GF Pear Proscuitto Arugula Pizza and The Infinite Monkey Theorem’s Sauvignon Blanc

This month our Vintage Recipe Redo/Swap features a recipe for Pizza from Mary’s Italian Dinners in Spokane Washington.  I love the simplicity of how the original recipe is written.  It seems familiar and relaxed.  I will admit for the first time since beginning this swap over a year ago I felt ‘there is no improving on perfection’.  There is nothing like a homemade pizza which is something most of us don’t take the time to make.  I decided instead of turning this into something else I would make a gluten free pizza from scratch with a recipe I’ve had for years and also do not make enough.

Gluten is a binder so when baking with grain flours without gluten one loses the binding power found with wheat flour.  Gluten free recipes always have multiple flours because it requires the combinations in order to secure the necessary texture that can be found in using only wheat flour.  The consistency of pizza dough without gluten is unique when at the pre-baking stage.  It is much more delicate that wheat dough and also feels much more gooey for lack of a better word.  This crust is something my family loves and can be topped with anything.
We recently received a shipment of fresh pears from an out of state relative.  Exclusively ‘eating local’ in Colorado is really impossible from now until June.  We’ve been working through stores of apples.  Our local pears are long gone since they do not store as well.  Getting a fresh shipment is like the sun coming out on a dreary day.  I wanted to fold them into my pizza and decided to marry them with some of my favorite things; arugula, prosciutto and parmigiano reggiano cheese.

This dough recipe produces a unique cake-like consistency crust.  A sort of hybrid between thin and thick crust, crossed with a foccacia.  I realize the time required to prepare from-scratch baked goods is not what we all have the time for on the average day.  You can always apply the toppings to your favorite pre-made crust to enjoy the flavors in a fraction of the time.

HOMEMADE GLUTEN FREE PEAR PROSCIUTTO ARUGULA PIZZA
Yield: 1 large pizza crust
Total time:  1 hour 20-30 minutes (Prep time: 20-30 minutes; Rising time:  40 minutes; Baking time: 20 minutes (longest))
Ingredients (Pizza Crust):
·         ¼ cup millet flour
·         ¾ cup finely ground brown rice flour*
·         ¼ sweet rice flour*
·         ¼ cup arrowroot starch or tapioca starch
·         ½ cup tapioca flour
·         ¾ teaspoon salt
·         1 ½ tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
·         2 ½ teaspoons dry active yeast
·         ¾ cup water (heated to 115-120 degrees)
·         2 tablespoons ricotta cheese
·         2 eggs, room temperature
·         2 ½ tablespoons olive oil
·         ½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
·         1 tablespoon honey
*I prefer ‘Authentic Foods’ brand because their flour is so finely ground.
1.       Mix olive oil, ricotta cheese, honey and vinegar in a small bowl and allow to come to room temperature.

2.       In a small bowl yeast, 1 teaspoon sugar and ¼ cup of warmed water. Stir to combine and allow to sit for 5 minutes so the yeast can activate (it becomes foamy and smells like bread).

3.     Combine millet flour, brown rice flour, sweet rice flour, arrowroot/tapioca starch, tapioca flour, 1 ½ tablespoons sugar and sift into mixing bowl (for a standing mixer preferably or a bowl to be used with a handheld mixer).

4.      Using the paddle attachment on a free standing mixer add eggs, one at a time, mixing in between to combine. 

5.      Add olive oil mixture slowly mixing at low speed to combine.

6.      Begin to slowly add some of the warm water, watching the consistency of the dough.  You will note it to be drier like bread and begin to become glossy.  Only add water until the dough begins to turn glossy; do not over thin the dough.  I used approximately an additional ¼ cup to reach the desired consistency.  This amount will vary depending on your location and flours used.

7.      Spoon dough onto a pizza pan or cookie sheet.  Spread dough to cover the pan either with a spatula or by hand.  Note: the dough can be sticky so putting some olive oil on your hands before working the dough should address the stickiness and allow you to press it into the pan.

