Pizza Stoned

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“Those pizzas I ate were for medicinal purposes.” 
― Amy Neftzger

Well in my case I’m eating pizza all the time for research purposes.

Yeah, that’s the reason.

I am still on my quest to be able to make really amazing Gluten Free Pizza and I keep trucking along.  Toppings are not the problem.  I have my sauce dialed in. I do everything from simple Margherita to a plethora of fresh amazing toppings.  Heirloom tomatoes, prosciutto, mushrooms, spinach, even figs.  You name it. Fresh Mozzarella, regular mozzarella or a mix of Italian cheeses, everyone always loves that part of my pizza.

I’m still working on the crust and some days I wonder if I will ever achieve my goal.  Is it even possible to have gluten free pizza that REALLY tastes like regular pizza? Note: when I say “regular” I am not speaking of Domino’s or Pizza Hut, I am talking about thin crust wood fired or coal fired pizza, with the crust that is thin and crispy even slightly charred on the outside, with that light springy consistency inside when you take a bite.

Can it be done?  Is this a quest in vain?

Maybe, but I have added an element that has gotten me a step closer.

I finally purchased a pizza stone.

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This little gem is proving to make a quite difference. Well worth the price, which was under $20!  So here is what happened the first time I used it. You will see in the photos it is nice and clean.  It no longer looks that way as I have used it several times, including to make cheesy breadsticks with the leftover dough.

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Still using Bob’s Red Mill gluten free pizza dough mix.  I really need to order the Cup 4 Cup Pizza dough mix, but I am worried it will be like another brand I just purchased that tells you to mix it in your stand up mixer with the special attachment you use for bread and dough etc.  UGH!  This mix may be difficult to work with but at least I can hand mix – and I mean with my hands – this dough.

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So the trick is to have your hands wet – as in keep soaking them in a bowl of water wet in order to work with this dough. I miss working with “real” dough.  The problem I kept having was it would stick to ANY surface I tried, even wax paper, until I spread cornmeal all over the cutting board I was using.  then I was able to flatten out the crust and slide it onto the stone.

(Yes that is wine you see in the background…this is a frustrating process)

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After making it as thin as I possibly could – I split the dough into 4 batches instead of 2 – I was able to slide it, cornmeal and all, onto the hot stone.  You want the stone to be in the preheated oven while you are working the dough so it is hot when you put the pizza on it, just be VERY careful, you can burn yourself far to easily.  I like my oven at the highest it can go 500°.

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If it is REALLY thin, I have found you don’t have to pre-bake it as long.  I think I baked it for 3 – 4 minutes, then removed carefully to add toppings.  I have learned from my mistakes and saved the fancy, expensive toppings while experimenting and went for basic.  Cheese and sauce.  Note: when you put to much sauce the top of the pizza gets soggy.  Pictured above is a bit to much sauce, next time I added a little less.

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The end result.

So the consensus that evening from Nonna, Mama Sis and a family friend is that it was awesome! For gluten free pizza of course.  It still doesn’t taste like the pizza I adore and miss so much, but the thiner crust and pizza stone, in combination with the cornmeal crust on the bottom made this pizza a solid B+.

Still working on it, so many pizza crust dough mixes to buy, even if they are expensive.   I think Cup 4 Cup will have to be a splurge and have to be acquired soon to try.

Ladybug, well she eats EVERYTHING her Zia makes for her these days. Our resident pipsqueak food critic? Well, it’s bread with sauce and cheese, so Littledude ate it with gusto of course.

Yes everyone loved it, including me but it still only gets a “so-so” from Zia.  I am my own worst critic and I have something very specific in mind I am trying to achieve.

This may call for a trip to Italy.

All in the name of research of course.

Nom Nom 

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