Mini Deep Dish Pizzas (gluten-free)

I love pizza…I truly think it’s the perfect food.  I can get some gluten-free pizza in LA, but most have a thin, cracker-like crust & sometimes I want, well, a deep dish pizza.  I meant to blog about this a couple of weeks ago when I made the little pizzas, but life (& a breakup) interrupted me.  My mom actually found the recipe for me on Gluten-free on a Shoestring (love her blog & book!!!!) months ago when I first went gluten-free.  I made some modifications as I’m still not happy with my personal gluten-free flour mix & find that Pamela’s Bread Mix works quite well for a number of things (as long as you remember that it already has sugar, salt & xanthan gum in it).  I made mini-pizzas using a large 6-tin muffin tin.  They turned out really well & completely satisfied my need for pizza (even the non-GF pizza loving (ex)boyfriend was impressed by them).

Mini Deep Dish Pizzas (gluten-free)
Ingredients (crust):
292 g Pamela’s Bread Mix
33 g coarsely ground yellow cornmeal
1 packet instant yeast
4 tablespoons (56g) canola {or other neutral} oil (I actually used olive oil & it turned out fine)
3/4 cup warm water {about 100 degrees Fahrenheit}
1 to 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil for drizzling

Directions (pretty much copied from this recipe; love her site, it’s great!):
1. In a medium-size bowl or the bowl of your mixer or food processor, place the bread mix, cornmeal and yeast, and stir or pulse to combine.
2. To the flour mixture, add the 4 tablespoons of canola oil and the water in a steady stream, either pulsing in a food processor or mixing with a spoon (or stand mixer on low) to combine. If you are using a food processor, pulse while streaming in the water, until a ball begins to form. Otherwise, stir constantly while streaming in the water and continue stirring until the mixture begins to come together. If the dough seems super sticky, add some more flour a tablespoon at a time, and stir or pulse to combine. It will be moist, though. Press the dough into a disk.
3. Drizzle the dough with the olive oil. Turn the dough to coat it with oil. This will prevent a crust from forming on the dough while it is rising. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in a warm, draft-free area to rise until it is about 1 1/2 times its original volume (about 1 hour). After the dough has risen, wrap it in plastic wrap and place it in the freezer for about 15-30 minutes or until firm. This will make it easier to handle.
4. When you are ready to make the pizza, preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease well with canola oil a 12 inch round baking dish with sides that are at least 1 1/2 inches high. There are deep dish pizza pans (I have mini ones that are about 6 inches in diameter, and this recipe makes enough crust for 4 of them), but you can use a round cake pan or a spring form pan. I used a large 6-tin muffin tin to make 6 mini-pizzas.  Roll out the dough between two sheets of unbleached parchment paper until it is about 1/4 inch thick.
5. Transfer the pizza dough to the prepared pan and press evenly into the bottom of the pan and up the sides, leaving a small clean edge toward the top of the pan so there aren’t exposed edges that can burn easily during baking. The corn meal will have made the pizza dough harder to handle than traditional pizza dough, so don’t worry if you have a hard time getting the dough into the pan in one piece.
6. To assemble the pizza, use whatever ingredients you like. After you have pressed the dough into the pan, dot the bottom and sides of the crust with softened unsalted butter to give the crust that buttery taste you get when it is baked in a well-seasoned buttered cast iron skillet. Then layer in slices of cheese (provolone & mozzarella work really beautifully, but really any cheese that isn’t super soft will do just fine), then whatever else you like (sausage slices, pepperoni slices, pancetta cubes, sautéed vegetables, you get the idea), sprinkle in seasonings (I love red pepper flake…the spicier the better!), cover generously with tomato sauce and top with a thin layer of finely grated Parmesan cheese (I just used some grated mozzarella).

Spinach & Peppers on the left (mine plus leftovers), Pepperoni on the right (his)

7. Tent the pan with aluminum foil, and place it in the center of the preheated oven. Bake for 20 minutes, uncover, and bake again until the sauce and cheese are bubbling and the crust is nicely browned {about another 10 minutes}. Cool in the pan for at least 10 to 15 minutes. It should come right out of the pan. Serve right away.

They actually freeze pretty well too & can be microwaved for reheating (yay!).  I haven’t tried freezing them before baking yet.

Yield: 6 mini pizzas


2 thoughts on “Mini Deep Dish Pizzas (gluten-free)

  1. Hey! Thanks for the idea…my husband has a wheat allergy and has gone gf for the past 4 months or so. The deep dish pizza with that fabulously chewy crust is his biggest temptation and we haven’t been able to find one yet that feels the same. Also, trying to solve for the gummy-in-the-middle crust issue on any dough/mixes we’ve tried yet. Even pre-baking before topping…it just seems that once the toppings go on, moisture is trapped and soaks down into the crust and stays there. Did this recipe solve for that (either the mix, or baking it covered, or the smaller size)?

    1. Although not a perfect replicate, this satisfied my need for a deep dish pizza (if you’re from Chicago though you may be disappointed as it’s certainly not identical 😉 ). I didn’t notice the crust being gummy in the middle, but with all of the toppings I’m not sure I would anyway. Wish I could be of more help!

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