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NY Style Gluten Free Pizza Crust

NY Style Gluten Free Pizza Crust

This NY-style gluten free pizza crust is a real thin crust pizza that actually folds in half when you grab a slice, and has that famous chew!

NY Style pizza pie with a hand taking one slice

What makes this gluten free pizza crust different

This pizza crust is “NY style” because it has a thin, chewy crust that folds in half on the horizontal when you grab a slice. It’s only slightly crispy on the very, very outside, like in darker spots underneath the pie and on the edges.

Almost no matter how thin you make it, you’re not going to have a cracker-like crust. A super crispy crust is not a bad thing. But it’s just not the texture we’re going for here.

They say the price of a slice of pizza in New York City tracks the price of a subway ride (or what used to be a subway token (I might be a bit older than you think!). When I lived in Manhattan and then Brooklyn, I don’t remember ever ordering a whole pie except for delivery.

You generally buy pizza by the slice, and then you eat it walking down the street. And if you’re going to eat it walking down the street (which is admittedly kind of gross, but I was in my 20s and had no clue), you’re going to want to fold it in half. You end up finishing it way too fast, but again, you don’t know that’s bad because you’re 20.

NY Style gluten free pizza closeup image of crust

How to handle the raw dough

To get this pizza crust to be chewy and foldable, you need what’s called a high hydration ratio. That just means how the amount of water compares to the amount of flour. Here, the hydration ratio is nearly 85%.

In our most lovely basic gluten free pizza dough recipe, the hydration ratio is only 60%. That’s actually low for a conventional pizza recipe, but I think we know by now that gluten free baking is just different in so many ways.

An 85% hydration ratio means that this is a wet dough, and we need to keep it that way if we want a chewy, foldable crust. When you’re handling the dough, you don’t add any more flour at all. You shape it with wet or oiled hands. It’s not fun, but it works.

You’ll notice that, even after shaping, the raw gluten free pizza dough isn’t smooth. It’s kind of dimply.

Try not to judge it like I am. I’m judging it pretty hard, since I’ve been avoiding this sort of sad-looking gluten free bread dough for years, but here, it works like no other.

New York Style Pizza raw, with sauce, with sauce and cheese, and baked and sliced

Why I don’t like to parbake this pizza crust

I’ve tried making this pizza by parbaking the crust, which usually involves baking the crust alone, without any toppings until it’s just set. You can then remove it from the parchment paper, add your toppings, and bake again until everything is bubbling and set. But your crust may not be truly foldable if you do that.

To make sure that we have exactly the right chew and texture (I know, stop saying those words, but I can’t!), I prefer to top the crust when it’s raw but shaped. Then, we bake it in a very hot oven for no more than 10 minutes. In fact, I usually bake it for less.

If you’re baking it on a pizza stone, you should consider pulling out the crust after just 8 minutes. The edges may not be perfectly browned and gorgeous, but the bottom should be just right.

Can I make this crust and freeze it?

Since this question is getting asked a lot, I’m adding this right to the text. I don’t ever recommend freezing raw yeasted dough. It may kill the yeast.

If you aren’t satisfied with keeping the raw dough in a sealed proofing bucket in the refrigerator, and just baking it right before you serve it, you can try parbaking but only the classic sense of the technique. That means baking it just until set at a low temperature.

Here, that would mean to bake the shaped crust, plain, at 300°F for less than 10 minutes, until just set. Then let it cool, wrap it tightly, and freeze it. When you’re ready to serve, defrost the crust mostly (at room temp), top, and bake at 450°F as directed.

But I really really recommend not parbaking it at all, just making the dough and storing it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to bake and serve it. It really comes together in minutes that way.

Since everything is measured by weight, you can also cut the recipe in half and just make one pizza. It’s sooooo good cold!

Fingers folding a piece of NY style pizza in a pie of slices

Ingredients and substitutions

Gluten free flour blend

I try to develop recipes that can be relatively agnostic about which of my recommended all purpose gluten free flour blends you choose, since I know not everyone has access to the same ingredients. But this recipe is designed to create an especially specific texture.

For that reason, I highly recommend using either Better Batter or my mock Better Batter in this otherwise very simple recipe. It’s a sturdy flour that is best for creating a chewy crust that doesn’t puff up too much like a blend like Cup4Cup would. Using the proper flour blend here also helps us avoid using any other enrichments or stabilizers, like Expandex modified tapioca starch or eggs.

