Against the Grain Gluten Free Pizza Shell Copycat Recipe

Against the Grain Gluten Free Pizza Shell Copycat Recipe

Against the Grain Gluten Free Pizza Shell Copycat Recipe

When we first made the Against the Grain Original Roll Copycat recipe, I was mostly thinking, hey, this is really simple gluten free bread and it’s crazy overpriced. I had only just tried their rolls myself for the first time a few days before. But my family loves those rolls. So I figured it was time to save a few bucks on the Against the Grain Gluten Free Pizza Shell. And now I think I’m the one who’s in love. This stuff is GOOD. Even cold. For breakfast. Don’t tell my husband.

Against the Grain Gluten Free Pizza Shell Copycat Recipe

Now it’s not like this is the sort of pizza that would have made me give up the sort of dreams of authentic-tasting gluten-free pizza that led to Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread or anything. No way no how. But this gluten free pizza is its own, delicious thing.

Against the Grain Gluten Free Pizza Shell Copycat Recipe

It’s intensely cheesy, which certainly doesn’t hurt, with a pleasantly more complex flavor, too (thank you, Parmigiano-Reggiano and sharp white cheddar cheeses).

Against the Grain Gluten Free Pizza Shell Copycat Recipe

Three cheeses baked right into the crust, and a different moisture balance make this dough soft and supple, even. The original rolls really benefit from having the dough chilled in the freezer for a few minutes before shaping them.

It makes that dough so much easier to handle. But this dough has a difference moisture balance, and doesn’t seem to need the chilling. If you find that yours is a little tough to handle, even with tapioca-floured hands, do freeze the dough for about 10 minutes, though.

Against the Grain Gluten Free Pizza Shell Copycat Recipe

It even rolls out easily, and won’t break at all as you shape it. Instead of wet hands, use well-floured hands. And do pay extra attention to the brand of tapioca flour you use. They are absolutely not all created equal (details below in the recipe itself). Oh, and the dough freezes really well, too, making this a great quick and easy meal for a hurried weeknight. Not that you ever have those or anything.

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 2 12-inch pizza shells


1 1/4 cups (10 fluid ounces) reduced fat (not nonfat) milk

2 1/2 cups (300 g) tapioca starch/flour, plus more for sprinkling*

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

3 tablespoons (42 g) canola oil

2 eggs (120 g, out of shell) at room temperature, beaten

5 ounces low moisture mozzarella cheese, shredded

2 ounces sharp white Cheddar cheese, shredded

2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, finely grated

Extra virgin olive oil for brushing the top of the pizza dough before baking

Toppings (sauce, cheese, etc. as desired)

*Do not use the tapioca flour from your Asian food store. It is likely poor quality and will not behave properly at all. I recommend tapioca flour from nuts.com or authenticfoods.com only.


  • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Place a pizza stone in the oven as it heats. If you don’t have a pizza stone, use a overturned rimmed baking sheet.

  • In a medium saucepan, bring the milk to a simmer over medium heat. As soon as the milk begins to simmer, turn off the heat and add the tapioca flour and salt, and then the oil. Mix to combine. The mixture will look curdled and will be difficult to bring together. Transfer it to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and pulse a few times to smooth out the dough. Important: Allow the dough to cool to close to room temperature before proceeding with the rest of the recipe to protect your food processor from overheating and turning off! Once the dough has cooled sufficiently, add the eggs in two parts, and pulse until the egg is incorporated into the dough. Once the eggs have been added, turn the machine on and allow it to work until the dough is smooth (2 to 3 minutes). It will be very thick and stretchy. Add the shredded cheese, and pulse to combine. If necessary, knead the dough with tapioca-floured hands to incorporate all of the cheese.

  • Sprinkle some tapioca flour on a piece of unbleached parchment paper, and scrape the dough onto it. Sprinkle the top of the dough lightly with more tapioca flour, and knead with floured hands until smooth. With a bench scraper, divide the dough in half and shape each half into a round. The dough should already be relatively easy to handle. If it is not, cover with plastic wrap and place it in the freezer for 10 minutes.

  • On a 14 inch square piece of parchment paper, flour the top of the first piece of dough and, using a rolling pin, roll into a 12 inch round, rolling it thinner toward the center and thicker along the edge to create a crust. Brush the top of the shell generously with olive oil and cover with sauce and cheese. Place the pizza, still on the parchment, on top of the pizza stone or overturned baking sheet. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbling and the crust is lightly golden brown and feels slightly crispy to the touch.

  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool briefly before slicing and serving. Repeat with the remaining piece of dough. The dough can be made ahead of time, wrapped tightly and frozen until ready to use.



