Friday, November 9, 2012

Pizza Crust and Chicken Pizza

I'm now officially in heaven - I can eat pizza again!  This has been a long, long process - first trying a bajillion test recipes for the crust and then finding a cheese I could eat.  For quite awhile it looked like I was allergic to milk (I did test moderate to it), but the reactions I kept getting from cheese I'd try were the same as if I ate corn, so I just wasn't sure.  But, I'm happy to say I can eat the Goat Gouda from Holland at Trader Joe's.  And the Mitica goat chevre from Spain that I find at Whole Foods.  If you're extremely sensitive to histamine in food, cheese isn't going to work for you.  If you're somewhat sensitive, a cheese that hasn't been aged may work.  Luckily I'm becoming less sensitive!

First the pizza crust!  We went through quite a few horrible crusts to get to this point.  This recipe makes two crusts - I use one and freeze the other.  You can actually go ahead and top the other pizza, cook it, and then freeze it - it cooks great at 425 degrees straight from the freezer.

Pizza Crust
2 cups white rice flour
1 cup arrowroot starch
1 T sugar (maple syrup, honey, etc.)
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. plain, unflavored gelatin
1 tsp. sea salt

2 T ground flax
6T water

1 to 1 1/2 cups warm water (see below)
1T olive oil
1T lemon juice

Mix all the dry ingredients from the first group of ingredients.  Mix flax and water and microwave for 1 minute.  Mix together the warm water, olive oil and lemon juice.  Use 1 cup of water for a little bit thicker, softer crust and more water for a thinner, crisper crust.

Add all ingredients together and mix well.  If you're making a thinner crust, it will look more like batter than bread.  The other has a muffin batter consistency.

Divide between two well-greased cookie sheets and spread out.  You'll need to do this with a spoon for the thinner crust.  I aim for an 8 to 10 inch diameter rough circle.  Make a crust on the edges - harder with the thinner!  Update:  I've found it's easier to do the first baking on parchment paper, then take it off and put the crusts directly on the cooking sheet for the second baking (with the toppings).  I've been fine using Reynolds or 365 brands.

Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes and then top or freeze.  After topping, continue baking for 15 to 20 minutes or until it's browned the way you like it.  The crusts stick to the pans even with heavy oiling - I find it easier to dislodge them with a spatula before they're topped.

Chicken Pizza - makes enough for 2 pizzas
(not low histamine with the cheese)
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 cloves garlic, grated
2 inch by 1 inch piece of ginger, grated
2T olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp. dried thyme
Salt and pepper

Olive oil for sauteing
Large shallot, sliced or diced
1/4 cup white wine
1T arrowroot starch

Roasted red sweet peppers

Cut chicken into small pieces.  Mix the rest of the ingredients in the first group, add chicken, and marinate in the refrigerator for 1/2 hour.

Heat oil and saute shallot until golden.  Add chicken (save the marinade) and saute until cooked through.  Add the wine and arrowroot starch to the reserved marinade.  Add to the chicken and cook until thickened.

Spread chicken onto pizza crusts, top with cheese and then sliced roasted red sweet peppers.  Bake at 425 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes.

Rice Flour

This actually makes sense, when you stop and think about it!  All rice is not equal when ground into flour.  I'd never even considered this before, but back when I used wheat I knew that different wheats ground into flours that were good for different things - semolina for pasta, soft spring wheat for baked goods, ... 

Last week I ran out of jasmine rice, so I ground up some white basmati I had.  Then disaster struck!  I made chapatis - they fell apart.  Pancakes, muffins - same crumbling texture.  Basmati apparently does not make good flour!  Just to experiment, I ground Trader Joe's white jasmine rice, the white jasmine I get from a local Asian market, and Lundberg's white jasmine.  The flour from the Lundberg's rice made the best baked products.  So ... I recommend grinding rice flour from Lundberg's white jasmine for baked goods.  I haven't tried rice flour pasta, but when I do, I'll experiment with several different types of rice.

Updates through 11-09-12

Heidi's Hens Ground Dark Turkey (I buy at Whole Foods)
Trader Joe's Goat Gouda from Holland - not low histamine
goat chevre - Mitica de Cabra (I buy at Whole Foods) - not low histamine
Organic blackberries - without a bottom liner in the box
Pinto beans - made from dried beans
Fungus Among Us dried morels

Arm and Hammer baking soda in the small box only - the large box packaging has changed and corn allergic people are reporting reactions

Recipe Correction:
In the almond cookies recipe, the amount of vanilla should read 1 tablespoon, not teaspoon