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Braided Stuffed Spinach and Pepperoni Gluten Free Pizza

Braided Stuffed Spinach and Pepperoni Gluten Free Pizza

The perfect gluten free pizza crust, stuffed full of spinach, pepperoni and, of course, plenty of cheese. This pizza dough handles so beautifully and tastes so authentic, you won’t believe it’s gluten free!

The perfect gluten free pizza crust, stuffed full of spinach, pepperoni and, of course, plenty of cheese. This pizza dough handles so beautifully and tastes so authentic, you won't believe it's gluten free! One of the most common questions I get asked about Gluten Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread is which bread recipe I use the most. Although I love all my recipes, or I wouldn’t dare publish them anywhere, the recipe that I use the most, hands down, is the recipe for Thick-Crust Gluten Free Pizza Dough from page 187). I make it every single week at least once. In fact, I usually make 1 1/2 times the recipe so that I can stretch it out over 2 days. When I think I have nothing for dinner, and we’re totally in a rush, I always have some pizza dough in the refrigerator. And dinner … is served. I usually just roll the pizza into rounds, scatter some sauce and cheese, and serve it with a big salad. But lately, I’ve been stuffing and braiding that gluten free pizza dough. And it’s been pret-ty exciting.

The perfect gluten free pizza crust, stuffed full of spinach, pepperoni and, of course, plenty of cheese. This pizza dough handles so beautifully and tastes so authentic, you won't believe it's gluten free!

The first few times I made this braided and stuffed pizza, I made it with ground beef, broccoli and cheese (always lots and lots of cheese). And I made it into individual braids, one for each family member. I’ll be honest, though. Even though there was no complaining from the peanut gallery (hello! pizza doesn’t get complaints), I wasn’t thrilled with how dough-y the small braids had to be. I much prefer the single braid. The balance of dough to cheese to other fillings is much easier to strike.

In case you’ve never seen it, above is my Charlie Chaplin impression of silently shaping the pizza dough from the book. Oh, and you can absolutely still use the gluten free pizza dough from the blog; it just won’t be as easy to handle, but there are plenty of shaping instructions in that blog recipe so you’ll be fine. Now for the comprehensive step-by-step shaping instructions…

The perfect gluten free pizza crust, stuffed full of spinach, pepperoni and, of course, plenty of cheese. This pizza dough handles so beautifully and tastes so authentic, you won't believe it's gluten free!

That’s my husband, Brian. The hand model. He was extremely proud of how he did, and you’ll be happy to know that he received very, very little instruction. And he still totally nailed it! Don’t you think?!

The perfect gluten free pizza crust, stuffed full of spinach, pepperoni and, of course, plenty of cheese. This pizza dough handles so beautifully and tastes so authentic, you won't believe it's gluten free!

Please know that this really is the easiest thing to pull together. Its ease just doesn’t translate that well into words. It’s much more intuitive in pictures, and unfortunately a bit wordy, well, in words. So stare at the lovely hand model in the pictures for a bit before you read through the recipe. And don’t skimp on the cheese, okay?

The perfect gluten free pizza crust, stuffed full of spinach, pepperoni and, of course, plenty of cheese. This pizza dough handles so beautifully and tastes so authentic, you won't believe it's gluten free! https://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/braided-stuffed-gluten-free-pizza/
Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 1 stuffed braided pizza

Ingredients

1 pound gluten free pizza dough (I used the recipe for Gluten Free Thick-Crust Pizza Dough from page 187 of GFOAS Bakes Bread reprinted here; the older recipe for gluten free pizza dough here on the blog still works, too!)

3 ounces Asiago cheese (or another semi-hard cheese), grated

10 ounces mozzarella cheese, grated (plus more for sprinkling)

5 ounces fresh spinach, chopped

3 ounces pepperoni, thinly sliced

Egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water)

Directions

  • Prepare the gluten free pizza dough according to the recipe instructions through the rise. Preheat your oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper, and set it aside.

