(Gluten free) Cooking (with Crazy)

Pizza Hut, Dominoes, McDonalds, and all that other fast food goodness are all bad words in the house of a Celiac family. The Husband was diagnosed six years ago, and ever since we've been gingerly navigating the world of Safe Foods vs. Oops-I-Poisoned-Him. It isn't fun.

But he's a big boy and at least has the understanding of what he has to avoid and why. Buttercup, however, is a different story. She hasn't been officially diagnosed as of yet, but we are following her pediatrician's advice to hold off on testing until she's three or four to allow for more accurate results. And since I'm cooking this way, anyway, Buttercup and her Daddy are staying on a gluten-free menu.

The Husband used to hate when commercials for Pizza Hut would come on until I came up with my own recipe for a pizza so good that even I'll sit down and eat a slice. Now, I'm not a cookbook author or a chef and I don't play on on this blog, either.So I'll apologize in advance for that headache i'm gonna give you while you try and make sense of my own special brand of crazy.  But if you are interested in some gluten-free pizza-y- goodness, here ya go.

Prep Time:

Don't hold your breath.

Tools:

Air Bake Pizza Pan (the kind with the wholes at the bottom so the crust cooks evenly)

Tin Foil

Ingredients:

1 package Bob's Red Mill Pizza Crust Mix (You're gonna need 2 eggs and a TBS of oil to add to this as listed on package directions.)

1 TBS sugar (I'll tell you why in a minute)

Kraft All Natural Italian Shredded Cheese (2 packs)

Pizza Sauce (I use Kroger Brand because we like the taste)

1/4 pound Boar's Head Pepperoni (from the deli counter)

**Toppings are up to you, of course, but I've also used Shitake Mushrooms, Boar's Head Sweet Slice Ham, and black olives.

IMG00231-20091022-1607(2)Directions:

Start with the directions on the Pizza Crust Mix. My own suggestions is to start this a few hours before you actually expect to eat because the crust tastes best when you allow the yeast to sit (along with about a TBS of sugar) in the water you will be directed to mix it with. I usually give it an hour or two. Then I pull out the electric mixer, follow the package directions some more, which has me leaving the fully mixed dough to rise. The package says 20 minutes, I leave it for an hour. Trust me on this.

Once you've got your dough ready to go, preheat the oven according to the package directions and get yourself a bowl of water to moisten hands while spreading dough. Oil up the pizza pan (I use a Misto), place something below it to minimize clean up,  and work your magic. It will take some work, but once you have the  dough spread out you need to stick it in the oven for about 8 minutes before pulling it out to add toppings. (Make sure you already have the bottom of the oven lined in tin foil if you have an air bake pan. The first time I did this I was cleaning the oven for hours trying to get the crumbs that scraped off the bottom of the pan when I pulled the pizza out.)

I use the entire bottle of pizza sauce, then spread out one entire bag of cheese. To this, I add the already cut up pepperoni and then spread just a bit of cheese from the second package on top for that "from the pizza parlour" look.

And then I pop it in the oven. My magic number is 17 minutes on this oven, so keep an eye on your pie to see what number is best for you. IMG00233-20091022-1739

And then boom. You're done. Time for cutting it up, serving it, and saying "That's just Awesome." Or at lease, that's what The Husband and Buttercup say. (And here's Buttercup eating her pizza crust first.)

IMG00238-20091022-1806

It's important to note that you can make your pizza exactly according to the directions on the back of the package and come out with a decent pizza. I'm just sharing my own little twists that have been certified by two very picky Celiacs. It takes some time, but holy wow, is it worth it.