree and about 1/4 cup water, and leave to simmer and reduce on low heat until thickened, stirring occasionally.

Sourdough Starter

To make Sourdough, you need to make a 'starter', which is basically like growing your own yeast, made with mixing Rice Flour and distilled or spring water, and feeding it (it's like a pet, it needs food and attention) everyday. The natural bacteria in the air and in the flour will grow in your starter into a living yeast, and you blend this starter batter with flour and ingredients to make dough to bake with.

Step One: Wash and sterilize with boiling water a glass or plastic container. I usually start with a small container, then as I feed the starter, I then transfer it to a bigger container.
Step Two: Add 1 Tblsp Rice Flour and 1 Tblsp Spring/Distilled/Bottled Water to the container and stir with a Wooden Spoon. It is important to use a wooden spoon, as metal with inhibit the growth of the bacteria in your starter.
Step Three: Store your starter in a warm place out of direct sunlight. It needs to be warm for the yeast to grow. I have a shelf above my fridge which is behind a door; it is like my fridge has its own little room; the motor running from the fridge keeps this little room nice and warm and is the perfect place for a starter to grow. Cover your container with a loose lid, you don't want it to be airtight.
Step Four: Every 24 hours, feed your starter twice the amount as before, i.e.on DAY 1, you fed it 1 Tblsp Rice Flour and 1 Tblsp Water, so
on DAY 2, you feed it 2 Tblsp Rice Flour and 2 Tblsp Water,
on Day 3, feed it 1/4 Cup Rice flour and 1/4 Cup Water,
on DAY 4, feed it 1/2 Cup Rice Flour and 1/2 Cup Water
Once I get to half a cup, I usually continue to feed it 1/2 Cup measurements from then on.


  • After 2 or 3 days, it will have a sour or beery smell, this is a good thing. By this point you may notice bubbles forming, but this may take a few days longer to happen. 
  • Your sourdough starter will continue to get more and more bubbly and frothy.
  • Each day liquid may accumulate at the top of your starter. This is called 'hooch', as it is almost like beer, but not drinkable. It will not harm your starter. Either stir it back in, or pour it off, depending on if your starter is looking dry or is quite wet.
Note: Some recipes for sourdough tell you to throw away half your mixture each time you feed it, but this seems like such a waste and I hate waste. I find it works just fine with my method.
If you are having trouble growing the starter or you just don't have a warm enough place to grow it, you can cheat a little and add some packet yeast to help it along.

  • Once your stater is all bubbly and smells quite sour, it is ready to use. You can use it straight away, or store it in the fridge to use at a later time. After it has moved to the fridge, your starter only needs to be fed once a week.
  • If you are using chilled starter from the fridge, you will need to proof it before you use it to bake with. Just mix your starter with 1/2 cup rice flour and 1/2 cup water, and leave it to 'proof' for a few hours or overnight. You basically want it bubbling and fermented again.
Sourdough works really well for making gluten free Pizza. I have yet to perfect a bread recipe yet, but I am working on it.