Calzone Pie

CalzonePieThere was a time when not only was I enamored by pizza, I was enamored of calzones as well. Of course, that was when I could have a soft, gluten-filled crust making that gooey & delicious shell around all that cheese and those toppings.

Sadly there came a time that I could no longer safely consume pizza, calzones or anything else like it, unless I evolved – just like the pizza into the calzone! And evolving is just what I did with this recipe.

Pizza has been called a pie before and that is where I took my inspiration. Why not make a calzone pie? I haven’t really been able to come up with a crust recipe that has the elasticity of a gluten crust – chemistry and stuff. So why not use the Brazilian cheese crust recipe as a base and then put the toppings in the middle with more cheese and top it with more cheese crust. Bake it together and Bob’s your uncle, er, pizza’s yer pie? Calzone is your pie?

Whatever you call it – I’m calling it Calzone Pie since it’s my recipe – this once again proves that Gluten Free is Not Taste Free! One slice of this and you will wonder who needs gluten!

Calzone Pie

2 recipes Brazilian Pizza Crust
1 package Italian sausage – preferably hot
1 red onion
2 tbsp (30 g) minced garlic
1 tbsp (15 g) each of Oregano & Chili Flakes
Cheese for the filling – Jalapeno Jack or Mozzarella

  1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees, while you dice your onions and then fry them together with all the spices and the sausage. Make sure to brown and crumble all the sausage.
  2. After that part is cooked, make your two recipes of the crust.
  3. Line the bottom of a greased 9-inch cake pan with half of the crust.
  4. Put all of the drained sausage & onions in the middle – spread it evenly and then add the shredded cheese.
  5. Top with the remaining crust and cook the pie for about 10-15 minutes until it’s golden brown. Warning – you might want to put a cookie sheet under the pan in case it overflows as mine has a number of times.

For other ideas, I have done this recipe without meat and added Mexican spices. You could try a Jerk Chicken filling. Or a Cajun steak. Or how about a seasoned chicken with bacon, green onions, tomatoes and a bit of ranch? The possibilities are awesome and endless!

Candy Bars

CandyBarI may have said this before … but I’ll say it again – I love cookies. One of my favourites has always been the original chocolate chip cookie. And if there’s a batch being cooked, my wife has said I have radar for cookies and always seem to appear when cookies come out of the oven,
So the idea of cookies have always intrigued me – especially when combining two of my favourite flavours – chocolate and peanut butter. Thus the Wookie Cookie and now this “Candy” Bar, which combines those flavours in a bar form. It’s fun and easy and seems to be a hit with my kids at least.

“Candy” Bars

2 cups (450 g) firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup (125 g) butter, melted
3 eggs
1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla
2 cups (450 g) GF flour
2 tsp (10 g) baking powder
1/2 tsp (3 g) salt
1/2 cup (120 g) M&Ms
1/2 cup (120 g) Reese’s Pieces

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and grease 9 by 13 pan.
  2. In a stand mixer, blend your sugar and melted butter together.
  3. Add your eggs and vanilla as your batter continues to blend.
  4. Mix in your flour, baking powder and salt. Mix well.
  5. Stir in your candy, making sure that it is mixed completely.
  6. Bake for about 20-25 minutes in a convection and about 25-30 minutes without convection. Let it cool completely before you cut it.

Banana Loaf

BananaLoafAs someone with Celiac’s Disease, you know it’s difficult to have good bread. Luckily, this simple recipe makes great bread for just a snack and is awesome for French Toast. This recipe is great whether using Glutenized flour or GF flour – as always check your GF flour to ensure you the recipe works well. In some cases, you will need xantham gum, but if like me you use a good mix it’s either already included or you won’t need it.

Banana Loaf

1 cup (225 g) white sugar
1/2 cup (125 g) margarine melted
2 eggs
1/2 cup (125 ml) milk
1 tsp (5 g) salt
1.5 cups (340 g) GF flour
3 mashed bananas
1 tsp (5 g) baking soda

  1. Mix everything in order while your oven pre-heats to 350 degrees.

    This is a double batch.