Tapioca starch/flour

First off, if you’re at all unfamiliar, tapioca starch is the same as tapioca flour. It’s like flammable and inflammable having the same exact meaning. Why, universe, why??

Tapioca starch, the starch from the cassava root (not the same as cassava flour, which is actually the whole root), has unique stretchy properties when used in baking. That’s why we can use it alone to make things like Against The Grain copycat rolls.

It has no substitute, I’m afraid. And some brands, like Bob’s Red Mill, are of inconsistent quality. I buy tapioca starch from nuts.com. It’s not expensive, and seems to have a shelf life of approximately forever.

Dairy

The only dairy in this recipe would be in the cheese that you select for your topping. If you’re dairy-free, my favorite shredded cheese brand is Violife, but Follow Your Heart is also quite good. Even Daiya has gotten a lot better in recent years.

 

Hand folding a slice of NY style gluten free pizza

Overhead image of pizza pie, closeup of crust, and pie with hand taking a slice

Like this recipe?

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

Ingredients

2 cups (280 g) all purpose gluten free flour (Better Batter highly recommended)

1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

1/4 cup (36 g) tapioca starch/flour

2 teaspoons (6 g) instant yeast

1 1/2 teaspoons (6 g) granulated sugar

1 teaspoon (6 g) kosher salt

1 1/8 cups + 1 tablespoon (9 1/2 ounces) warm water (about 95°F)

2 tablespoons (28 g) extra virgin olive oil

Cooking oil spray

Your favorite pizza toppings

Directions

  • In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or your food processor fitted with the metal blade, place the flour, xanthan gum, tapioca starch, yeast, and sugar, and whisk to combine with a separate, handheld whisk. Add the salt, and whisk again to combine well. Add the water and olive oil, and mix on medium speed in your stand mixer or pulse in your food processor until the dough begins to come together. Turn the mixer to high speed or your food processor on and process for about 2 minutes. Transfer the dough to an oiled container with a tight-fitting lid or a greased bowl and cover tightly. Refrigerate the dough for at least an hour and up to 3 days.

  • When you’re ready to make the pizza, place a pizza stone or overturned rimmed baking sheet in the oven and preheat it to 450°F.

  • When you’re ready to make the pizza, divide the dough into two equal portions, and work with one at a time (place the other back in the container and back in the refrigerator). The dough will be super soft, and should only be handled once you’ve either wet your hands with water or coated them in cooking oil spray (or just olive oil). Place the first piece of dough on a clean sheet of parchment paper. Working from the center of the dough out to the edges, begin to press it into a round about 12-inches in diameter. Grease or wet your hands as necessary to help prevent sticking. If it’s useful, oil your rolling pin and use it help roll out the dough. Create a smooth, slightly raised edge around the perimeter of the dough by pressing the edges with one hand toward the palm of your other. Spray the shaped dough with cooking oil spray, concentrating it on the edges. Top the dough with sauce, cheese, and any other toppings you like best.

  • Transfer the shaped and topped dough, still on the parchment paper, to a pizza peel or other flat surface like a cutting board, and transfer it to the hot oven. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the crust has begun to crisp on the underside, brown on the edges, and the cheese is brown and bubbling. Do not overbake. Remove from the oven, allow to set for just a few minutes, then slice and serve hot.

Love,
Nicole

  • Meri Schroeder
    August 11, 2020 at 8:33 AM

    Thank you for such intricate instructions. I was not only able to make my first pizza dough from scratch, but GF pizza dough.and it turned out great! I didn’t have instant yeast, and used the active dry yeast by just using some of the warm water in the recipe. The dough was easy to “roll” out with my hands. Next time I’ll make it a bit thinner. I’m going to look on your site for this, but the one thing I’m missing, is a good pizza sauce recipe. I tried one I found on-line but it was a bit much for my taste.

    • Nicole Hunn
      August 11, 2020 at 8:59 AM

      I do have a recipe for my favorite tomato sauce, Meri, but for pizza I like it a bit thicker. I recommend using this recipe, and just adding some tomato paste to thicken it.