  • Preparing the dough. If using the thick crust pizza dough from page 187 of GFOAS Bakes Bread (reprinted here) on a lightly floured surface, knead the dough until smoother as directed in  These General Shaping Tips. With well-floured hands and a well-floured rolling pin, pat and roll out about 1 pound of the dough (the entire recipe makes about 1 1/2 pounds) into a rectangle that is about 12-inches by 14-inches, rotating the dough and flouring it frequently, to prevent sticking, as shown in the gluten free pizza shaping video embedded in the post above. If using this gluten free pizza crust, follow those directions for shaping, but do not divide the dough, and roll it into a  12-inch by 14-inch rectangle. Cover the rolled out dough loosely with a moist tea towel and allow it to rise slightly while you prepare the fillings as indicated in the recipe ingredients.

  • Assembling the braid. Once the toppings are prepared, uncover the dough. Using a sharp knife, pizza wheel or pastry wheel, cut a 3 1/2-inch x 1 1/2-inch rectangle out of each of the 4 corners of the dough rectangle. This will allow you to wrap the ends of the braid securely around the fillings. Position the dough rectangle so that one 12-inch side is facing your body as you work. Beginning about 1-inch from the top of each flap on the left and right-hand sides of the rectangle, cut 8 approximately 1-inch strips in those flaps. The fillings will all be placed in the center third of the rectangle, from the top to the bottom of the dough, as shown in the step-by-step photos above. First, scatter all of the grated Asiago cheese in an even layer down the center panel of the dough. Cover with an even layer of all of the chopped spinach, then 1/3 of the grated mozzarella cheese, followed by an even layer of the sliced pepperoni, and finally the remaining 2/3 of the grated mozzarella cheese. Pack down the fillings tightly by pressing down firmly. Starting at one end, pull the flap taught over the filling. Only the flaps on the ends will be pulled taut. The rest of the braid should be much looser, allowing room for expansion in the oven. Alternating sides, braid the 8 strips on each side of the rectangle over the filling, angling the strips slightly. Do not pull the strips taut. Stop braiding when you have reached the bottom two strips (one on each side) and the bottom flap. Pull the bottom flap taut up and over the bottom of the filling, and cover gently with the remaining two strips. Transfer the braid carefully to the prepared baking sheet.*

  • Brush the entire surface of the braid generously with the egg wash. Scatter the additional shredded mozzarella cheese on the top of the braid. Place in the center of the preheated oven and bake until golden brown all over (about 15 minutes). Remove from the oven, slice and serve immediately.

  • *Make ahead option: At this point, the stuffed braid can be covered and placed in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. When you are ready to bake it, just remove it from the refrigerator, uncover it, and continue with the rest of the recipe as directed. I do not recommend freezing yeast dough, however, as it may kill the yeast. And you won’t know until it doesn’t rise in the oven upon baking.

  • Adapted from this SheKnows.com recipe, as selected by you on my Must Make Gluten Free Pinterest Board.

Love,
Me

 

P.S. If you haven’t yet, I hope you’ll consider picking up a copy of Gluten Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread!

Comments are closed.

  • […] Braided stuffed spinach and pepperoni pizza. […]

  • […] (like my Charlie Chaplin impression pizza-shaping video). Just last week, we made that gorgeous Braided Stuffed Spinach & Pepperoni Gluten Free Pizza. And you know what? My old gluten free pizza recipe absolutely does still work. But comparing it to […]

  • JLo Mama
    April 25, 2014 at 5:44 PM

    I used the link to the free gf pizza dough recipe and mine was a disaster. It didn’t rise at all and is super yeasty tasting (I followed directions to a T and make bread all the time). When I went to roll it out, it was a mess and fell apart all over the place…so you can imagine what happened when I tried to do the braid. *sigh* I have never had luck yet with gf dough. We’ll see how it tastes, but I don’t have high hopes.

