This pan pizza has a crust that's crisp on the outside and soft and tender on the inside. Topped with your favorite pizza toppings, it is hearty, delicious, and completely gluten-free!
There’s regular pizza. And then there’s pan pizza.
Pan pizza with its slightly crisper and thicker crust that makes each slice like its own meal.
And what if I said you could make this at home AND have it be gluten-free?
As you may already know, one of my goals is to demystify gluten-free cooking, especially gluten-free baking. And with this pan pizza crust, it’s yet another recipe that shows you that gluten-free breads don’t have to be dry and cardboard-like and chalky and just plain AWFUL.
So check this out…
No, you’re not reading it wrong. This crust all starts with a batter because gluten-free flours don’t work the same as regular wheat flour. You’re not going to get a nice springy dough that you can knead and work and toss gracefully in the air to stretch.
You get a batter. And that’s totally okay!
You mix all you gluten-free dry ingredients together with yeast and then simply add warm water and oil. Mix it all with a whisk to make your batter.
(See Recipe Notes below regarding yeast and the absence of sugar in this recipe.)
The Pan and Shaping the Crust
No one ever specified what kind of pan you had to us for pan pizza, so I use a paella pan! Certainly, you can use the most obvious choice…a cast-iron pan. But since I don’t own one, the paella pan was what I was going to use and it worked great!
An important note is that if you use any dish or pan that is not cast iron, you will need to line it with parchment paper because the gluten-free crust will stick to the surface. You can certainly scrape each pizza slice off the pan, but what fun is that?
Just like you would with a cast iron pan, you have to grease the parchment. The oil, in this case, is not to help with making the pizza not stick, but rather to give it that crisp “fried” crust that is characteristic of pan pizza.
Scoop the dough batter into the pan and using a spatula or the back of large spoon, spread the batter to the edges. You can spread it so it’s thicker around the edges, or you can just spread it evenly all around. Then all you’ve got to do is let the crust sit and rise. That’s it!
The Sauce and the Toppings
Once the crust has risen, there is no more handling, no more working, nothing. That’s one of the advantages of gluten-free breads…you let it rise once and don’t touch it again!
Spreading the sauce requires a bit of a gentle touch. Because the dough is not as robust as a wheat crust, you don’t want to push too hard on it as the surface can easily be ripped. So I splatter bits of sauce all around and use the back of a tablespoon to gently spread it. Alternatively, you can put the sauce in a squirt bottle and squirt the sauce all over the crust.
After you’ve got the sauce sorted, then comes the easy part of loading the pizza with your favorite toppings!
Place the pan in a hot oven for about 10-15 minutes until hot and bubbly and you’ve got pan pizza!
If thicker crispy crust pizzas are your thing, then you are going to love this pan pizza, whether you’re gluten-free or not!
A slice of one of these with a fresh salad is a perfect meal. Or if you've got hungry growing teenagers in the house like I do, this pan pizza is sure to fill them up quickly! If you happen to have any leftovers, these taste great cold from the fridge, or give them a quick warm up in a 400 deg F (200 C) oven for about 5-10 minutes.
If you are looking for more gluten-free pizza ideas, check out my Easy Amazing Gluten-Free Pizza Crust that contains no yeast and uses only 7 ingredients! Or if you want to make a flourless pizza crust, check out my Rice Crust Pizza or Cauliflower Crust Pizza Crust. They are all worthy pizza options, each in their own right, and they are ALL gluten-free! You’re welcome!
Crisp Crust Gluten-Free Pan Pizza
- Line your pan with parchment paper and brush with 2 tbs light olive oil, being sure to brush up the sides. Set aside. (see pan notes below)
- In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients.
- Add the oil and warm water and mix well using a whisk until well combined.
- Scoop the crust batter into the prepared pan and spread the batter with a spatula or spoon.
- Place the pan in a draft-free location and let rise for at least 30-45 minutes (depends on how warm the room is).
- While waiting for the crust to rise, combine all sauce ingredients in a bowl and stir well to mix. Set aside.
- Preheat oven 450 deg F (230C).
- Carefully spread the sauce on the crust, taking care to not push too hard to break the surface of the crust. (See sauce notes below)
- Top with cheese and your favorite pizza toppings.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown.
- Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
- There is no sugar in the crust batter. Contrary to widespread belief, you do you not need added sugar for the yeast to activate and make the dough rise.
- Proofing yeast with warm water and sugar is a different story because that is to test to make sure the yeast is still active before you add it to the rest of the ingredients.
- If you want to add granulated sugar to your batter, you can add 1 teaspoon to the dry ingredients.
- A good place to let your dough rise is in your oven with the light on.
- The Pan: If you are using a cast iron pan, you most likely do not need the parchment paper. However, I do not own a cast iron pan, so I cannot say for sure. In any other pan, the crust will stick to the surface, no matter how much oil you use to grease it, so the parchment helps in that case.
- I would not recommend using traditional nonstick pans for this recipe because most are not meant for really high heat.
- If you don't have a round pan, use a rectangular baking pan!
- The Sauce: Take care when spreading the tomato sauce on the pizza dough because this is not as durable as one made with regular wheat flour. Spread the sauce gently, or alternatively, put the sauce in a squirt bottle and apply it that way. I have used this method and it works, too!
- If you like your crust a bit thicker, let it rise for 15-30 minutes more.
- Spread the dough batter so that it is slightly thicker around the edge for a thicker crust, or simply spread the batter evenly in the pan.
- As a completely optional step, you can place your pan on the stovetop over medium-high heat for 2 minutes before placing the pizza in the oven to bake. This will get the bottom of the pan to a high temperature quickly to cook the crust. Keep in mind that this should only be done with pans that are meant for the stovetop. Do not do this step with a regular baking pan or dish.