  • Jovana
    August 10, 2020 at 8:50 AM

    This recipe is just perfect! I made my own blend of flour (mixed universal one and added a bit of bread mix), turned out fantastic, just like on the photos. It is by far the tastiest pizza I have ever made :) Thank you for the detailed recipe and instructions, helped a lot with the “wet” dough :)

    • Nicole Hunn
      August 10, 2020 at 8:57 AM

      The wet dough kind of kills me, since I’ve worked so hard to get away from that, but it’s worth it for this result. So glad you agree, Jovana!

  • Jennifer F.
    August 8, 2020 at 5:53 PM

    I made this last night for my very picky 7yo, who has hated every other GF pizza I have ever put in front of him, and he LOVED it. Thank you so much!

    • Nicole Hunn
      August 8, 2020 at 6:00 PM

      Wow, Jennifer. Finding something that a picky 7 year old will eat happily is a Very Big Deal. I’ve been there. Congrats!

  • Alli
    August 4, 2020 at 4:46 PM

    A GF pizza with actual chew! Your Basic GF Pizza Dough has been our go-to for our weekly pizza night for a couple of years now. My husband was wary of trying this new one, but I strong armed him into it tonight. I’m in love! We’ll need to double the recipe next time, though, as my toddler ate half of mine. Thank you for bringing proper chewy, foldy pizza back into my life :)

    • Nicole Hunn
      August 5, 2020 at 2:28 PM

      Yay, Alli!! That’s so awesome to hear. Yes, I highly recommend doubling the recipe, since it tastes great cold, even, in case you have anything left over. A pizza dream!!

  • Jill
    August 3, 2020 at 7:50 PM

    Sadly, this didn’t work for me. My dough was the consistency of frosting; there was no way I could touch it with my hands or form a ball (it sat in the fridge for several hours). I just poured the dough on parchment and spread it into a circle shape using a spoon. The crust didn’t achieve the texture described either, which I assumed would happen given the dough was quite different from your description. The yeast does give it a nice flavor, though. The recipe is pretty simple to follow, so I’m not sure where I went wrong. Any ideas?

    • Nicole Hunn
      August 4, 2020 at 8:48 AM

      It sounds like either a problem in ingredient selection (either in making a substitution, or using a flour blend that is not one of my recommended ones—that is an extremely common problem, despite my best efforts), or in measurement. You must use the right flour blend, and measure by weight to get results. Best of luck, Jill!

  • Colleen King
    August 2, 2020 at 12:11 PM

    I made this yesterday and it will be my go to pizza crust. It held up well to the toppings and made a great breakfast this morning. Thank you for your research and testing of recipes. Makes my life easier.

    • Nicole Hunn
      August 2, 2020 at 5:18 PM

      You’re very welcome, Colleen. So glad you enjoyed it. It’s a keeper for sure!

  • Holly
    July 29, 2020 at 3:38 PM

    Hi Nicole! I’ve been wanting to make this pizza since it appeared in my inbox. I always look forward to seeing what you’re up to with your creations.

    I’m not familiar with instant yeast, is it different than active dry yeast? I’m hoping it can be substituted but wondering if it will it make a difference in the final outcome. Any thoughts you have on how to sub are greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    • Nicole Hunn
      July 29, 2020 at 5:48 PM

      Hi, Holly, thank you for the kind words! For a discussion of the difference between instant yeast and active dry yeast, as well as an explanation of how to replace instant yeast with active dry yeast, please see the recipe for gluten free artisan bread. Just scroll to the bottom to the “Ingredients and substitutions” section, and look for the yeast discussion. It’s all there!

  • Lisa
    July 28, 2020 at 3:11 PM

    Hi Nicole,

    Your recipes have changed my life, honestly. I have everyone of your cookbooks and downloadable, I see that someone asked if you bake the pizza on the parchment paper and you indicated yes. My question is that I can not exceed 400 degrees F with the parchment paper that I use. Can I use a silicon mat instead ? What do you recommend?

    • Nicole Hunn
      July 28, 2020 at 3:55 PM

      Thank you so much for such kind words, Lisa. That means so, so much to me. 🥰 Sure, you can use a silicone mat, but I’ve never had a problem with any sort of parchment paper in the oven at any temperature, especially for such a short period of time. But of course whatever makes you most comfortable!

