We've figured out how to make the best gluten-free Neapolitan-style pizza you've ever tasted. The secret is our newest product: Gluten-Free ‘00’ Pizza Flour, which makes it possible to bake Gluten-Free Neapolitan-Style Pizza Crust with the taste and texture of traditional pizzas. After half a year of trial and error, King Arthur's Research & Development team has finally unlocked light and chewy pizza with their latest innovative flour.
The challenge of gluten-free pizza
Developing a gluten-free pizza flour that could be used to make a pizza every bit as delicious as one made with our '00' pizza flour was a monumental challenge. According to Research & Development Specialist Jonathan Brasil, the biggest obstacles to great gluten-free pizza were avoiding a gummy crust, developing a crisp bottom with some chew, and achieving good oven spring for a crust with that characteristic Neapolitan-style open crumb and puff — all of which are difficult without the structure of a strong gluten network. What’s more, the team wanted to be able to make a dough that could be shaped more like classic artisan pizza styles.
To do that, they turned to a gluten-free ingredient that’s been used throughout Europe for decades but was little known in the United States until recently: gluten-free wheat starch.
The magic ingredient: gluten-free wheat starch
Wheat starch is a fine white powder made from the endosperm of wheat berries by “washing away” the gluten-forming proteins. Because those gluten-forming proteins have been removed, wheat starch does not lend any elasticity (or gluten) to dough — it is primarily used as a thickener, while also providing some irreplicable wheat taste.
Since it’s made from wheat, this starch “gives you more of the characteristics of a wheat-based product,” explains Sue Gray, Director of Research & Development. “While you won’t get the stretchability that comes from gluten, you get the benefit of some wheat in there, particularly flavor.”
Gluten-free, not wheat-free
An important distinction: The most notable aspect of this new flour is that, unlike most gluten-free products, it’s not wheat-free because of the gluten-free wheat starch. This means that if you are following a wheat-free diet, this flour is not suitable for you. We recommend that customers who have a wheat allergy avoid this product and try any of the wheat-free products available in our gluten-free product line.
It may seem odd that a gluten-free product can contain wheat, but not to worry: Gluten-Free '00' Pizza Flour is certified by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization, which currently has the strictest guidelines available. To meet GFCO’s requirements, products must be tested as gluten-free to less than 10ppm. (By using GFCO certification, we exceed the FDA’s standard for gluten-free, which is set to less than 20ppm certification.) For more information, see our Allergen Program page.
Developing the full flour blend
It’s not just the gluten-free wheat starch that makes this flour perfectly suited for pizza. Two other key ingredients round out the blend: cellulose and psyllium. The cellulose adds fiber to help create structure in the dough; meanwhile, the psyllium hydrates quickly and helps texture, ultimately giving the crust a “toothsome chew,” according to Jonathan. And like most gluten-free baking, there’s xanthan gum as well, which assists with structure development and extensibility.
The difference between this flour and other gluten-free flours is apparent in the dough too, not just the final pizza. Unlike most gluten-free yeast doughs — such as our Gluten-Free Sandwich Bread — that can be more batter-like in consistency, pizza crust made with Gluten-Free ‘00’ Pizza Flour is more like a traditional pizza dough in texture, thanks to the psyllium and fiber. “It’s easily shaped into a round,” says Sue. Jonathan explains that while the dough is a little softer and more delicate than regular pizza dough, you can easily patch any holes or tears in the dough, making the shaping process more forgiving.
Go beyond pizza
You’d expect a flour with “pizza” in its name to be great for, well, pizza, but this versatile flour can be put to use in other yeast-based recipes. “It makes a great ciabatta and focaccia,” Sue says. Try it in recipes for Garden Gluten-Free Focaccia, Gluten-Free Ciabatta Rolls, and Gluten-Free Deep Dish Pizza.
Great gluten-free pizza may have been hard to make before, but thanks to this new flour, you’ll now be whipping up some of the best gluten-free pizzas you’ve ever had. Get ready for truly remarkable (and incredibly tasty) results.
Cover photo (Gluten-Free Neapolitan-Style Pizza Crust) by Danielle Sykes; food styling by Katilin Wayne.