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Gluten and dairy-free pizza and focaccia.

February 18, 2012

Thursday nights have traditionally been pizza and movie nights in our home. In Dubai Thursday is the last day of the week, Fridays and Saturdays are our weekend. The last day of a long week jam packed with work and school commitments. This was always the one night we relaxed with a DVD and a pizza. Sadly this family ritual all went south when Gianluca and I could no longer have gluten or dairy. We discovered that our favourite pizza take out, 800Pizza offered gluten-free wood fired, authentic pizzas. Oh what bliss. They are the most delicious pizzas ever! Then Gianluca started scratching and itching. The base, although gluten-free contained corn. We are both intolerant to corn. Plan B had to be made quickly.

When Gianluca was first diagnosed with food intolerances I went out and bought as many recipe books (not many actually, only three) that offered recipes for gluten, dairy, egg and anything else intolerance. I found How To Cook For Food Allergies by Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne. She offered a gluten-free bread recipe which also doubled up as a pizza base and a focaccia. Her recipe contains a combination of potato flour, cornflour, tapioca flour, rice flour and ground almonds. This does not work for me since we are both intolerant to corn and Gianluca to almonds. I found a substitution! Doves Farm makes a Gluten and wheat-free bread flour. It comes in white and brown. It works and is totally suitable for both of us. Thursday nights are on again.

Being intolerant, is a pain. There are so many things one cannot eat, and so many situations that are just plain awkward. Like visiting friends or eating out. The latter is no longer an option since there are just too many hidden ingredients in the food served in restaurants and food outlets. Being  intolerant can be particularly difficult for growing children. Not just because you are trying to feed them balanced meals but also the social issues they face at school. Being intolerant is terribly inconvenient. It is also character building and teaches you more about food and nutrition than you ever knew before. It also forces you to be adventurous with ingredients you might never have tried before. Like quinoa and buckwheat and teff. Having food intolerances does not mean having to give up on the things you enjoy, like pizza. It just means you have to find a new way around the problem.

       For the PDF printable version please click Gluten free pizza


  • With the same recipe you can make focaccia. When you first spread your dough out onto the pan, simply make some indents with your fingers on the dough. Sprinkle with course sea salt and rosemary or sea salt and olives. Drizzle with olive oil as always and bake as you would the pizza base.
  • For a diary-free alternative use buffalo mozzarella. Most individuals who have an intolerance to cow products can tolerate buffalo mozzarella.
  • Before you begin your pizza, slice your mozzarella and place the slices on one half of a clean tea towel to dry. Fold the other half over the mozzarella to dry the moisture from the cheese. That way you wont get that runny water forming on your pizza.
  • I have found that this pizza is best eaten immediately. It does not keep well. The rice flour content makes the base soggy after a while.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. February 19, 2012 8:32 AM

    This looks so good…even better than the ‘real thing’! Keep up the culinary creativity and improvisation Edwina, really commendable how you’re figuring out ways to sustain a normal, and fun, lifestyle despite the food intolerances.

    • February 21, 2012 10:08 PM

      Aaaah thanks Arva. It’s not so difficult when you have no other choice:)

  2. February 21, 2012 3:09 PM

    i am gluten and corn free too!!!

    lovely to find your blog

    Betty Bake x

  3. February 22, 2012 7:56 PM

    Two things: One, I love the photographs!
    Second, I sort of identify with what you’ve said in an indirect way. While I don’t have to contend with food intolerances, what you said in this paragraph: “Being intolerant, is a pain. There are so many things one cannot ….. new way around the problem.” I identified with completely. With my brother’s autism, there are many things we cannot do and many situations which are awkward too. But I agree 100% about how obstacles or different situations helps with character. You get to learn things, deal with different issues and find out just how strong you really are. Good luck (to both of us!) with finding more ways to deal with all these things!

    • March 6, 2012 9:38 PM

      Hey Devina, yes things can get rough, but there is always a solution, perhaps not immediately, but there is. I found a book called “Feast without Yeast” by Dr. Bruce Semon and Lori Kornblum. His son is autistic and this book is how he has helped his son through diet. The diet that is best suited to an autistic child is the same one that people suffering from candida follow. If you do not have this book, I recommend you get it.

  4. May 17, 2012 3:43 PM

    A nice creativity even i am gluten free thanks for sharing it with us.

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