Tips for Making Gluten-Free Pizzas, Pies, and Calzones - dummies

Tips for Making Gluten-Free Pizzas, Pies, and Calzones

By Jean McFadden Layton, Linda Larsen

Everyone loves pizzas, pies, and calzones. With gluten-free variations, you can still enjoy these treats whenever you want. Savory pies include quiches and pot pies. And calzones are stuffed pizzas, filled with mouth-watering ingredients. Gluten-free pie crusts make these treats enjoyable.

Gluten-free pizza and pie crusts are a bit different from yeast crusts. Pizza crust is a stiff batter, similar to yeast bread doughs, but the preparation method is different.

You’ve probably heard of pizza stones. This product is literally made of stone. It heats up quickly and holds heat so the pizza crust has a wonderful crackly bottom. For best results, get one! You can find them at kitchen supply stores, big box stores, and even some large supermarkets.

Here are some tips for making gluten-free pizzas, pies, and calzones:

  • Gluten-free pizza doughs use more yeast than wheat-based pizza doughs, and the dough rises just once on parchment paper.

  • If you don’t use a scale to measure flours and mixes, always measure by spooning the flour or mix lightly into a measuring cup and leveling off the top with the back of a knife.

  • If you use a pizza stone, make sure it is very hot. An oven takes only 10 minutes to heat, but the racks and oven walls aren’t at the correct temperature until at least 20 minutes have passed. Pizza stones take at least 20 minutes to heat up to the correct temperature.

  • With New York style pizza, bake the crust before adding the toppings. And don’t overload the crust with lots of sauce and toppings. With this style, the crust is crisp but bendable. If you add tons of sauce, meats, and cheeses, you can’t pick up a piece and bend it in half to eat it in the classic manner!

  • You can vary main dish pies in many ways. Use different vegetables, meats, and cheeses for quiches. You can make quiche with pork sausage, leftover vegetables, and any cheese you’d like, or use shrimp and asparagus for an elegant version.

  • Make gluten-free calzones using a stiff batter formed on parchment paper. The filling for these calzones can’t be too liquid or the batter will dissolve. And don’t overfill calzones! Too much filling just bursts out of the calzone and makes the crust wet.

  • If a recipe calls for raw buckwheat flour, keep in mind that this isn’t the same as the buckwheat flour you buy in packages. Packaged buckwheat flour has been toasted. With raw buckwheat flour, you must grind raw green buckwheat groats to a powder.

After you master the perfect pizza crust, you can top it with just about anything. Take a look through some gourmet cookbooks or browse the Internet for some gluten-free topping ideas. Goat cheese, smoked salmon, grilled shrimp or steak, roasted vegetables, lots of cheeses, tofu, and chicken are all great pizza toppers.

You can make main dish pies, too, with just about any meat, cheese, or vegetable. And calzones are the perfect easy recipe for using up leftovers. Enjoy these crisp and crusty treats.