Friday night is pizza night!
When I was growing up homemade pizzas came on a scone base. My mum can whip up a batch of scones in her sleep and so, for her, it was the easiest way to create a pizza base in a fraction of the time it takes to make a dough base. In fact a scone base is still my sister’s favourite pizza base to this day. Whenever you suggest homemade pizza for dinner she replies instantly with “scone base?” and a hopeful look in her eye.
I have been toying with the idea of a gluten-free pizza base for a while. I have seen quite a few on Pinterest, some of which sounded intriguing – just ground almonds and water to name but one.
Let’s face it, pizza is one thing that us gluten-free-ites miss. Shop bought pizza bases seem to lack something. And have you looked at the list of ingredients? Bleurgh. So I took a bit from that recipe and a bit from this and a sprinkle from that one over there and threw them all together. I had absolutely no idea what was going to happen.
What did happen was something very, very pleasing. And very similar to a scone base, only this one takes a little longer as there is yeast involved which needs time to rise.
But that’s a small price to pay.
Then I smeared the base with pesto and topped it with baby figs and mozzarella cheese because this is absolutely one of my favourite flavour combinations and if I was going for pizza I was going the whole hog (plus I had some baby figs that needed to be used up).
I’m going to be honest here, the base is a little on the dry side. Not in a bad way. But you need juicy toppings – like masses of melted cheese.
But when it comes to pizza, that’s not a problem, is it?
Pesto, Fig & Mozzarella Pizza
- 65g powdered arrowroot
- 43g quinoa flour
- 46g millet flour
- 50g ground almonds
- 40g rice flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp active dry yeast
- 125ml unsweetened almond milk
- 1/2 tsp coconut sugar
- 1 large egg
- 3 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
- 1/2 jar pesto
- 4 baby figs, or 1 large fig, sliced
- 1 ball fresh mozzarella, sliced
- Place the almond milk in a small saucepan and warm gently until it reaches body temperature (it should feel warm when you put a finger in it, but not uncomfortably so).
- Pour 60ml into a small bowl and sprinkle over the yeast and coconut sugar. Whisk together briefly then leave for 10 minutes to become frothy.
- Meanwhile place the arrowroot, quinoa flour, millet flour, ground almonds, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl and mix to combine. Make a well in the middle.
- Once the yeast is frothy add it to the well in the dry ingredients along with the egg and 3 tbsp oil. Using your hands bring the mixture together to form a ball of dough. If it is too dry add a little of the remaining warm milk. The finished dough should feel a little damp to the touch but it shouldn’t stick to your hands or the bowl.
- Place the dough back in the bowl and rub 1/2 tbsp oil on the surface to stop it drying out. Cover loosely with cling-film and leave in a warm place for 45 minutes – 1 hour to rise. It will not double in size but it will become puffy.
- Pre-heat the oven to 220 Celsius / 200 fan / 425 Fahrenheit. Prepare a large baking sheet by scattering over a thin layer of cornmeal to help prevent the dough from sticking.
- Once the dough has rested, remove it from the bowl and give it a quick knead. If you try to roll it straight away it will be too soft and fragile and it will break up.
- Form the dough into a ball and place in the centre of the baking sheet. Press out with your hands to form a rough circle and then, covering it with a piece on non-stick baking paper, roll it out until it is roughly 5mm thick. I found it easier to do this on the tray rather than on the counter top and then transferring it to the tray due the softness of the dough.
- Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, until is it golden around the edges.
- Remove and spread the pesto over the surface of the base. Add the fig slices and cheese. Return to the oven and bake until the cheese is melted and bubbling.
- Remove from the oven and leave on the tray for 5 minutes to allow the base to firm up a little before transferring to a board to cut it into slices.
If your yeast doesn’t froth up, this could be for three reasons: the yeast may be a little old, the milk could be too cool, the milk could be too warm. Too cold and the yeast won’t be activated. Too hot and the yeast will be killed.
Any left over pizza keeps well in the fridge (wrapped in foil) and microwaved the next day. It isn’t as good as when it is fresh, but it is perfectly acceptable none-the-less.
© The Pink Rose Bakery 2015