Mystic Pizza Dough Crust

Mystic Pizza Dough Crust

Gluten-free, dairy-free, gum-free, and low-FODMAP pizza dough to delight the harshest of pizza critics.

By, variation of Paul Hollywood’s perfect pizza base

A child of the '80's, pizza is my ultimate dinner comfort food. For more than two years, I have been on a quest to make a gluten-free pizza dough that does not feel like corrugated board and a gum-free dough that holds its shape when sliced that doesn't flop around like ectoplasmic residue (AKA slime).

Inspired after successfully tackling my own gluten- and gum-free rendition of Christmas Stollen, I was sure I could finally perfect pizza dough with the help of the Yoda of bread, Mr. Paul Hollywood. His lovely post in The Telegraph was simple; I tweaked it, of course, to make it fit my medical dietary needs.

Folks, here is the key to most gluten- and gum-free doughs (cue music from Indiana Jones and Raiders of the Lost Ark): Do not overwork these doughs. They like to be pressed by hand. Rolling pins and airborne tossing scare these doughs worse than S-N-A-K-E-S!

A word about gums, and no, I'm not talking Bubblicious, Tidal Wave, Chiclets, or Trident. I have it on good authority from a registered dietician that gums (e.g., locust bean, guar, and xanthan) mimic the gluten in traditional wheat flour, and by doing so, for some persons with sensitive stomachs, the gums act like Gremlins when dowsed with water, triggering the same chaotic, damaging effects to the GI system as wheat gluten. This is why I avoid gums like the plague. What's the alternative? Think Breakfast Club toppings such as seeds and nuts. I vow to you that chia seeds, ground flax seeds, and other seeds or nuts pulsed into a powder work so well to hold together gluten-free flours that you will not need to add harmful gums.


For Dough
For Proof
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
For Pressing
  • 2 Tbsp white polenta or corn grits
  • 2 Tbsp potato starch


    For Dough
  1. In bowl of standing mixer, add flour blend, flax, water, and 20 mL olive oil. Add to one side of bowl yeast, other side of bowl salt.
  2. Attach bowl to standing mixer. Affix dough hook to mixer. Set the mixer to the setting just above “stir” in order to slowly knead the dough. Knead for 5 minutes.
  3. For Proof
  4. Grease inside of a large plastic bowl with 1 Tbsp olive oil. Plop dough into bowl. Don’t worry that the dough is sticky and slightly runny. Cover bowl with tight lid or plastic wrap. Leave dough to proof at room temperature away from heat for 3 hours. Dough should be larger and lighter in texture when it is finished with proof. Place dough into refrigerator (use same lidded bowl) until 30 minutes before baking.
  5. For Pressing
  6. If you have a pizza stone, place pizza stone in oven. Turn on oven to its highest setting (mine gets to just under 450 degrees).
  7. Remove dough from refrigerator while preheating oven.
  8. Into clean coffee grinder, add white polenta or corn grits. Grind for several seconds to make finer granules. Mix polenta/grits with potato starch in small bowl. This is your flouring mixture to keep dough from sticking to pan.
  9. When oven has preheated, begin preparing dough.
  10. Onto rimless baking sheet pan, lightly dust flouring mixture. Plop dough onto pan, and press with hands to form a circle approximately 12 inches wide. Work from the inside to the outside of circle, making dough as uniform in thickness as possible. Roll the outside edge onto itself to form a small crust. This crust will keep your toppings from falling off and will provide a nice handle for holding the pizza slice. The key when working with this dough is to not over handle it. Do not roll or toss this dough. It likes to be pressed with your gentle fingers, think back to when your kitten kneads on your arm…there you go…purrfect.
  11. Place pan into preheated oven and bake at maximum oven temperature for 10 minutes, rotating once. Pizza should be dry to touch and not yet golden. Remove pan from oven. Using fork, prick the inside surface of dough multiple times to keep dough from bubbling up.
  12. Now is the time to add your pizza toppings. Be generous; your house doesn’t charge extra for more fresh veg! Go crazy with those greens!
  13. Place pan back into oven to heat toppings and finish off baking the dough. Bake for another 12 minutes, rotating once. Pizza crust should be slightly golden. Check the underside of crust to be sure it is not soggy in the middle (gently lift with spatula to observe). Remove pan from oven. Turn off oven.
  14. Gently slide pizza onto cutting board and slice into generous portions. Serve piping hot!


  • Dough can be stored in refrigerator after proof for up to 24 hours.
  • Baked pizza can be stored in refrigerator for up to 3 days in refrigerator container.
  • To make the crust extra-special, after baking and before slicing, brush a mixture of dried Italian spices (I use oregano, fennel seeds, and rosemary) soaked in olive oil over the crust and lightly drizzle on pizza toppings.
  • Easy Tomato Sauce makes a great pizza sauce.
  • If you like a more tender crust (think softer like deep dish versus crisper like thin crust), then replace 60 grams of the gluten-free flour blend with ivory teff flour (I use Tenera Grains); it will make a smoother dough, less sticky. Also, teff has its own yeast, naturally, so only proof the dough for 1.5 hours.
  • Migraine Warning: Yeast (some migraine specialists warn against consuming freshly-baked, yeast-risen breads within their first 24-hours of baking).
  • I will leave you with the philosopher Jeff Spicoli's pizza premise: "Certainly, there's nothing wrong with a little feast on our time."