Pizza that Wows! And the English Muffins will Amaze You…

Pizza is a tough food to replicate gluten free. For a year I didn’t really try. I finally attempted one by Annalise Roberts. It has that thin crust which is  almost cracker like. Not bad in flavor and definitely better than ones I get in restaurants or buy premade. I have made that crust many times. Then, a revolution – this winter I found this awesome pizza dough that makes the best focaccia bread that I have every made crust ever; crispy bottom and soft top. Perfectly delicious bread to go with an italian meal. And then I discovered that it makes a wonderful pizza too. Have made both several times.

This week I used some of the dough to make English Muffins; the first half became a pizza of epic beauty and lovely flavor.  The muffin recipe is actually the base recipe for the other two foods. Oh, my goodness; they are definitely the best English muffins I have made since going gluten free. Thank goodness I bought English muffin rings years ago; that recipe back then didn’t work but this one does. It’s a keeper; the texture, flavor, looks, taste; all is much better than any others I have made. I love that it is “baked” under a lid on your griddle or electric fry pan. I used my cast iron griddle on a low setting.

Best process is if you let the dough rise 2 hours in your kitchen warmth and then refrigerate it for 4-10 hours or overnight. It can be used as soon as you take the bowl out of your fridge.

Here is a link to the base recipe:

These are the ingredients. I do weigh my flour these days; much more accurate so there are both ways in the list for flour and sugar:

  • 3¼ cups (455 g) Kim’s gluten free bread flour blend
  • 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp (16 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp rapid rise/instant yeast
  • 2½ cups whole milk
  • 4 tbsp butter, melted
  • about 1/3-½ cup gf cornmeal for sprinkling
  • 2 tbsp butter

Here is a link to her bread flour mix. I am thinking of making it in bigger quantities as I have had such success with her recipes.

It contains white rice flour, cornstarch, potato starch, tapioca starch, and xanthan gum. Super easy to do with a good scale. And these are fairly standard ingredients; nothing too weird. Far cheaper too than buying those 1 to 1 mixtures or any gf blended flour. Totally worth it! You make enough flour blend for like 4 pizzas. The recipe makes enough for two 12-14 inch pizzas or 2 focaccias. I like to do a pizza and on a second day something different from the remaining dough. It will keep for several days in the fridge. That’s timesaving; one dough; two recipes.

I did the focaccia first, then tried pizza…was blown away by it and this week the English muffins flipped my lid with their texture, looks and flavor. They all are just fabulous in texture and flavor. Really head turning for me for how close they came to all purpose flour baking of my past…may not be as healthy as a multigrain dough but it sure brings back good memories and is so enjoyable. If you bake gf; this dough is super easy to make in a stand mixer and let rise, chill it and make a great pizza. Just plan for it as the dough is better if it has that refrigeration period. Ditto for the English muffins although the round tin molds make them look just perfect. I used a thick pizza pan to make my new favorite pizza and a cast iron frying pan for the focaccia; no kneading, no super liquid messy stuff; it is sticky but it doesn’t need much forming. I promise you won’t be disappointed. Enjoy!!

Eggs Benedict – DIY Hollandaise Sauce

Eggs Benedict is kinda old school elegant – but if you enjoy egg sandwiches you will definitely want to read this post. We love eggs benedict for brunch or Sunday supper. Since I went gluten free due to celiac disease I had to find gf English muffins that were more than just edible as the muffin is the base for the layers that create this tasty dish. I have made three different recipes. First two were just “okay.” This most recent one is from America’s Test Kitchen’s “The How Can It Be Gluten Free Cookbook” published in 2014. It uses their make-it-yourself flour blend. There is no need for muffin rings unlike the other recipes I have made. The dough is very sticky; a stand mixer is pretty much required. You form it into balls using wet hands, let the dough rise an hour on baking sheets sprinkled with corn bread. They are briefly cooked on the stove top in a frying pan and then baked in the oven for 30 minutes. The flavor and texture are outstanding for gf bread. They remind me of homemade wheat flour muffins I used to enjoy years ago. I highly recommend this recipe. Fairly easy and I was thrilled with the flavor and texture. I am not sure what I will do with those darn muffin rings I bought a year ago…  cranberry tartlets 006 cranberry tartlets 007

I am not going to provide the muffin recipe today; you could consult the ATK cookbook for that, or use another gf muffin recipe or buy some gf English Muffins. But I will give my recipe for the easiest and best hollandaise sauce ever. It is a cherished family recipe my mom always used and although I have tasted other sauce versions I always come back to this one for its outstanding flavor. My family loves it over broccoli for our favorite side dish.

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Mom’s Hollandaise Sauce

Makes about ¾ cup.

1 stick salted butter
2 egg yolks (from large eggs)
Juice of ½ a lemon

Please, no substitutions of any kind will work for this recipe and you MUST make it in a Pyrex measuring cup placed in a pan of hot water; just below the boil and going no more than ½ the way up the sides of the glass measuring cup. pyrex measuring cupThe glass insulates the contents and allows for a slow measured melting of the butter and an equally slow and almost alchemical blending of these three ingredients into a smooth sauce. Unsalted butter gives a pale unbalanced sauce and not enough lemon makes the flavor insipid. Any leftover sauce can be gently reheated in a microwave or over water; stir a lot and you can add ¼ tsp. hot water if it separates. Beat it with a spoon until it comes back together.

Anyway, back to the recipe! Cut the stick of butter into 8 chunks and place in a Pyrex glass measuring cup; one cup size please. Add the yolks and the lemon juice, no pits either! Place in a sauce pan half full of hot water. Do not let the water boil or go more than half way up the measuring cup. Stir often with a spoon; I leave the spoon right in the cup. It will be hard to stir at first as the butter is still solid but the stirring will get easier. Stir almost constantly until the sauce thickens to coat the spoon and then continue stirring it to an almost custard like thickness. Take the cup of sauce out of the water bath and cover it with aluminum foil while you poach the eggs.

Egg Directions:

4 eggs
2 English muffins
4 slices Canadian bacon (round thin slices)

Eggs: get the best and freshest quality eggs possible. Old eggs spread out as they poach and you will have the perfect shaped poached eggs with really fresh ones. I got mine from a friend who raises chickens; far superior in flavor and freshness to anything from a store.

Spray a frying pan with cooking spray. Fill it with warm water. Bring the water to an active bubble, add a tbsp. vinegar. Break each egg into a short cup and gently tip into the hot water. Do not boil the water. Poach them 3 minutes for a soft squishy egg and 4-5 for firmer eggs. Some like lots of egg yolk liquid and others like a firmer textured egg. Do not overcook them or they are just hard boiled eggs. They should not be firm when you remove them. Lift out with a slotted spoon and drain briefly on a paper towel.

While those eggs were poaching gently heat the bacon in a small frying pan with a tsp of butter. Cook about 2 minutes and flip, cook 2 more minutes.

Muffins; split each open with a dinner fork and toast in toaster; pale tan; not really browned.

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My sauce was leftover from the day before; slightly separated. Still tasted fantastic.

Assembly: place two hot muffin halves on each plate. Top with a slice of Canadian bacon and then a poached egg. Pour a big dollop of sauce on top. We like them served with briefly steamed asparagus spears in the spring and steamed broccoli spears the rest of the year.  Dig in!

Perfectly poached eggs make the best eggs benedict! Messy but yummy!

Perfectly poached eggs make the best eggs benedict! Messy but yummy!