  • Lisa M Brozey
    July 26, 2020 at 9:55 AM

    Nicole,
    I do not leave comments, ever. But last week’s pizza dough!
    I am a huge fan and consult you website regularly and first, and own a few of your cookbooks. My daughter and I are both celiacs. She even owns one of your cookbooks. With the pandemic, Friday pizza has become an at-home affair. And I think it might stay a tradition. The family likes the home made pizza both GF and not-GF better. Up until this Friday I have been relying on your simple pizza dough but after receiving last week’s email I wanted to try the ‘bendy’ dough. What a hit. Loved it!

    • Nicole Hunn
      July 26, 2020 at 10:29 AM

      I’m really honored, Lisa, that you broke your silence to let me know that you love this pizza crust! I’m not a big website commenter, either, so I feel you. I always assume people like you are the “silent majority,” so I’m especially grateful when you share a comment. 🥰

  • Nancy
    July 25, 2020 at 8:29 AM

    My first successful GF yeast dough recipe! I made my own Mock Better Batter, used Expandex for the tapioca starch, used a Food Processor, only chilled for one hour and the dough came out fluffy and chewy and delicious! My son was diagnosed with Celiac less than a year ago, so I’m still learning. I’m very grateful for your recipes, but I have to admit I am not successful with many of them. Still trying though, and this one is a winner!
    Thank you,
    Nancy

    • Nicole Hunn
      July 25, 2020 at 1:30 PM

      I’m glad you enjoyed the pizza, Nancy. If you’re not having a lot of success, I really urge you to measure by weight, not volume, and not make substitutions. It’s better to walk before you run!

  • Eric
    July 24, 2020 at 4:45 PM

    Do you leave it on the parchment paper while baking it in the oven?

    • Nicole Hunn
      July 24, 2020 at 7:28 PM

      Yes!

  • Christine Morgan
    July 22, 2020 at 3:26 PM

    I made this today & it worked really well & is the best tasting pizza I’ve had in a very long time. I have put together the mock Better Batter flour as I can’t get it in the UK and I’m sure having that made a big difference too. Thank you for the recipe. I am working my way through your book Gluten Free on a shoe string & really appreciate your attention to detail.

    • Nicole Hunn
      July 22, 2020 at 6:06 PM

      Good on you for, Christine, for building the mock Better Batter blend. I’m sure it did make a big difference. For the future, if it’s easier for you, other UK readers have said they’ve had a lot of success using Dove’s Farm plain GF flour. I can’t vouch for it myself, though, since I’ve never tried it. But it’s good to know. Thank you for the kind note!!

  • Louise Ferland
    July 20, 2020 at 9:48 PM

    Merci Nicole pour toutes ces explications. Votre pâte à pizza a l’air tellement bonne que j’ai hâte de l’essayer. Par contre, je ne connais pas le mélange à farine Better Batter. Je demeure à Québec et il ne semble pas y avoir cette farine. Quelles farines y a t-il dedans?
    Merci de partager vos recettes

  • Ada
    July 20, 2020 at 12:20 AM

    Can you add pepperoni etc on also

    • Nicole Hunn
      July 20, 2020 at 8:44 AM

      Of course, Ada!

  • Meg Mayo Lucas
    July 19, 2020 at 9:46 PM

    OMG! This is the closest thing to real pizza that I’ve ever had since I went Celiac! I did use a pizza stone, so my crust was pretty white, and I was doubtful, but once I started to chew…oh mama! Pizza crust that actually chews rather than splinters. Thank you!
    I am going to put half in the freezer, and I’ll check back with you once I bake it up, and see what I get. I have made the Cup for Cup pizza dough mix, and that was decent, and better than anything frozen or on the shelf, like Scharr. I have a frozen dough ball of that too, so I’ll have to see how that is after baking.
    I’ve been baking for 50 years, and it’s so interesting (and expensive) learning a new way to bake!

    • Nicole Hunn
      July 20, 2020 at 8:50 AM

      I really don’t recommend you freeze the raw dough, Meg, but at least you’ve been cautioned! I’ve never tried any of the pizza dough mixes, but I’ve thought about trying them. I actually bought an Authentic Foods pizza dough mix, but I haven’t made it yet since it’s so expensive and if I like it, I’ll be mad. And if I don’t, I’ll be mad. 🤣

  • Barbara Crisp
    July 19, 2020 at 9:31 PM

    I made this for our supper tonight and it was wonderful! I used a combo of 100g Bob’s Red Mill all-purpose flour and 180g Steve’s bread flour blend from Authentic Foods (I love this flour). Thanks so much, Nicole!

