Pizza!

As I said in my last entry, we had pizza last night. Oh, it was heavenly! :) And I knew I could rest at ease and not get a stomach ache afterwards because it was gluten free! I used to ALWAYS get sick after eating pizza.  The two main things that I can look back on and say I got really sick from eating were pizza and desserts - like baked desserts. Whenever I eat a cookie or brownie now (or a slice of pizza) I am always bracing myself for the following stomach ache, but it doesn't come! I think my body is so used to dealing with the stomach issues that I have just come to expect them, but they aren't coming anymore! :)
Ok - about the recipe. I found this recipe by just googling "oat flour pizza crust." I found a couple others that looked interesting, but I decided to go with this recipe because it looked the easiest and it didn't have cheese in the crust. Not that I don't like cheese, but I am a bit more confident about a crust that can hold itself together verses a crust that needs cheese to hold it together. Now, I deviated from this recipe A LOT, but at least if you NEED to follow a recipe, here's the one I used. If you really want to see how much I deviate from recipes, then go ahead and take a look at the recipe and then come on back here and see what I did and you will see! :)

Ok, so I already showed you how to make oat flour, so that part is done. So firstly, you need some yeast. My active dry yeast was actually expired.
"Best used by Jun 27 2013"

I used to make a lot more yeast based breads - in fact I tried to make every bread we ate from scratch. It's healthier and cheaper that way. Anyways, once I went gluten free, I started to stop making bread because the hubbs doesn't mind store bought bread and if I make bread it usually goes bad because he doesn't eat nearly as much bread as I did. I could do gluten free yeast breads, but those never turn out good because it seems that yeast and gluten go hand in hand and if you take the gluten from the yeast, the bread is just gross. Anyways, I decided to go ahead and use the yeast anyways. I knew my pizza crust didn't really need to rise and the recipe didn't call for letting the crust rise anyways. I'm not sure why the yest was needed, but whatever.

So I put 2 teaspoons of my unactive dry yeast (I guess?) in with half a cup of warm water. I actually did measure out my water and yeast because I know that yeast can be picky, although because it was dead maybe it didn't care. Anyways, then I put a couple squeezes of honey in with the yeast. Again, I know that the sugar is what activates the yeast, but since it was dead don't know if I needed the honey, but whatever. I used it anyways. The honey would add extra taste to my crust, as would the yeast. Then I stirred it up real well and let it sit to "activate." Yeah right.




So while my yeast was "activating" I dumped 2 cups of oat flour into a bowl along with some salt, olive oil, and minced garlic. Then, I dumped my activated yeast mess in their as well and began mixing it up.



The mixture was SUPER dry - which I knew might be a problem since oat flour acts like a sponge and just sucks in all the water. So, I kept adding a bit more olive oil, then I'd mix it up again. I added a lot of oil - just so you know. Like maybe even half a cup? Ugh, I am SO BAD at knowing how much amounts are! I always just let my badder tell me when its ready but then it really is bad when someone else asks for the recipe. Well, I kept adding olive oil. After a while, I realized that I could probably add half the bottle and it wouldn't get me to where I wanted to be.

Then something else dawned on me. Even though the recipe didn't call for it, I thought I should add some xanthum gum and tapioca flour as a binder. So I dumped some of each into my bowl. I knew that no amount of olive oil was going to get my mix to the right consistency, so I just dumped some water into my mix. And then I mixed it all up with my fingers and it worked!

Then, I coconut oiled a baking sheet and plopped my wet sticky mess on it. At first it was really hard to press the crust because it was SO sticky and every time I put my fingers on it, the dough would just stick to my hands. So eventually, I just sprinkled some oat flour over top the dough and that did the trick! I was able to press and shape the dough so it covered the whole cookie sheet.

Hubbers likes his crusts THIN, so if you try making this recipe you might not want to press it as thin as I did, but just remember, because its not a yeast/gluten dough, its not going to rise like those puffy crusts you get at Dominoes. Its just up to you.

Then I painted olive oil all over the crust (just to keep it a bit more moist as it cooked) and put it in my preheated oven (at 450 degrees - I guess I should have told you that at the beginning huh?). I left it in there until I could push my finger into the dough without it feeling like oatmeal. Descriptive huh? Maybe about 7 minutes? But you really don't want to follow my timings. :)





Then came my favorite part! The toppings! I LOOOVE all kinds of veggies on my pizzas, but Michael is much more of a cheese and sauce guy. So I always try to do half and half.
So the right third of the pizza had mushrooms, the top right third had mushrooms and onions, the left top third had mushrooms and zucchini. The middle third had zucchini and onions and the far left had just sauce. Then, of course, I dumped a ridiculous amount of cheese on top!

Then, back into the oven at 450 again and I baked it until the cheese was all melted and starting to brown. YUM!

Ok, so as far as taste.  You guys really want to know how did it really taste? The first bite I took I thought I tasted oatmeal crust, but then every bite after that I had no oatmeal taste in my mouth at all. So I don't know if that original taste was because I was just expecting an oatmeal taste or because there really was one. I asked Michael what he thought, and he said the pizza was actually pretty good and that's quite the compliment. Hubbs is PICKY about his pizza and is truly only satisfied with Chef Boyardee's Pizza.

Would I make this crust again? OH YES I WOULD! It was really delicious and didn't taste gluten free, grainy, beany, or any of the other tastes that come to mind when someone says "I baked gluten free food!"

So give it a try and tell me how your family liked it.

By the way - next post I will explain why estimating time and amounts is so difficult for me. Stay tuned!