Pizza is a particularly difficult food to avoid when you are a
child––especially when the other kids are eating this all-American favorite.
Yet, more and more children react to wheat––pizza’s main ingredient––due
to food allergies, autism, or other special diet situations like the
autoimmune condition known as celiac disease.
The good news is that pizza can be made without wheat, as the following
recipe shows, and your child doesn’t have to feel deprived. The recipe
uses two very common flours, brown rice and tapioca, readily available
at health food stores and increasingly available at many traditional
This recipe makes one 12-inch pizza or two 6-inch pizzas that look and
taste like the real thing so your child can enjoy pizza along with
everyone else and still stick to a wheat-free diet. In fact, friends and
family will enjoy this version, as well.
Here are some additional, time-saving hints for busy families:
1. Prepare the crust, bake it for the first 10 minutes, and then cool
it thoroughly. Wrap it tightly in heavy-duty aluminum foil and freeze it
for up to three months. The next time your child wants pizza, unwrap
the frozen pizza crust and put it on the greased pizza pan so it thaws
while you prepare the toppings. Add the toppings and bake for 20-25
2. Assemble all the dry ingredients in a plastic, resealable bag and
store it on the pantry shelf for up to three months. When your child
wants pizza, you can make it very quickly by adding the liquid ingredients
(milk, oil, and vinegar) to the dry mix.
Carol Fenster’s Pizza Crust & Pizza Sauce
Reprinted with permission from Gluten-Free 101 by Carol Fenster, Ph.D.
ISBN 1889374083 Savory Palate Press, 2004 (800) 741-5418
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
3/4 cup warm milk (110ºF)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2/3 cup brown rice flour*
1/2 cup tapioca flour*
2 teaspoons xanthan gum*
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin powder (Knox)
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
Extra rice flour for sprinkling
* Available at health food stores.
8 ounces tomato sauce
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Toppings of your choice
Combine all ingredients in small saucepan and bring to boil over medium
heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes, while Pizza Crust
is being assembled. Makes 1 cup.
1. Preheat oven to 425ºF. In small bowl, combine yeast, warm milk, and
sugar and let foam for 5 minutes.
2. In food processor fitted with knife blade, blend the yeast mixture
with remaining ingredients (flour through vinegar) until thoroughly
mixed. Dough will be much softer than regular pizza dough.
3. Put pizza dough on greased 12-inch pizza pan. Liberally sprinkle
rice flour on dough, then press dough into pan, continuing to sprinkle
dough with flour to prevent sticking to hands. Make edges thicker to hold
4. Bake pizza crust 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Spread Pizza Crust
with sauce and add preferred toppings. Bake another 20-25 minutes or
until top is nicely browned. Serves 6 (1 slice each in 12-inch pizza).
Serves 2 (two slices each in 6-inch pizza).
©Carol Fenster, Ph.D., author of the cookbook Gluten-Free 10 (Savory
Palate, 2004) is a gluten-free chef who wants all children to be able to
enjoy pizza. She develops
wheat-free products for manufacturers and can be reached at Savory
Palate, Inc., 8174 South Holly, #404, Centennial, CO 80122 (800) 741 5418.
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