Posted by: crunchynurse | December 11, 2011

Gluten Free Sourdough Pizza

Since starting this blog we discovered that my youngest son has celiac disease, and it is very likely that I have it also.  I also have a child on the autistic spectrum so the boys and I are now eating gluten and dairy free.  So here is the gluten free version of our sourdough pizza.

The first thing you will need is a gluten free sourdough starter.  You can make one yourself using kefir grains.  I followed the instructions here to make the starter. Basically, you ferment 2 cups of apple juice with kefir grains for 24 hours.  Then you remove the grains and stir 2 cups of gluten free flour into the fermented apple juice.  I strongly recommend including some teff flour in the blend that you use.  Teff is very good at attracting lactobacillus to your starter, much like rye flour does for those that can tolerate gluten.  Leave this on the counter for an additional 24 hours, and you will have your starter.  You may be able to use this to make your first pizza crusts, but it is likely to retain some of the flavor of the fermented apple juice so you might want to discard all but a small amount of this (1/4 to 1/2 cup)  and feed it again using gluten free flours and water.

This recipe creates a sourdough sponge as the base for your crust.  To the sponge you will be adding other ingredients to help the crust hold together better in the absence of gluten.  To make the sponge you will use a blend of gluten free flours and water, added to your sourdough starter.

I keep my sourdough starter in a 1/2 gallon mason jar.  I store the starter in my refrigerator between uses, leaving just a little behind in the jar.  Sometimes I feed the starter the day before I want to use it, and let the sponge rise in the refrigerator for 24 hours.  Sometimes I feed it about 8 hours before I want to use it, and let it sit out on the counter to rise.  Either way is acceptable.  If I let it rise in the refrigerator, I do take it out a few hours before I plan to use it, so it can come to room temperature.

The blend of GF flours that I am currently using to make a sourdough sponge for pizza includes the following.  You don’t have to use these exact flours but a little teff is highly recommended for maintaining the starter.   These are approximate amounts.

1  cup millet flour

1  cup brown rice flour (white rice flour works well too, or you can use a combination if you have both)

1/2 cup chickpea (garbanzo bean) flour

1/2 cup sorghum flour

1/4 to 1/2 cup teff flour

I usually stir in 1 cup of water for each 1 1/2 cups of flour as I add them.  I try to keep the flour and water mixture rather thick, almost a toothpaste consistency.  When I have added the flours as above and about 2 1/2 to 3 cups of water, I check how much of the mixture I have.  Since I am using a 1/2 gallon mason jar, I use the markings on the side of the jar to check.  If needed, I add additional flour and/or water to reach the 4 1/2 cup marking on the jar.  I use more white rice or millet in the mixture because they are cheaper.  Sometimes I add an additional small amount of sorghum and/or chickpea flour as well. Whether I add more water or not depends on how thick the mixture is.  If you are using a mason jar like me, do not fill it above the 4 1/2 cup mark, because this is going to rise to near the top of the jar.  Too much and it will blow the lid off the top.  (Ask me how I know.)

After the sponge has risen, either in the refrigerator or on the counter, preheat the oven to 400F.  Pour the starter into a mixing bowl and add the following:

1/2 cup tapioca flour (if you are not nightshade free you can use 1/4 cup each of tapioca flour and potato starch)

1/4 cup flax meal, freshly ground

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tsp guar gum

1 tsp salt

Blend thoroughly.  This makes 2 to 3 large pizza crusts, depending on thickness and size.  Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit your pizza pan.  (I use a large air-bake pan and I spread the batter very thinly on the parchment to make 3 thin crust pizzas.)  Spray the parchment lightly with olive oil cooking spray, then spread 1/3 to 1/2 of the batter on the parchment lined pan.  Use the back of a large spoon to spread the batter out, much like frosting a cake.  Leave a little extra thickness at the edges to form the crust.  Bake in a 400 F oven for 10 minutes.  (I use the center rack)  I usually prebake all the crusts I am making, one right after the other, and place them on a cooling rack.  When the last one is baking, I take one that is already baked and start putting toppings on it to ready it for the oven.  I increase the oven temp to 425 – 450 to bake the  crusts again with the toppings.   Since I am nightshade free, I either make a “no-mato” sauce or pumpkin pizza sauce (see below crust recipe).  We use Daiya cheese to keep our pizza dairy free.  We also use a variety of toppings.  We are not vegan/vegetarian so I almost always add meat to make up for the fact that Daiya cheese contains next to no protein.  Perhaps those that are vegan or vegetarian might have other ideas for adding protein.  I bake the crusts with the toppings for about 12 to 15 minutes, depending on the moisture content of the toppings.



  1. Awe…thanks for the link love! Looking at your pizza makes me hungry.

  2. Ooh, looks good! Think I will have to give it a try – after I have tried making a sourdough starter 🙂

  3. Thanks for the link love! xo Debbie

  4. I’m going to make pizzas tonight. I’ll post a picture afterward. I do have a pic of what the batter looks like spread out on the parchment. I’ll take a couple more so you can see what it looks like after baking with and without toppings. I don’t know where you are, but I buy Arrowhead Mills millet flour at Whole Foods.

    • Ya, we’re still in the sticks. 😆 One of these days, we’ll make a trip to the big city and see what we can find. We go every 6 months because that’s where my rheumies are; it’s a matter of writing it on the list of things to do while we’re there…. 🙂 Can’t wait to see the pic!

  5. J, do you have a picture? I seriously cannot find millet here, but it’s on my list to find.

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