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Allergy-Safe Pizza and Focaccia Dough

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Updated July 02, 2009

For this recipe, I wanted to stay as close as I could to the traditional breadmaking ingredients of flour, water, salt, and yeast while still creating a dough free from most allergens. (Most wheat-free doughs replace the protein in wheat with some combination of eggs, dairy, soy, nuts, corn, or seeds.) An Alice Waters recipe from The Art of Simple Food provides the technique. The result: a focaccia or pizza dough that you can proudly serve to anyone, and that's free from all "big eight" allergens plus seeds, corn (see notes), sesame, gluten, and most other common allergens.

Prep Time: 3 hours

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours, 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp. dry yeast (1 packet)
  • 1/2 c lukewarm water
  • 1/4 c amaranth flour
  • 3 3/4 c white rice flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 tsp. Ener-G Egg Replacer
  • 1 packet Knox Gelatine
  • 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum or guar gum (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp. mixed dried or finely chopped fresh oregano (optional)
  • 3/4 c cold water, plus more as needed
  • 1/4 c olive oil, plus more as needed

Preparation:

  1. Mix together yeast, 1/2 c lukewarm water, and amaranth flour. Allow mixture to sit until bubbly, about 30-45 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl (the bowl of your electric mixer will work), whisk together rice flour, salt, Egg Replacer, Gelatine, xanthan gum (if using), and oregano (if using).
  3. Using your hands or the dough hook of an electric mixer, work in the amaranth-yeast mixture, the additional water, and the olive oil. Knead until all ingredients are thoroughly mixed. You will almost certainly need more liquid; add water and oil at a 3:1 ratio (I add water a tablespoon at a time, adding olive oil for every fourth addition) until the mixture starts to pull away from the sides of your mixing bowl or until your handkneaded dough is just soft and sticky.
  4. Put the dough in a covered bowl in a warm place, such as a sunny windowsill or a countertop under a light. Let rise for two hours or until doubled in size.
  5. Now dough is ready to bake or freeze. To make focaccia, preheat oven to 450 F and flatten dough onto a greased 15 1/2" rimmed baking pan. (You can also use two 12" pans.) Top the dough with a little oil and salt and, if you wish, your choice of toppings - sautéed vegetables, cheese, meats, herbs, tomato sauce. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the sides are starting to brown. Note that this dough does not brown as much as a traditional dough.
  6. To make pizza, preheat your oven to 500 F. Divide the dough into two equal-sized balls and flatten the balls into disks. Gently stretch out, top with your choice of toppings, and cook on a baking stone until crust is browned, about 10 minutes.

Makes one large or two medium focaccia breads or two medium pizzas, to serve six to eight.

Ingredient notes: This recipe includes no corn ingredients so long as you omit the optional xanthan gum. If you are sensitive to yeast grown on corn look for a product called Idun Torr Gjaer yeast, which is made in Norway on corn-free grains and may be available at imported food stores or at your local Norwegian Seamen's Church, if you live in a major port.

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