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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

  • Anna
    October 17, 2020 at 10:01 AM

    Hi Nicole, this was delicious and so chewy. I can’t believe it’s gluten free! My family loved it! However, it was completely, and I mean COMPLETELY, stuck to the parchment paper. I tried a second time greasing the parchment paper with olive oil and the same thing happened. What could be the reason for this? Thank you

    • Nicole Hunn
      October 17, 2020 at 10:27 AM

      That’s very strange, Anna. I honestly have no idea, and I’ve never had that experience at all. Are you measuring your water by weight? You may be overmeasuring the water (or undermeasuring the flour), causing it to be extra sticky. Or making any substitutions?

  • Amqnda
    October 9, 2020 at 5:03 AM

    Hi can I have large qty of the dry ingredients premixed in a jar as a time saving measure ie flours yeast,& gum mixed, so that i can just measure out each time I want to make a pizza & then just add liquids, will it keep ok with all dry ingredients premixed, or will they start reacting

    • Nicole Hunn
      October 9, 2020 at 9:14 AM

      You can do that, Amanda, but I would refrigerate it to keep the yeast fresh. Once a package or container of yeast is opened, it’s best to refrigerate it.

  • Ray
    October 4, 2020 at 10:40 PM

    Pretty sure this recipe does not work. I weighed all the ingredients. It was as thin as pancake batter. Something is off.

    • Nicole Hunn
      October 5, 2020 at 7:38 AM

      It does, indeed, work Ray when made as written, and nothing is off. I’m afraid I can’t possibly know where you deviated from the recipe as written. Simply weighing your ingredients, if you’ve used a flour blend that is not appropriate, for example, won’t matter.

  • James
    October 2, 2020 at 1:37 PM

    Based on your flour blend description, would the Namaste Perfect Flour Blend work? It contains sweet brown rice flour, tapioca starch, brown rice flour, arrowroot starch, sorghum flour and Xanthan Gum.

    Thanks.

    • Nicole Hunn
      October 2, 2020 at 2:52 PM

      That flour is not properly balanced and will not work in my recipes, no, James. I discuss everything on the flour blends page, linked in the recipe and every recipe that calls for an all purpose gluten free flour.

  • Sarah
    September 18, 2020 at 6:40 PM

    I made this tonight using the Fioreglut flour and this was probably the best GF dough I have made. Thank you!

  • Josephine
    September 6, 2020 at 8:31 AM

    HI there. I’ve been working with a gluten free sourdough starter. How can I use my starter instead of the yeast?

    • Nicole Hunn
      September 6, 2020 at 10:43 AM

      You cannot substitute a wild yeast starter for yeast, Josephine. You must use a recipe for developed for use with the starter.

  • Holly
    September 1, 2020 at 12:11 PM

    This was outstanding Nicole! I’m not surprised though. When I make your recipes I don’t feel like I’m having something that tastes ‘good for being gluten-free’, I feel like I’m eating the best pizza, cake, pie, treats that I’ve ever eaten, period. Gluten or no gluten.

    • Nicole Hunn
      September 1, 2020 at 3:27 PM

      That means so much to me, Holly! That’s the whole point, I think. I hate the thought of anyone making do with something sub-par. I saw something the other day in a gluten free Facebook group where someone said “eventually, you forget what good food tastes like and the gluten free stuff just tastes normal to you,” and it took all of my self-control not to respond like a crazy recipe-developing person!

  • Gail Cretcher
    August 31, 2020 at 10:07 AM

    Hi Nicole,
    This is a great recipe, thanks. Just wanted to share that last night I used all of the dough at once for one larger pizza. It was still delish!
    Thanks again,

    • Nicole Hunn
      August 31, 2020 at 11:59 AM

      Good to know, Gail! My concern has been more that my pizza stone isn’t quite large enough for a true full-sized pizza parlor sized pie. But especially since this is a very wet dough so you can’t really handle it the “normal” way, it’s easier to make larger.

  • Holly
    August 28, 2020 at 8:41 AM

    I forgot to ask this but I’ve been wanting to, do you have a store? I don’t see it in your banner at the top of the page. I’d like to look at buying the whisk that you use in the video here for the dry ingredients in the pizza dough and also the round thing you use with the measurements on it. Thanks in advance.

    • Nicole Hunn
      August 28, 2020 at 9:44 AM

      Hi, Holly, I do! Thanks for asking. It’s in the links at the very bottom of the page under “Shopping Guide.” It’s not exactly prominent on the site! The whisk isn’t linked in there yet (I haven’t updated that recently, but will since I get asked about that whisk quite a lot), but it’s a Danish dough whisk. It’s awesome—and so is the round thing with the measurements on it—which is linked in this shopping guide. 😉

  • Holly
    August 27, 2020 at 6:44 PM

    Nicole, I know I’ve asked this before and you’ve answered it but I can’t remember where I asked it on your site and I keep looking around but I can’t find it! Can active dry yeast be substituted for instant yeast and if so what do I need to do differently? Thank you so much!

    • Nicole Hunn
      August 28, 2020 at 9:40 AM

      Hi, Holly, to replace instant yeast with active dry yeast, multiply the amount of instant yeast (by weight) by 125% (so, for example, 4 grams instant yeast would become 5 grams active dry yeast since 4 x 1.25 = 5). Then, dissolve the active dry yeast in some of the liquid called for in the recipe, and add it when you add the remaining liquid as called for in the recipe instructions. Hope that helps!

  • GF Mum
    August 16, 2020 at 6:55 PM

    We made this tonight and it was delicious! The crust was nice and chewy. We’ll definitely make it again. Thank you, Nicole, for another fantastic recipe!

  • Abigail
    August 14, 2020 at 12:23 PM

    Making for a second time in two weeks! This is going to be my new go-to!

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