Gluten. A protein found in wheat, barley and rye, it lurks in everything, yet we never give it a thought. That is until your child is diagnosed with celiac disease, an auto-immune disorder that affects the small intestine. Suddenly, you’re faced with a new way of life. Reading labels are important more than ever. At a time when you’re teaching your child to share his toys, you must also let him know he can’t share in his friend’s snack or lunch. It can be confusing for both parent and child.
The good news is, you can still embrace your love of cooking and raise a healthy eater, as Shauna James Ahern, mom to a very active toddler, proves in her popular food blog, Gluten Free Girl. All it takes is research to know what ingredients are safe to eat and then you can get to work on stocking your pantry. Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Flour is good for beginners. It’s a ready-to-use blend of garbanzo bean flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, whole grain sweet white sorghum flour, and fava bean flour, making it easier to create gluten free versions of your favorite recipes. And what better kid-favorite recipe to get you started than pizza?
Basic Gluten Free Pizza
Serves 3 to 4
We’ve left this one “plain” but don’t let that stop you from adding your child’s favorite veggies.
2 ¾ cups (12 ounces) gluten free all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon (4 grams) fine sea salt
1 1/4 teaspoons (5 grams) gluten free yeast (Red Star is gluten free)
2 teaspoons (8 grams) xantham gum
3/4 cup warm water
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
To Make the Pizza:
3/4 cup tomato sauce
6 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced thin
- Add 8.5 ounces of gluten free flour, salt, yeast and xanthum gum to a deep bowl. Whisk to combine. Pour in the water and olive oil. Stir together with a wooden spoon until it forms a wet, tacky dough.
- Sprinkle the remaining flour on a clean counter or surface. Turn the dough out onto the counter and knead until the dough is no longer sticky. Leave any remaining flour on the counter for when you're ready to roll out the dough.
- Place the dough in an oiled glass or metal bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let it sit in a cool, dry place to rise until it has risen about 1/4 in volume.
- Preheat oven to 450º. Coat a round pizza pan with cooking spray or brush lightly with olive oil. Turn dough out onto floured surface and, using a rolling pin, shape it into a 16-inch circle for a thin crust pizza.
- Place crust on the prepared pan. Spoon sauce on top, and spread it almost to the edges. Top with the sliced mozzarella cheese. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and golden and the crust nicely browned.
For more information on celiac disease visit the Children’s Digestive Health and Nutrition Foundation.