Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Pizza Hut Style Pan Pizza Crust {Gluten Free Copycat}

I know, you probably find my lack of cheese disturbing. I don't blame you. I did put on every sort of topping I could find to make up for it though. Besides, this time the crust is the star.

My family is pretty split about crust types. We've got a few freaks that like thin and crispy and a couple fools that like a chewy hand-tossed, but I personally go for a nice deep dish pan pizza. In fact, since going gluten free, Pizza Hut's pan pizza is probably one of the things I've missed the most. That fluffy dough and that blessed, crispy, greasy bottom! It is a miracle among pizzas, I tell you.

So today, we're going to make our own. You start out by beating up some egg whites.

Just till you get some nice peaks, not too stiff.

Meanwhile you'll mix together your yeast and water and stuff and let it sit for a few minutes. When the whites are ready, pour the yeasty mixture into the whites and beat on medium speed until it looks like this...

Kinda freaky, but never fear! Now you can dump the dry ingredients in all at once and beat it for another minute on high speed. The dough will be like a thick batter.

Press your batter/dough into a couple of well greased cake pans. You'll want to get your hands really wet to press the dough in because it's very sticky.  Also, you'll want to use a good amount of oil in the pan if you want it to have that fried quality to the bottom. This makes it kind of hard for pressing the dough in, but you can do it!

 Let it rise for a while now so it's nice and fluffy.

Then throw on some toppings and bake it and you'll be back in the old hut of pizza before you know it. 

Also note: to warm it up, I usually microwave a piece for about 30 seconds and then I turn on the toaster and set it on top of that so that the bottom can crisp back up.

What I do in the name of food.

Pizza Hut Style Pan Pizza Crust
Makes about two 9 inch pizzas*

3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup oil (I used light olive oil)
3/4 cup warm water (somewhere between 105ºF and 115ºF)
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
3 egg whites
2 cups tapioca flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup potato starch
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Mix together the sugar, oil, water, yeast, and vinegar in a bowl, set aside. Beat the egg whites until peaks form (see photo above). Add the yeast mixture and beat on medium speed until combined. Add the remaining ingredients and beat on low speed until combined and then on high speed for about 1 minute. The dough will be like a thick batter.
Grease two 9 or 10 inch cake pans with at least a few tablespoons of oil (I used vegetable). The more grease you use, the more "fried" the bottom of your pizza will be, but it will also make it difficult to press the dough into the pans. Make sure you get your hands wet before pressing the dough in or else it will stick to your hands.
Let the dough rise for about 45 minutes or until it's about doubled (no need to be too precise). Top with desired toppings and bake at 350ºF for about 45 minutes or until the crust is browned. 

*I had about 3/4 of a cup of leftover dough using 9 inch pans so I baked the extra in a mini loaf pan. If you like your crust a little thinner, you might be able to stretch it into three 8 inch pans. Let me know if you try it!
This recipe was lightly based on this bread recipe

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  1. If we don't have the individual flours, can we use a gluten free all purpose flour (i.e. better batter, cup4cup, or Bob's). If so, would we still use a total of 3 cups of flour.

    1. Yes, you can but depending on the blend it can affect texture. Sweet breads like pizza typically have more starches and xanthum gum.

  2. I have the same question....

  3. At what elevation was this recipe created? I would love to try my hand at it, but I know that some recipes need to be tweaked for higher elevations like I have here in Utah..

  4. I just made this pizza and the taste was great and the crust outside was wonderful but the center was doughy, like if it didn't cook properly, we still loved it and ate it but my questions is was it suppose to be like that or I did something wrong? I'm thinking maybe cook it at a lower temperature for longer and see what happens. Or maybe cooking the dough without the toppings for 15 minutes and then take it out and add the toppings and cook it for 30 minutes. Your advise will be greatly appreciated. Thank you

    1. Wendy, I just attempted this recipe, too. I've made gluten free pizza before, where the recipe does call for that same style of baking you speak of: bake without toppings for the first half of the cooking time, then add the ingredients. I'm dealing with a gummy crust as well. I was wondering if maybe I put too much oil in the cake pans? Also, we are probably putting too much dough in the pan. Maybe I should have cooked the crust even longer before I added the toppings. :(

    2. Wendy, It's a taste preference. I prefer my center to be less doughy so I cooked the crust for 15 minutes. Then I added the toppings and cooked it for the additional 30 minutes. I was very happy with the consistency.

    3. I made this crust for the first time last night with just a couple of modifications. First, it was a beautiful 75 degree day outside where I let the dough rise for 1 hour in a stainless bowl lightly covered with Saran Wrap. Then I used a 12 inch cast iron skillet frying pan in the oven for half a recipe. I put about 2-2/2 tblsp. olive oil in bottom the of the skillet before putting dough in using wet hands. I baked at 375 degrees for 45 min. This is by far the best gluten free pizza crust recipe I have tried (and there have been many tries. Thank you so very much from a big pizza fan.

    4. I agree with baking any GF crust without the toppings for close to the whole baking period. Push more of the dough to the sides also,so its thinner in the middle. Use one rack higher in the oven and add a little more baking time. Another small touch I do is sprinkle the dough with BADIA brand complete seasoning before baking or brush with more oil after and sprinkle(my opinion, gives it the 'hut favorite' seasoning taste. Thanks to all who contributed to show the world Celiacs can have good tasting food too!!

  5. Your recipe was simply amazing! I have tried soo many pizza crust recipes and have never found one that my family loved till now! I can't wait to share with my other gf friends. Thank you!!!

  6. Thanks for a great recipe! I still miss my pan pizza but this was very close and my non gf hubby loved it too. Cooked for 15 mins then added toppings. Was still a little gummy in centre but delicious. Might try but thinner amount next time. Cooked with coconut oil in pan which gave slight coconut flavor but went with the ham & pineapple, and crust was super crispy!

  7. I think that the crust is so delightful that I'm going to try my hand at making breadsticks from your recipe.

  8. Hi! Do you think it would work with egg replacer instead of the eggs?

  9. Just made this recipe last night with the only changes being that I cut the recipe in half, added garlic and Italian seasonings to the crust mix and let the crust cook for 15 minutes before adding toppings. It stil wasn't completely done in the center. If I can get the center to cook well, it will be perfect. Would love to hear from more people how they were able to get the center completely cooked. The cooked parts are so tasty with crunchy outward layer and a chewy texture within. Kind of has a fried bread texture due to the oil used. Yummy! Anyone else?

  10. Thanks for sharing this easy pizza making recipe. I am glad to see your work

    pizza making

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  12. Don't waste your money on these pans. they work for a few weeks, but after that you'll be using more and more oil to keep food from sticking. Eventually even the oil won't help. One of the worst kitchen utensils I ever bought. 

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