March 12, 2014Gluten-Free Pizza Crust with Imperial Spanish Chorizo

The Heritage Cook features sliced Imperial Chorizo as a topping for gluten-free pizza, which was picked up by the Food Network for #ComfortFoodFest.

Recipe by The Heritage Cook

One of the foods that I was most distressed to give up when I was diagnosed with gluten-intolerance was pizza. Hot, bubbling cheese with rich tomato sauce and delicious toppings was a favorite treat. When the Food Network set this week to be our Pizza Week for #ComfortFoodFest, I knew it was the perfect time to make it with gluten-free flours.

I have figured out how to make most gluten-free baked goods, but haven’t really tried doughs and breads yet. This was a good excuse to find a recipe and give pizza a go. I found one that looked fantastic on The Baking Beauties website and decided to try it with just a few adjustments.

The first thing you need to do is throw out all of your preconceptions about what pizza “dough” is. Gluten-free dough is more like a batter than a dough and behaves differently in the oven. It requires a double baking (aka blind baking) like you would with pie crusts with uncooked fillings. If you don’t adequately pre-bake the dough, it will rarely cook all the way through after you add the toppings.

Speaking of toppings, you can use anything you like, from the simplest pepperoni, to a full-blown vegetarian with everything from your garden. This time I made ours with Imperial hot chorizo, sauteed onions, fresh zucchini, mushrooms, and fresh basil. I wanted the chorizo to stand out and it was the perfect combination.

Have you heard of Spanish chorizo from Imperial? They make several varieties including the spicy version that we used on this pizza. It is Spanish-style chorizo, which means it is cured and firm like a log of salami unlike Mexican chorizo which is sold raw. Both chorizo and salami are made with pork, but the flavor of chorizo is quite different. Chorizo is seasoned with Spanish paprika, some fresh garlic, sugar, and spices. Each company has their own secret blend, but Imperial’s is truly outstanding.

Just for comparison sake, I purchased another brand of chorizo and served it side by side to The Artist. He took one bite and immediately chose Imperial as his favorite. He said the quality of the ingredients and the classic taste was exactly what he hopes to find in Spanish chorizo. Imperial’s chorizo was comparable to what he has been served in some of the finest Spanish tapas restaurants in San Francisco!

This gluten-free pizza crust is somewhere between a thin and crispy cracker-style crust and a thicker, raised-bread style. It has a nice chew and flavor with enough firmness to stand up to nearly any toppings without sagging. I have found that most gluten-free recipes need quite a bit of seasoning to make up for the lack of natural wheat flavoring. Rice flours are really bland, creating an opportunity for you to add whatever favorite seasonings you like. By adding herbs and seasonings to the crust, you are making it as important as the toppings

I also wanted to give you the option for making your own pizza sauce from scratch. It is delicious and much healthier for you and your family. You can control all of the ingredients, making is absolutely gluten-free if you or your family members have Celiac. And if you like, you can double the recipe giving you plenty of left overs that you can use for a pasta sauce (thinned with water), dipping sauce, as a base for baked eggs, or other creative ideas you have.

Make sure you check out all of the recipes created by the other bloggers and the Food Network by clicking on the links below the recipe. And for all of our recipes from the full year of weekly celebrations, follow our Pinterest page.

I hope you enjoy this pizza – and for those with gluten-intolerance of Celiac, have a wonderful time eating something you thought you’d never get again!

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