For thousands of years people around the globe have been eating flat breads with a variety of toppings or fillings. The Indians have paratha, the Germans have flammkuchen or tarte flambee for the French, but flat breads like pizza come from the lands surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. The ancient Etruscans, Greeks, Romans, Persians, and Turks all had their versions of flat bread. In the remains of Pompeii, archaeologists found the remains of shops that look like the modern pizzeria.
The most important innovation which led to the modern pizza was the addition of a fruit from the New World, the tomato. Brought back to Spain, the tomato was originally considered to be poisonous, but by 1540 it was in cultivation. The Spanish helped to spread the tomato across Europe, the Philippines and Southeast Asia.
By the late 18th century the poor people of Naples added tomato to the yeasted flat bread, creating the first pizzas. With the migration of Italians, the United States saw the first pizzas in the late 19th century. They were sold from street carts in Italian neighborhoods in large cities such as San Francisco, New York, Philadelphia and Chicago. By the end of World War II the popularity of pizza spread across the United States by returning veterans from the Italian campaign who developed a fondness for the bread.
Pizza was the first thing I thought of when I received my diagnosis for gluten sensitivity. My first attempts at making a gluten free pizza were not memorable. Time and experimentation have led to more successful gluten free pizza recipes, although to date this one is the best. The sourdough lends a soft and slightly tangy taste to crust. The crust turned out a crisp bottom that will allow you to hold and eat a slice of pizza. The gluten free flour combination and agave syrup provide a healthier crust that is also lower on the glycemic index.
1 1/2 cup Sourdough Starter
1/2 cup Brown Rice Flour
1/2 cup Corn Flour
1/2 cup Arrowroot Starch
1 tsp Sea Salt
1 Tb Olive Oil
1 Tb Agave Syrup
1/2 cup Water (dough may need 1 or 2 Tb more)
1 1/2 tsp Kudzu Powder, dissolved in the Water
Any Topping You Like
Equipment Needed: A plastic or wooden spoon, a large glass, plastic or wooden bowl, pizza pan or pizza stone.
1. If you have a sourdough starter already, bring it out and let it come to room temperature. If you don't have a sourdough starter, then follow the directions on making a sourdough starter which is on my post for Sourdough Waffles.
2. In a large glass mixing bowl, dump in the first six ingredients and stir together.
3. Pour in the agave syrup and slowly start adding the water until the dough forms a moist soft ball. Depending on your baking conditions, you may need to add one or two tablespoons of water more to the dough.
4. Cover and place in a warm location for 1 hour to rise.
5. Cover a pizza pan with parchment paper. Pour out the pizza dough into the center of the pizza pan. The dough will be very soft and bubbly. Sprinkle corn flour over the top of the dough and dip your fingers into the flour to keep them from sticking. Pat out the dough into a circle using the corn flour as needed.
6. While the dough rests, preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and gather your pizza toppings.
7. Spread the pizza sauce over the top of the dough then sprinkle with fresh basil sliced into fine strips. Then place the mozzarella cheese around the top and sprinkle with sage sausage.
8. Bake for 15 minutes or until the top is slightly brown and the cheese is bubbly. Allow to cool and then slice.
What did my family think about this pizza? They all thought that this was the best gluten free pizza I had ever made. I agreed, the crust was light and soft and the bottom crisp. The slices held together beautifully while you held them to eat. This is a keeper.