8.      Place a thin kitchen towel over the dough and allow it to rise undisturbed in a warm spot for 40 minutes.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees while the dough is rising.

9.      After the dough has risen, bake the crust for 10 minutes.  Remove crust and increase oven temperature to 400 degrees.

10.  Brush with olive oil and place toppings on crust.  Bake for around 6-8 minutes.  Broil pizza under the broiler for 1-2 minutes (be sure to watch so it doesn’t burn).  Allow to cool until able to be handled, cut and enjoy.

Toppings:
Note:  topping quantity is a completely personal affair.  I’ve provided suggested amounts but think a visual check for the amount of coverage to meet your desires is the best way to load a homemade pizza!
·         1/8-1/4 pound thinly sliced Prosciutto
·         ½ pear, peeled, cored and thinly sliced lengthwise
·         ½ cup arugula, washed (torn if large leaves)
·         1/2 -3/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (I used a vegetable peeler to make thin, rectangular slices)
  
THE INFINITE MONKEY THEOREM – SAUVIGNON BLANC/SEMILLON 2011


Just stating the winery name, The Infinite Monkey Theorem, will give a clue about the degree of hipness of Denver’s star urban winery.  The name is derived from the actual probability theorem that if a monkey were given a typewriter and unlimited time he would eventually recreate the works of Shakespeare.  I have no comment on the theorem but can say were a winemaker (Ben Parsons) given Colorado grapes (and some from out of state), a Quonset hut in the Santa Fe Arts District, that in a relatively short time, superior wines will be created.  So agrees Wine Spectator; read their reviews here.
Growing up in awe of the original Planet of the Apes movies I was immediately drawn to IMT’s graphics and the fact that every person I’ve ever mentioned their wine to lights up like a Christmas tree and begins gushing over it as if recalling their first crush.  Completely justified I can attest.  Last fall I attended a party to roll out their Wine in a Can.  We were asked to wear Speakeasy costume, the movie Bonnie and Clyde was projected onto the outside of a neighboring Denver skyscraper.  The food was good, the verve palpable through the mixed crowd, happy to be part of anything Infinite Monkey Theorem.  (Just by saying the name out loud, don’t you feel a teensy bit cooler than 5 minutes ago?)



I chose a Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon 2011 as a perfect pairing with my pizza



The winemakers surely are cool themselves but completely unpretentious and really just want to get down to the business of making good wine.  The back of the bottle reads: ‘The Infinite Monkey Theorem represents the counter culture in winemaking.  No vineyard.  No pretense.  We buy the best grapes and make ridiculously good wine.’  And they do; make ridiculously good wine.
I found this video of a ‘bad review’ they received from Yelp, that I feel sets the tone for this cutting-edge winery.  My suspicion is they loved this review; and who wouldn’t? Have you ever seen so much care taken when issuing a ‘reprimand’?  I think not. (Email subscribers; click the title of the blog post in the subscription email to view the video on the website blog post).

A Bad Yelp Review from The Infinite Monkey Theorem on Vimeo.

This monthly recipe redo and swap features a vintage recipe for which the swappers change at least 3 things and stay true to the intent of the recipe.  Other variations of the original recipe can be found in the links below.

Comments

  1. Jane says

    This looks amazing! I've actually never heard of Authentic Foods brand, but just did a google search and see you can find it at Vitamin Cottage! I will have to look for it .. I've not had much success with GF pizza dough, so I will have to try this!

    • says

      That is where I actually buy it Jane. Not all Vitamin Cottages carry it though (I think they each carry some varying brands at their descretion). I've called the store I know carries it and asked them to put a few bags on hold which I then keep in the refridgerator. It works great in any flour blends calling for rice flours.

  2. says

    Love those toppings and that crust looks good even to a gluten lover like myself. The consistancy you describe actually sounds wonderful!

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