Being plagued with stomach issues since I was a teenager, I am always searching for ways to keep my erratic digestive system in check. I was first diagnosed with Acid Reflux as a teenager, but I wasn’t able to control my symptoms. I tried changes in diet and medication but it was to no avail. In college I realized that it seemed to be related to stress. Every mid-terms and finals week I was stricken down by intense shooting acid in my esophagus. By my twenties the pain seemed to centralize right in the middle of my chest. I’d wake up feeling like I was being stabbed with a hot knife right between my ribs. After a gall bladder ultrasound and a scope, results were inconclusive. My doctor changed the diagnosis to a form of IBS and gave me the sage prescription “Eat healthy, exercise, and hope for the best.”
Recently I was advised to attempt a gluten-free diet, many people with stomach maladies have reported success from this. I won’t say I’m able to go truly GF, but I am certainly trying. I’d call myself, Gluten-limited or Gluten-reduced. After only a week I’ve already seen a difference.
Part of the fun of this new diet is trying out new baking and cooking techniques. Not being willing to give up my favorite food, pizza, I set out to find a GF crust recipe I could make. The first recipe I found required buying GF flour, dry milk, and Xantham Gum. I was set to do it, but at my local grocer the Xantham Gum was 11.00 for a package, and I wasn’t quite ready to be that committed yet. However, right beside those ingredients I saw the pre-packaged pizza dough mix.
The directions were very easy to follow, and the dough did exactly what it was supposed to. I spread it in the pan and baked it. The package makes two pizzas.
The first we topped with pizza sauce, ricotta and shredded cheeses, mushrooms and turkey pepperoni.
The pizza itself tasted good, but the crust was very bland. It also did not have the crunch of a normal crust, but that also may be from being baked at home instead of in a real pizza oven. I felt like the crust needed salt, my husband said sugar,and we both agreed some herbs would have helped. We are going to do a little doctoring before we prep the second pizza.
Take Two! For the second pizza we went a little more creative and had slightly better results. This time the crust sat, wrapped in plastic wrap, for two days before we baked it. Perhaps it was the time it had to cool and maybe even get a little stale, but it was a bit crunchier this time. This also may have been from pressing the dough a little thinner. Thinner is better, I found. This round we did a fajita pizza.
I brushed the crust with olive oil and sea salt.
Then I topped it with salsa.
And covered it with sauteed chicken, chiles, onions, and peppers as well as cheddar jack cheese and some queso fresco. Finally we topped each slice with some mango salsa, sour cream and avocado. The crust held up well to to the heavy toppings and tasted better. I wouldn’t say if gluten was not a concern that I’d bother, but if you, like me, are trying to cut gluten out of your diet, this is the way to go.
Maybe next time I’ll try it from scratch. If I do, you’ll be the first to know!