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posted: 5/28/2014 5:30 AM

Gluten-free dough allows everyone to enjoy pizza on the grill

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  • Endive and apples hit the flames before topping a blue cheese and bacon-studded grilled pizza.

    Endive and apples hit the flames before topping a blue cheese and bacon-studded grilled pizza.
    Courtesy Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

By Deborah Pankey
Daily Herald Food Editor

For the estimated 3 million people with celiac disease, summer cookouts can be frustrating. Hamburger buns, pasta salad, hot dogs (or at least some brands) and teriyaki chicken skewers are off limits because they contain gluten that can cause severe intestinal trouble for those with the autoimmune disease.

Grilled pizza, however, can be put back on the menu thanks to a recipe developed by former Chicagoan and chef Elizabeth Karmel and her partner in pizza, Bob Blumer.

After the success of 2008's "Pizza on the Grill," the pair got together again to create a gluten-free dough as well as some new topping ideas for this summer's "Pizza on the Grill Expanded" (Tauton Press).

Months of testing went into developing their Gluten-Free Pizza Dough, said Karmel, a North Carolina native and barbecue diva, during our chat earlier this year in the Windy City.

The pair didn't like the results for pizza dough listed on commonly found gluten-free flour mixes. So instead of developing their own gluten-free blend (too much fuss for the average home cook), they decided to play around with their favorite blends -- C4C Gluten-Free Flour Mix and King Arthur's Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour -- adding baking powder, xanthan gum, yeast and egg yolk to improve the leavening, texture and tenderness.

"We wanted to replicate the flavor of restaurant pizza at home," she says.

Because gluten-free dough is more sticky than traditional pizza dough, they found it did not translate well to their method of cooking the crust directly on the grill grates. Par-baking the crust in the oven for 10 minutes gives the crust the structure it needs to face the grill.

"That one extra step gives you a great, gluten-free crust," she says. She suggests making a few batches of dough at a time, par-baking the crusts and then freezing them so they're ready for weeknight dinners or unexpected guests.

Karmel adds that grilled pizza is great for casual outdoor gatherings. Once the dough is prepared -- you'll need one batch of fresh gluten-free dough for every two to three people -- diners can add their own toppings, or the host can select some of the combinations included here.

"Summer entertaining is more casual," Karmel says. "You don't feel the pressure to clean the house or get new furniture."

In addition to the gluten-free dough, "Pizza on the Grill Expanded" includes 10 new recipes.

"We found there's more interest in doing vegetables and whole meals on the grill," she says. "Anything you can cook indoors, you can cook outdoors."

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