  • Janice Skorstad
    July 19, 2020 at 9:30 PM

    I made this tonight. My husband and I LOVED it. We’re from New Jersey and are used to NY style pizza. This is the closest gluten-free equivalent we’ve encountered. Thank you!

    • Nicole Hunn
      July 20, 2020 at 8:49 AM

      You’re so welcome, Janice. Thank you for letting me know how you and your husband liked it!

  • Jen
    July 19, 2020 at 8:50 PM

    Thank you so much. I have wanted a pizza like this for years and the fact it had no eggs is absolutely wonderful.

    • Nicole Hunn
      July 20, 2020 at 8:48 AM

      I’m so glad, Jen! I think I had secretly wanted a pizza like this for years, too. 🙂

  • Mary Beth
    July 19, 2020 at 1:39 PM

    I hope this isn’t a dumb question but will this come out if mixed only w/ a whisk. I don’t have a mixer or food processor but am dying to use my Better Batter!!

    • Nicole Hunn
      July 19, 2020 at 2:13 PM

      Hi, Mary Beth, I’m afraid you can’t use a whisk, no. You could try mixing it really vigorously with a wooden spoon for a while.

  • Barbara Richmond
    July 19, 2020 at 10:50 AM

    I’ve been trying to be gluten free for a little over a year now. I have Celiac Disease. ,
    Mostly eating gf, but we really love pizza. Can I make this crust, but we like it thin and crispy. How would I do that?

    • Nicole Hunn
      July 19, 2020 at 12:14 PM

      Hi, Barbara, if you prefer a crispy crust, this one is not the right one to choose. I have a number of other pizza recipes on the blog (just use the search function) but for a classic “thin crust” pizza, my recipe is only in my bread book. You should be able to find something on the blog that suits your needs pretty well, though.

  • Fernando Lameirinhas
    July 19, 2020 at 9:44 AM

    Dear Nicole, thanks for another kind post. If you have available in your region, I would like to suggest the GF Mulino Caputo flour, called Fioreglut. It provides an amazing result for pizza and focaccia as well. Another suggestion for those who love pizza is to invest in an oven that can reach the proper temperature for pizza. There are affordable options in the market and this improves a lot the final result.

    • Nicole Hunn
      July 19, 2020 at 10:13 AM

      Hi, Fernando, I’m familiar with Caputo gluten free flour, but I’m not comfortable using or recommending anyone use a gluten free flour that contains “gluten free wheat starch.”

  • Chrissy Jensen
    July 19, 2020 at 9:11 AM

    Love this! Grabbing my bowl…

  • Meg Mayo Lucas
    July 18, 2020 at 11:15 AM

    I’m sure you never have anything left to freeze in your house, but I’m the lone celiac person in my house. Can you freeze the second portion of dough?
    Thank you for all of your insight. You are my new Christopher Kimball!

    • Nicole Hunn
      July 18, 2020 at 11:28 AM

      Hahaha, Meg, actually sometimes we do have leftovers to freeze because when I’m recipe testing I make the same thing 4, 5 and 6 times! I don’t ever recommend freezing raw yeasted dough, I’m afraid, though. Sometimes, it kills the yeast. You can parbake the crust, but only the classic sense of the technique: baking it just until set at a low temperature. Say, bake the crust, plain, at 300°F for less than 10 minutes, until just set. Then let it cool, wrap it tightly, and freeze it. Then, defrost mostly (at room temp), top, and bake at 450°F as directed. Hope that helps!

  • Amy W.
    July 18, 2020 at 12:46 AM

    Whoa. I seriously never thought this was possible with GF baking. Looks amazing and I love the research and science you’ve put into this, Nicole! Thank you for sharing- can’t wait to try it!

    • Nicole Hunn
      July 18, 2020 at 8:16 AM

      Thank you so much for the kind words, Amy. Ever since the start, it’s been clear to me that I need to be first and foremost a self-taught fake research scientist if I’m going to make what we’re missing! Anyway, that’s the fun part. 🙂

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