Does the title sound too good to be true? Is it possible to have really good gluten-free dairy-free pizza? I’m not talking about something that can pass for a pizza-like food and I’m also not talking about a pizza without cheese. If you have the misfortune of needing to avoid gluten and all dairy, it can sometimes seem hopeless to have some of the foods you may have once loved. This can especially be true if pizza is one of those foods, as my wife and I can attest. How can a person avoid all dairy and gluten and still enjoy a tasty piece of pizza with cheese?
After significant experimentation and some trial and error, I came to a winning solution. I’m sharing this info here in hopes that it might help others who must follow a gluten-free dairy-free diet. As an added bonus, this pizza is also a corn-free recipe. Here I’ll provide everything you need to know to make a good gluten-free dairy-free pizza that’s worthy of being called pizza.
There are a few pizza crust mixes out there that are gluten-free and there are a good number of general gluten-free flour mixes too. I found the Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Pizza Crust Mix to be a real winner. The directions are simple. All you need are 2 eggs, some water, and a little olive oil. You’re not going to be able to toss and spin this in the air, if you such skills, because it lacks some of the elasticity of a gluten rich flour. Nevertheless, it makes a fine pizza crust.
I have a few tips for making a good crust with this mix. First, use room temperature to slightly warm water so you don’t shock the yeast. Second, consider using wax paper with a coating of olive or canola oil on it to help spread the dough. This helps to keep the crust from sticking to your hands constantly. You can try using wet hands, but that technique didn’t work well for me. Third, consider sprinkling the crust with a few Italian seasonings to add a bit of authentic flavor.
The nutrition facts show that the sodium is reasonable, protein is decent, and the 4 grams of fiber this crust mix provides per serving is good. Also, the iron in this gluten-free dairy-free pizza crust mix is at a beneficial level. Granted, it’s a non-heme iron which isn’t absorbed quite as well as iron from animal sources. However, vitamin C improves iron absorption, and there is a fair amount of vitamin C provided by the sauce and the bell peppers I added.
The star of the show for this pizza is the Daiya dairy free cheese. This cheese substitute is one of the very rare dairy-free and vegan cheese alternatives that actually melts. If you have used truly dairy-free cheeses in the past, you know how amazing it is to find a cheese that tastes good and melts! It doesn’t melt to the same degree as a traditional Mozzarella, but it is definitely the best Mozzarella substitute I’ve come across for use as a pizza topping.
The nutrition facts for this cheese substitute show a nutrient profile similar to traditional Mozzarella except in regard to protein and calcium content, which are both lower in the Daiya product. This is expected given the ingredient list. Sodium is reasonable and it’s cholesterol free while providing only a little saturated fat. There is a little fiber provided as well, which is something you won’t see in traditional dairy-based cheeses. Overall, this is a great option except for one aspect; the cost. I paid $5.89 for a 2 cup (8 oz) bag. This is about twice the price of traditional Mozzarella and seems a little high to me. I found this at our local City Market, so it could probably be found in other City Market, Kroger’s, and King Soopers stores.
It would be possible to make this a vegan pizza in addition to being dairy-free and gluten-free by using a vegan egg substitute for the crust and, of course, vegan toppings with a vegan sauce. However, since we’re not vegan, I chose the Prego Sausage and Garlic pasta sauce. This sauce is gluten-free dairy-free and corn-free. The sausage in this sauce is in the form and size of standard marbles, which is a perfect size for a sausage meat topping. Since the sausage is in the sauce, you don’t have to worry about cooking greasy sausage separately. This is a time saver if you want sausage on your pizza.
Since this sauce is for pasta and not specifically for pizza, I like to use our Italian seasoning grinder to add a little more robust flavor. Depending on which brand of pizza sauce you compare this to, you should find that the Prego pasta sauce option is lower is sugar as well. Of course, the ideal option would be to make a fresh pizza sauce from whole foods, but not everyone has the time or skill to do this. Focusing on making a gluten-free dairy-free pizza is probably enough to worry about for the first time you make this.
The rest of the process is really straight forward. Just add the sauce, which you can be generous with, and add the cheese with any other toppings desired. We chose chopped green bell pepper and black olives. The crust is strong enough to hold just about as much toppings as you can put on it. If you make one large pizza, which is what the bag of crust mix will allow, you will use the entire bag of the Daiya cheese alternative. While the cheese is a little expensive, the cost of the crust mix is reasonable for a gluten-free product. The overall cost of the pizza when I make it is under $14, which really isn’t bad for a pizza this size.
A truly remarkable gluten-free dairy-free corn-free pizza emerges from the oven after 15 to 20 minutes at 425 degrees F. The cheese has melted and it is actually stretchy… so rare for a dairy cheese alternative! What more could a person ask for? How about a delicious gluten-free homebrew in a frosted glass? This sounded good to my wife, as evident by the smile on her face, which was then contagious and spread to our son. The little guy sure loves to see his mom smile.
Since it’s December right now, I’d encourage anyone reading this to consider making this for their significant other as maybe an early Christmas present or gift for whatever holiday they may be celebrating. If your significant other (or family member or friend) is fairly new to eating gluten-free and dairy-free, this is a present they will never forget! Or just make it for yourself. Go ahead, give it a try. I think you’re really going to like it.