    • April 25, 2014 at 5:53 PM

      JLo I understand how frustrating it can be when a recipe does not turn out, but I made that recipe for years and years and it will work when made as written. I recommend that you be sure you are measuring all of the ingredients by weight, not by volume, including your water (see Bread FAQ# 21 for instructions on how to weigh water—the other Bread FAQs only apply to my new bread recipes, but the water weighing instructions are universal). My guess is that your water measurements were inaccurate, and/or that there was an issue with the flour blend you used.

  • Liz
    April 25, 2014 at 12:56 PM

    Since I don’t have the book yet (on my wish list!) can I just double up the crust that is linked to as a “thick crust” pizza? Does your recipe from the book differ that much for the thick crust one?

    • April 25, 2014 at 3:34 PM

      Yes, the recipe from the book differs significantly from the old pizza recipe, Liz. It’s not a matter of how much dough there is. It’s how it behaves. Sorry!

  • Briana
    April 23, 2014 at 8:37 PM

    you are my favorite

    • April 25, 2014 at 3:35 PM

      You’re not so bad yourself, Briana. ;)

  • Jennifer S.
    April 21, 2014 at 2:12 PM

    This is completely up my alley. Can I do a stuffed crust pizza with this dough? Like pizza hut?

    • April 25, 2014 at 3:35 PM

      Jennifer I have been working on a proper stuffed crust Pizza Hut-style pizza for what seems like a year and a day, and I still haven’t quite nailed it. I am still perfecting and have made it my mission to get it just right. It sounds so simple, I know, but the cheese just leaks right out more often than not. Still working on it. Promise!!

    • Jennifer S.
      April 28, 2014 at 1:47 PM

      Yahoo! :) I know you can do it!!!

  • Heather
    April 21, 2014 at 12:38 PM

    I actually used this pizza dough to make lahmacun (Turkish lamb pizzas) for Easter and my husband was beyond appreciative! My beloved Turkish mother-in-law was equally impressed (via skype). I just have a few questions: 1) I didn’t know if the recipe would work to double it so I made two batches. Could I have easily just doubled it and still work? 2) My dough was very hard when it came out of the fridge and never got as pliable as your youtube video. It still tasted great but wasn’t as stretchy as I thought. Any suggestions??? Thanks, Heather

    • April 21, 2014 at 1:02 PM

      Hi, Heather, that sounds amazing! Yes, you can double the recipes in the bread book. Double away! If your dough was hard, my first guess is that it dried out in the refrigerator. Try using a sealed proofing bucket for rising. I use a 2-quart Cambro bucket that I have bought all over, from kitchen supply stores to amazon. That, and please see Bread FAQ#21 for instructions on how to measure water by weight. Your water measurements may have been off.

    • Anneke
      April 21, 2014 at 1:53 PM

      Heather —
      I double this recipe all the time, with great success! I would suggest getting the 4-qt Cambro if you plan to double, though, as the rise can blow the top off the smaller one. Ask me how I know that . . . I use the 2-qts for everything else.

    • April 21, 2014 at 1:57 PM

      The hard way, Anneke! Is there another way to learn things that I’m not aware of? ;)

    • Jennifer S.
      April 28, 2014 at 4:21 PM

      I’m a regular 2qt top blower (that doesn’t sound good does it?) when I’m messing with recipes…. first it scares the pants off me (loud – fridge shakes) and second it is horrid to clean up.

  • RJ
    April 21, 2014 at 12:31 PM

    The never ending links for the GF pizza dough recipe is very fustrating to find…Do I have to buy the book just make this recipe? 8•° …hence a “shoestring budget” applies for me.
    Is it possible to post the actual recipe here? It would be much appreciated. :)

    • April 21, 2014 at 12:59 PM

      RJ, I do not plan to post either recipe for pizza dough in the body of this post. As I explain in the recipe ingredients, you can use either the Thick-Crust Pizza Dough recipe from GFOAS Bakes Bread, or the linked gluten free pizza dough recipe here on the blog. I made certain that you did not have to buy the book to make this recipe. You just have to follow the link to the free recipe for gluten free pizza here on the blog.

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