P.S. If you haven’t yet, please pick up a copy of Gluten Free on a Shoestring Quick & Easy! There are 100 more well-tested gluten free recipes in it, and I really appreciate your support!

Comments are closed.

  • Laura
    July 30, 2013 at 3:32 PM

    When you posted the ATG rolls recipe I had just spent weeks trying to find a clone and even tried to make one myself-I know nothing about creating recipes. As predicted I had no luck!! I’ve made them 3 times since you posted. All 3 times I’ve ended up with different consistencies and then I saw you said not to use Bob’s tapioca flour. That’s what I was using. I will use it up b/c I do not waste food and because although they weren’t all super pretty (like my first batch was) they all tasted great!! I have the pizza dough in the oven right now and can’t wait to try it! Thank you for all your hard work and for sharing it with us!! I share your blog and book(s) info with anyone that will listen! Your first book was given to me as a gift and now I give it to anyone that eats gf that I know! Bread book is per ordered!!!

  • Jenn Gee
    July 30, 2013 at 12:08 PM

    I haven’t had a chance to read through all of the questions, but I have a couple that I hope you can answer.
    Can I use non-dairy milk? If so, what would you recommend?
    You didn’t mention Bob’s Red Mill Tapioca, and that’s what I have. Is this not a good choice?
    Thanks. Looking forward to trying this – it looks incredible!

  • Ruth
    July 26, 2013 at 9:18 AM

    I just made this for lunch. As luck would have it an enourmous sack (50lbs!) of tapioca flour arrived this week. I did spend a few minutes thinking you’d lost your mind while scraping horrible, sticky, stringy goo out of my food processor but then I patted it with tapioca flour and it magically became well behaved, soft dough! And it made gorgous cheesy pizza that even my 6 year old, who is not fond of pizza (if he hadn’t been born at home I’d swear he’d been switched at birth) loved. Thank you!!!

    • July 26, 2013 at 9:41 AM

      Have faith in me, Ruth! I wouldn’t steer you wrong. :)
      xoxo Nicole

      • Ruth
        July 26, 2013 at 9:52 AM

        Lol. You certainly didn’t! ;)

  • Maria
    July 25, 2013 at 10:49 PM

    Nicole! You have saved me from turning Brazilian Pao de Quiejo (Cheese Bread) into pizza crust. I’d considered doing this after my Brazilian friend introduced me to this yummy bread. These are originally rolled into little tangerine sized rolls. They work great with only the Mozzarella too. Can’t wait to try this as pizza crust!!!

    • July 26, 2013 at 8:55 AM

      Hi, Maria, I have a recipe for the Against the Grain Original Rolls here on the blog, which are basically pão de queijo. That is made with only mozzarella. This version has a slightly difference balance of other ingredients, in addition to the three cheeses. I think I prefer this one better. Enjoy!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Mare Masterson
    July 25, 2013 at 4:52 PM

    WOO HOO Nicole! Being from the east coast originally, I have an aversion to cheddar cheese being involved with pizza in any way. I am going to try this but with only the mozzarella and parm — I’ll just use an ounce more of each. Now my question: what type of tapioca starch/flour did you use?

    • July 26, 2013 at 8:53 AM

      Hi, Mare,
      No cheddar, huh? I would try replacing the cheddar with another semi-hard, flavorful cheese, though. The sharp white cheddar really gives the crust a nice flavor. I use tapioca flour from nuts.com. I’ve always been very happy with it, and it’s reasonably priced. Their shipping costs kind of kill me, but I always order lots at a time, and just order less frequently.
      xoxo Nicole

  • Chris Stephan
    July 25, 2013 at 8:10 PM

    Do you have any experience with the tapioca flours sold in health food stores? I was going to order some from nuts.com, but I hate to pay $10 for shipping.

  • wendyintexas
    July 25, 2013 at 2:54 PM

    All I can say is—thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! Can’t wait to try it and SAVE the $11 I paid for the ATG cheese pizza—can’t wait for the bread cookbook (already ordered) either—your recipes really have helped me not give up in despair because of gluten issues. Really, thank you!

    • July 26, 2013 at 8:51 AM

      Hi, there, Guest. ;) $11 is highway robbery. Thank you so much for your support, and enjoy that reasonably priced pizza you’re going to make at home!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Kerry Geraghty Keating
    July 25, 2013 at 2:31 PM

    Wow. You have earned a place forever in my heart with this one! I have been trying so hard to replicate that crust! It is our absolute favorite thing but soooo expensive!!

