Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Pizza



Who doesn't love pizza?  Before going Gluten Free, we made pizza nearly every Friday night.  Then I became pregnant and couldn't stand the smell of homemade pizza (weird, huh?).  So that tradition stopped for about 9 months.  It wasn't long before we started it up again.  When my daughter had to stop eating gluten and dairy, we stopped until I found a suitable pizza base recipe.  While it's not like the traditional gluten variety, we have come to enjoy it.  We haven't gone back to our pizza every Friday night tradition, but we do enjoy it on occasion. 

Because of all the food issues around here, I end up making one round pizza and then making another batch of dough and making 4 or 5 smaller bases for the little ones.  Our daughter has all the toppings we have minus the cheese.  Our son can't have nightshades, so we usually just give him one of the small bases to eat and then I set aside some of the cooked sausage for him to eat and cook him some other veges to go along with it.  This works for now as he is only 2, but as he gets older we'll probably have to figure something else out for him.  I'm told hummus is a nice alternative to the tomato based sauce.  Have you ever tried it?

Gluten Free Pizza Base
(*This makes enough dough for 1 round base)
Ingredients:
2/3 cup warm water
1 teaspoon sugar
1 Tablespoon yeast
2/3 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons tapioca starch
2 teaspoons guar gum
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon oil
1 teaspoon cider vinegar


Method:
1.  Dissolve sugar in water.  Sprinkle yeast over the top of the water and leave to proof for 5 minutes. 
2.  Add remaining ingredients and mix for 3 minutes.  (I use a hand mixer and use the dough attachments for it.  I've found the dough a bit too thick for the regular beaters.)
3.  Using a spatula, scrap dough out onto a pizza pan lined with baking paper (trust me, use the baking paper).  Using your hands and some more tapioca starch pat the crust out onto the pizza pan.
4.  Let rise in a warm place for 20-30 minutes.
5.  Bake for 8 minutes at 210 degrees C.
6.  Top with your favourite sauce and toppings and bake again for 12-15 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.

Now, I'm a bit of a snob when it comes to pizza sauce.  I don't like most of the store bought varieties that are available here.  My uncle (well, I think my aunt did most of the work) used to make a lot pizza sauce and share it with my family.  He passed on his recipe and I've tweaked it a bit to suit us. 

Pizza Sauce
(*Yields about 2 cups of sauce)
Ingredients:
1 400 gram tin of whole tomatoes in juice
Water
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 + 1/4 teaspoons dried mixed herbs (or Italian herbs)
1 + 1/2 Tablespoons dried oregano
3 Tablespoons oil

Method:
1. Pour tomatoes into blender.  Fill tin with water and pour into blender.  Add the remaining ingredients and blend together.
2. Pour into saucepan and bring to boil.  Reduce heat and allow to simmer for up to 2 hours.  Stir occasionally to make sure it's not burning on the bottom.  It will reduce down quite a lot.


Now comes the really yummy part, putting your toppings on.  For this pizza I used pork sausage, mushrooms, capsicums, and a mix of mild cheddar and Parmesan cheeses.  I like to saute the capsicums and mushrooms for just a few minutes before adding them to the pizza base.

Several years ago I was given this recipe for sausage seasoning from another family that was here in New Zealand.  It is our go-to for American-style sausage.


Sausage Seasoning
Ingredients:
3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I only use about 1/3 teaspoon for a more mild version)
3 Tablespoons salt
1/2 Tablespoon ground black pepper
1/2 Tablespoon dried sage

Method:
Mix all together and store in an air tight container.  Shake well before each use.  Use 1 Tablespoon of spice mix per kilogram of minced pork.






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