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we have a gluten-free pizza crust recipe that works out pretty well. Since I'm relatively new to GF (we recently found out that my wife has Celiac), I'm curious as to how the recipe works and what difference some of the changes we've made have on the outcome. I'm also looking for any pointers to help make the crust a little less "scratch the roof of your mouth like Captain Crunch." Overall, it comes out nice and crispy, but perhaps just a little too much.

The recipe:

Ingredients
-----------

> Yeast mixture
1 1/3 cup warm milk
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons rapid rise yeast
    - we've taken to using 1 tablespoon of pizza dough yeast instead

> Dry Mix
1 cup tapioca flour
2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin powder
2 teaspoons dried italian seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons xantham gum
1 1/3 cups brown rice flour

Directions
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First, I mix the yeast mixture. Pizza dough yeast seems to work better and give a
slightly better crust than plain rapid rise. 

? I've always had trouble getting the yeast to really dissolve completely, there's
usually chunks left in the milk unless I whisk for a good 15 minutes. Can I use a
kitchen mixer to achieve a better dissolve?

In a separate bowl, I combine the dry ingredients. Then, I mix the yeasty milk into
the dry ingredients and finally mix in 2 teaspoons olive oil and 2 teaspoons apple cider
vinegar. 

? We accidentally mixed in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and apple cider vinegar once,
but didn't really notice a difference. What exactly are they helping with in the recipe
and why didn't such a gross overmeasurement make a difference?

Next, I butter and flour a baking sheet and then plop the dough down. I flour my
hands and the dough and spread it until it's nice and thin across the sheet. I rub olive
oil into the patted down dough and then cook untopped for 10 minutes in a 450 degree
oven. Remove and add toppings and return to the oven for 20 minutes.

Any tips and maybe some general explanation of what's going on here would be appreciated - so far this has been the quickest and best thin crust GF recipe we've done.

Edit: We also mix everything by hand - would using our mixer and/or dough hooks make any noticeable difference?

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2  
So called "pizza yeast" has conditioners especially intended for wheat flour. You probably want to avoid it, as you don't have any wheat flour for it to act on. See: cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/32741/… –  SAJ14SAJ Sep 22 '13 at 19:23
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1 Answer

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Traditional yeast based pizza crust is essentially a yeast raised flat bread. Its structure and chewiness is the result of gluten development from the wheat proteins—the very aspect you are trying to avoid.

The recipe that you have has three basic components:

  • Yeast, to develop some of the yeasty flavors
  • Starch which will form the matrix of the crust (tapioca, brown rice flour)
  • Gums or thickeners to give it enough structure and strength to hold together cohesively (gelatin, xantham gum)

There is nothing in the formula you have provided which should be scraping the roof of your mouth like the infamous breakfast cereal. The closest thing to a suspect is the rice flour, which if it is brown, is milled from the whole rice grain, including the outer hull or husk. That might be what you are finding texturally unpleasant. You might try another brand of rice flour, or using white rice flour in its stead.

It may also be from over baking--if you are only getting the abrasive texture from the edges where it is most cooked, you know that you should simply cook it less.

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Well, dang. I don't know what to say other than DUH about cooking it too long. We reduced the second time from 20 minutes to 15 and, low and behold, perfection. I'm still not sure about the yeast - we've kept with the pizza-crust yeast despite your other comment, but I'm going to try rapid-rise again and see if it makes any noticeable difference. –  phatskat Oct 3 '13 at 18:02
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