    • July 26, 2013 at 8:51 AM

      Seriously, it’s even more expensive than I had realized (all I checked was the bulk price on amazon). Crazy! Glad to help, Kerry. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Lisa W
    July 25, 2013 at 2:19 PM

    Thanks Nicole! Good to know that about tapioca.

  • Irisheyes
    July 25, 2013 at 1:44 PM

    Greetings! I am allergic to tapioca, corn, yeast, buckwheat and wheat. Can I substitute with another flour. I can use almond, rice, fava bean/garbanzo flour, sorghum, and amaranth flour. I would love to taste pizza again.

    • July 25, 2013 at 1:54 PM

      I’m afraid that I don’t think this recipe is for you, irisheyes. It relies exclusively on tapioca as flour, and none of the flours you mentioned you can have is a pure starch like tapioca.

    • Jennifer Sasse
      July 25, 2013 at 2:27 PM

      can you have arrowroot or potato starch? You may want to try it out with one of those if you can…..

    • Jennifer S.
      July 25, 2013 at 6:27 PM

      can you have arrowroot or potato starch? You may want to try it out with one of those if you can…..

  • Lisa W
    July 25, 2013 at 1:29 PM

    I cannot eat tapioca so I think I’ll try this with a combo of Potato Starch and Cornstarch. If your brain screams no to this do let me know. I’m patiently waiting for your new book about GF breads but I think I’ll give this a go while waiting.

    • July 25, 2013 at 1:54 PM

      It’s worth a shot, Lisa, but neither of those starches has the stretchiness of tapioca, so I’m not entirely optimistic. But if you’re game, give it a go!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Maria Romano Trampe'
    July 25, 2013 at 12:13 PM

    I can’t believe you just posted this. Just yesterday I was searching the internet for a copycat recipe for against the grain crust! P.S. I also pre-ordered teh bread book yesterday too! :)

    • July 25, 2013 at 1:55 PM

      Huh. We are totally in synch, Maria. :) And thank you for pre-ordering the bread book!
      xoxo Nicole

  • DianaLesireBrandmeyer
    July 25, 2013 at 12:12 PM

    Oh yay!!! I love this stuff. Don’t like paying for it! Have you tried this with bagels yet? Their bagels are sooo good.

  • Jessica Z
    July 25, 2013 at 11:53 AM

    Any thoughts on if this would work with dairy free cheese? My daughter is both gluten and lactose intolerant :(

    • July 25, 2013 at 1:56 PM

      This recipe relies heavily on the cheeses in the crust, and the fact that they melt into the dough, Jessica. So I really do not think it would work at all with dairy free cheese. Sorry!

  • LisaRL
    July 25, 2013 at 11:33 AM

    For someone without a food processor, but a stand mixer, would you recommend the dough hook or the paddle for this application? I’m still fairly new to the GF process, so thanks for any help you can give!

    • July 25, 2013 at 1:57 PM

      I have tried this recipe with a stand mixer, once using the dough hook and once using the paddle attachment. Neither was nearly as effective as the food processor (in fact, each time I had to stop and fire up the food processor, which I generally am loathe to do). So I would maybe try beginning with the paddle, and then switching to the dough hook to make sure the dough gets very, very smooth and well-integrated. Be patient and let it go a good long while!

  • Kristen T
    July 25, 2013 at 10:44 AM

    Do you think you can give a video tutorial on how to roll out a circle in pizza crust? That would be AWESOME!! :)

    Btw, thank you for this amazing recipe!

    • July 25, 2013 at 1:59 PM

      I don’t have any more videos planned, I’m afraid, Kristen, but you could try watching my video for rolling out pie crust. That might be helpful. Generally, just keep flouring and shifting the dough, and roll from the middle out in all directions.

  • Katie
    July 25, 2013 at 10:08 AM

    thanks! going to try this out tonight. we tried the rolls, and loved the texture. I use bob’s red mill tapioca flour, my dough was a bit runny. i think i made a few mistakes along the way, so going to make sure i follow this recipe more closely.

    • July 25, 2013 at 2:00 PM

      It was probably your flour, Katie. Bob’s Red Mill tapioca flour is not one I would ever recommend. It is very much hit or miss. I’m glad you’re still game. And thanks for being so reasonable about the whole thing. :)
      xoxo Nicole

      • Katie
        July 26, 2013 at 9:18 AM

        Ok, good to know for next time. will have to get thru the 4 bags we bought before we get new. don’t want to waste. we didn’t end up making it last night. AC went out and i was not about to heat up the oven. will let you know how it goes when we get to making it.

  • Brian H.
    July 25, 2013 at 9:43 AM

    I hope your secret pizza for breakfast was good. Good thing I’ll never find out about it.

