Pizza Night

One of my fondest memories as a kid was heading over to S & T's in Mt. Greenwood for one of their pizza set-ups.  The sweet, spicy aroma of Italian sausage greeted you as entered the small deli off of 111th St. After walking from case to case admiring the fresh meat and seafood, I'd reach on tiptoes over the counter to get a sample of the shredded mozzarella cheese that would be coming home with us that evening. It felt like a weekly ritual. In each set-up, we'd have sausage, cheese, sauce and the pizza crust all ready to go. My siblings and I would open the package and instantly transform into budding Italian chefs.

Fast forward 30 years and pizza night has become a weekly ritual in our household. Sometimes, we go out to a local pizzeria that offers gluten free pizzas. I usually end up eating mine without cheese, since many pizzerias have yet to offer a dairy free cheese topping.  Other nights, we go the semi-homemade route - either starting with a store-bought gluten free frozen pizza and adding toppings, or using a store-bought gluten free pizza crust and adding on from there. On special nights, we even make our own pizza dough from scratch (not nearly as difficult as you'd think!)

No matter which way you slice it, pizza night is a great way to reconnect with family members after a busy week and try out your culinary chops with different seasonings and toppings. The best part is - everyone is happy because their pizza is their own creation. Here is our take on "Homemade Pizza Night Pizza" done gluten and dairy free with a pizza crust from scratch. Make it your own with whatever toppings and seasonings you desire.

Pressed for time? Check out my semi-homemade gluten and dairy free pizza recipe. Don't feel like cooking tonight? Check out my listing of Chicagoland pizzerias offering gluten free pizza.


Homemade Pizza Night Pizza Crust Recipe

1 cup gluten free beer (Redbridge is a good one to use)

1 tbsp Earth Balance shortening

1 tbsp sugar

1 tsp salt

3 cups gluten free flour (1 cup brown rice flour, 1 cup millet flour 1/2 cup tapioca starch, 1/2 cup potato starch)

3 tsp xanthan gum

1 1/4 tsp yeast

gluten free cornmeal

Toppings: Al Fresco Italian Chicken Sausage, Spinach, Mushrooms, Red Pepper, Black Olives, Classico Sweet Basil Marinara Sauce, Kraft Mozzarella Cheese or Daiya Mozzarella Cheese Shreds (Non-Dairy)

This recipe uses a bread machine to do all of the kneading. Set your bread machine to "dough/pasta" setting. Measure ingredients in order listed into bread machine baking pan. Secure pan and start. My machine has a 2-hour cycle, which includes a 25-minute pre-heat delay before mixing begins. As bread machine in nearing the end of its cycle, preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

Once dough is finished, remove from bread machine pan and place onto greased a single pizza baking sheet that has been sprinkled with cornmeal, or depending upon the crust thickness you want, two 9-inch baking pans.  Dough will be sticky, so coat hands with olive oil before spreading dough onto baking sheet or pan.

Once dough is spread in pan, place in pre-heated oven for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare all of your toppings. Remove crusts from oven, spread with toppings, and return to oven for 10-15 minutes more or until cheese is melted and bubbly.



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  • Love the article and loved all those pizzas over the years.

  • In reply to banksjeri:

    So what do they offer in place of cheese on cheese free pizza?

  • In reply to thesportsbank:

    Typically, a soy cheese or other non-dairy cheese will be offered in place of cheese. Otherwise, it's lots of veggies and sauce. It's a stretch calling it pizza, but it's progress!

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