The Pizza Dilemma

The Pizza Dilemma

Well, I had never really been a ‘Pizza Gal’ in my life. The cheese was always too thick and greasy and it is kind of boring, crust, sauce, cheese and that is it. But when my little girl found out that she could not eat pizza again, she was so sad and disappointed. Luckily we started this adventure in this day and age where Gluten-Free foods are not something you just ‘might have heard about.’  In fact, I bet when you go to the store or even out to a restaurant now, you are amazed at how many gluten-free foods are offered.

But today, I am just focusing on Pizza. My goal this year was to make ‘the ultimate’ pizza crust, one that my family would just rant and rave over. But, reality set in, and I realized that I am STILL not only dealing with three different sets of taste buds but three different personalities and no matter how hard I tried, I would never come up with one pizza crust that would please them all.

Now, if you live around Boulder, you know that Beau Jo’s makes a gluten-free pizza. They get their crust from Deby’s Bakery in Denver. Gindi Cafe also makes a gluten-free pizza with their crust coming from Sweet Escapes Bakery in Longmont.   As another choice, right down the street from us is the Rock Creek Pizza Dough Co.  They make their own gluten-free pizza crust (see bottom of article for more info).

And guess what?  My daughters LOVE Rock Creek Pizza Dough Co. My husband likes the Sweet Escapes pizza crust from Gindi. We are not always on the same page. I point this out for this reason: going gluten-free in a family of four is not always easy.

But, even when it is an uphill battle and I feel like I am fighting gravity every step of the way, I know in my heart that it is worth it. Because every time I hear about a sick child who is on his or her fifth cold of the season, or about the child who was sent home from school again for a tummy ache or I am in a crowd and there is a kid having a nervous breakdown after eating a bag of fish-shaped crackers for a snack, I am grateful for our gluten-free diet. I feel like it grounds us. I feel like it keeps us healthier. I feel like it allows our bodies to run at 100%.

Yes, it can be inconvenient. Yes, it is expensive; I try not to look at our food bill. But to me, it is all worth it. If you are considering a gluten-free lifestyle, if you are hoping to get your whole family on board, please do not be discouraged. There will be ups and downs, but in the long run, the ‘ups’ will win!

So, as I said earlier, I set out to make the perfect pizza crust. This recipe was modified and tested and retested after a friend of mine gave it to me. She has given me many, in that we are both always looking for the perfect one. As you can probably imagine, not all of us loved it. Oh, well!

Gluten-Free Pizza Crusts

1½ cups brown rice flour
½ cup buckwheat flour
2 cups tapioca flour
2/3 cup instant non-fat dry milk powder
3 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons active dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1½ cups water (105-115F.)
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 egg whites at room temperature
Olive oil for spreading pizza dough

Grease one 13-inch pizza pans, using a spray olive oil dispenser. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flours, milk powder, xanthan gum, salt, yeast, and sugar. In a measuring cup, combine the water and 3 tablespoons olive oil. Add olive oil-water mixture to dry ingredients, then egg whites, mixing well after each addition. Beat on high speed for 4 minutes.
Divide dough into two equal portions.
Place one portion on a prepared pizza pan. Cover your hand with a clean plastic bag. Drizzle about a tablespoon of olive oil over your hand and one portion of dough. Spread the dough out evenly over the pizza pan, forming a ridge around the edge to contain the pizza toppings.
Let dough rise for about 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake pizza crusts for 7 minutes until lightly golden and remove from oven. At this point you can either cool the crust, wrapping and freezing it for future use, or you can spread tomato sauce on the crust and top with your favorite toppings. Cook for an additional 12 minutes. Repeat directions for the other pizza crust and freeze after cooking for 7 minutes.

Editor’s note: The Gluten-Free Bistro is a new Boulder-based company that makes gluten-free pizza crusts and pasta. Their products are found in local restaurants and can be purchased online also. If you’ve tried theirs, please join the conversation and let us know how it is! Check their site for a list of locations.

About Lisa Velick

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Join the Boulder JCC’s Summer Lecture Series on July 22 with Ron Bostwick, discussing Alan Arkin’s career and memorable roles; register online, the lecture is $12.


  1. Lisa,

    You should so put together a recipe book 'Gluten Free for the Jewish Holidays' I think people would be interested in a compilation of the recipes as well as your input on surviving the Jewish Holidays including Shabbat.

    Yay you,


    P.S. Pizza recipe would fit great as a Shavuot recipe.