    • Donia Robinson
      July 25, 2013 at 10:16 AM

      Nicole, is this your husband??

      • Brian H.
        July 25, 2013 at 1:53 PM

        Yes, it is…

        • Donia Robinson
          July 25, 2013 at 1:58 PM

          OK, spill all the secrets you have about Nicole.

        • Brian H.
          July 25, 2013 at 6:00 PM

          How much time do you have??

      • July 25, 2013 at 2:00 PM

        It is, Donia! He cracked my code and figured out what I had for breakfast, it seems. :)
        xoxo Nicole

    • Jennifer Sasse
      July 25, 2013 at 11:21 AM

      Pizza for breakfast is not just for college kids! It’s for hardworking Moms too!

      • July 25, 2013 at 2:00 PM

        I know, right, Jennifer?

  • Jennifer Sasse
    July 25, 2013 at 9:22 AM

    The picture alone makes me swoon. Holy cow does that look fan-tab-u-lous! I’ll have to put this on my ‘to make’ list.
    Also, I have a question about the Monday post -I’ve been having some anxiety about the fridge rising method. It doesn’t seem to work for me. Does the yeast have to be room temp before mixing or do you proof it before mixing? thanks much!

    • July 25, 2013 at 2:05 PM

      I’m glad you were brave enough to share your anxiety with me, Jennifer (sounds sarcastic, but I’m really being genuine). Yeast is active at refrigerator temperature (albeit much, much slower), so if your yeast has the proper environment (meaning, the proper flour), it will reproduce in the refrigerator. The slow fermentation means that you get a lot of flavor. No, the yeast does not have to be at room temperature before being added to the recipe (I keep my yeast in the refrigerator and use it straight from there in baking). I put the bucket with the dough, covered, right into the refrigerator after the dough has been kneaded. Nothing to it. Have you tried the Yeasted Refrigerator Bread Dough from Quick & Easy?
      xoxo Nicole

      • Jennifer Sasse
        July 25, 2013 at 2:30 PM

        I have tried the fridge pizza crust. I don’t think it came out like it was supposed to. I do want to make some rolls though so I’ll try the fridge bread dough soon. Thanks for understanding! :)

        • July 25, 2013 at 2:33 PM

          Did you make any substitutions? One you think of as benign might be making the difference.

        • Jennifer Sasse
          July 25, 2013 at 2:48 PM

          You know it was a super long time ago (almost a year I think), so I can’t remember (I can barely remember what I had for breakfast!). I’ll give ’em a whirl again – I need to face my anxiety!

  • Donia Robinson
    July 25, 2013 at 9:05 AM

    You are SO going to get more hatemail!

    I would never have thought to put cheese in the crust. Well, other than cheese IN the crust that you can visibly see. My son sees Pizza Hut’s newest inventions all the time and wants them. Say, maybe someone will make GF recipes for some of those fun cheese-filled and/or pull-apart creations! ;) I’ll definitely have to make the crust above for the fam.

    P.S. Why DO some tapioca flours taste metallic-y?

    • Jennifer Sasse
      July 25, 2013 at 9:20 AM

      Donia – now our children have been separated from birth. My oldest always wants pizza hut stuffed crust (me too!) and all the other things they come up with. I’ve been avoiding it……

      • Donia Robinson
        July 25, 2013 at 10:17 AM

        Luckily, my son can have gluten, so occasionally we indulge him in his whims. But it would be nice to be able to all eat it together.

        • July 25, 2013 at 2:08 PM

          I’m all about everyone eating together – and it matters that everyone is eating the same thing. I’ll get on it, Donia. :)
          xoxo Nicole

    • July 25, 2013 at 2:08 PM

      I know, right? It’ll be worth it. Actually, Against the Grain left me alone after the first recipe, so I should be safe.
      I’ll have to look up those Pizza Hut creations. I’m sure they can be recreated. Anything can! ;)
      I’m not sure about the science of it, but poor quality tapioca flour will have a metallic taste and will behave very, very differently. Ew.
      xoxo Nicole

      • Jennifer S.
        July 25, 2013 at 6:32 PM

        I just took your advice and ordered from nuts.com. so far it’s been great!
        CANNOT wait for the pizza hut recipes. My daughter will want to hug you a million times for a stuffed crust pizza or pizza sticks, etc…

      • Erica
        July 26, 2013 at 1:24 AM

        What brand of tapioca starch do you recommend, Nicole? I’ve always used Bob’s Red Mill and had great luck with it, but you don’t seem to think it’s ideal. I’d love to know of other brands that are worth a try! Thank you for this recipe!! <3

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