    This is a double batch.

  2. Bake in a greased pan for about an hour – if you’re using a convection oven, you need to watch the time or temp. Lower the temp 25 degrees or lower the time of cooking by 25 percent – one or the other and only if you are using a convection oven.
  3. Let it cool completely and enjoy!

If you’re like me and enjoy nuts, you can add about a half cup per recipe if you want.

Blackened Steak & Potato Pizza

We're one layer of cheese away from the final bake - oh, man talk about full meal deal!

We’re one layer of cheese away from the final bake – oh, man talk about full meal deal!

Yes, you read that right! Steak and potatoes or pizza – who said you needed to choose? While I love a good steak and potato dinner, putting it on pizza just put this whole thing over the top. As you might have guess from this site, I am a sucker for fusions of flavours. And one of my favourites has to be Italian with Cajun as with this pizza.

The only thing I have to warn you about is that it takes a bit of prep. But the results were oh so awesome!

Blackened Steak & Potato Pizza

1 recipe Brazilian Pizza Crust
8 oz (225 g) steak
1 large russet potato
Pepper Jack cheese (shredded by you – guaranteed GF that way!)
Provolone cheese (slices)
Cajun Seasoning
Olive Oil
Red Onion (optional) or Cola Cajun BBQ sauce

The first thing to do is make your Cajun Baked Tater

These would be good even if they weren't on the pizza!

These would be good even if they weren’t on the pizza!

  • Pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees while you start to slice your baker. You’ll want to make each slice about 1/8th of an inch thick but not all the way through on the bottom. Leave about a quarter of the potato on the bottom. You could use toothpicks to keep the sides together if you cut through the potato to the bottom (like me!).
  • Drizzle the baker with olive oil and a healthy amount of the Cajun seasoning. Bake for about 50 minutes – remember, it will cook up a bit more on your pizza when it is in the oven.

Now to assemble the Cajun Steak & Potato Pizza – while the baker is in the oven you can start working on the other components …

  1. You might want to cook your steak before you start working on your pizza dough. The steak is best pan fried with lots of Cajun seasoning. And this is where you should make the choice of onions cooked with the steak or using the BBQ sauce for the base of the pizza.
  2. Cook the steak to a little below the rareness that you like – it will cook up as it sits as well as in the oven (like the potatoes). Cut the steak into slices about a quarter inch thick.
  3. After you’ve done your first bake to set the dough, layer in the following order: Provolone slices, BBQ sauce and then steak or steak and onions, potato slices and then topped with Pepper Jack. Then into the oven for the final bake.
  4. Top with chives and serve immediately!


Brazilian Pizza Crust

This pizza's toppings were chicken, red onions, minced garlic, red pepper flakes, oregano, basil and cumin.

This pizza’s toppings were chicken, red onions, minced garlic, red pepper flakes, oregano, basil and cumin.

This pizza recipe has to be one of the easiest that I’ve come across. Then again, I tend to make them more complicated once I start working with them. That said this recipe is still remarkably simple.

The best thing about this crust recipe is that it’s the closest I’ve come to gluten-filled pizza dough. While I appreciate the artistry of my other pizza dough recipe, this may very well become my go-to recipe. Inspired by Brazilian Cheese Bread, it’s got the texture of a biscuit and a flavour similar to the biscuits available at a certain chain seafood restaurant.

Brazilian Pizza Crust

1 cup (240 g) GF flour (preferably one with Xantham Gum)

This is one recipe - after blending.

This is one recipe – after blending.

1/4 cup (60 g) Parmesan Cheese
2 cups (450 g) shredded Pepper Jack
1 teaspoon (5 g) baking powder
2 eggs
1/4 cup (60 g) melted butter

  1. Blend all of the ingredients together in a stand mixer while your oven and pizza stone preheats to 450 degrees.
  2. Flatten your dough out into a round shape. You can do this by hand until you get about a six to eight inch round, then I would switch to the roller and aim for about 12 inches across at about a half inch thick.
  3. One flip at about six minutes - this should be what it looks like.

    One flip at about six minutes – this should be what it looks like.

    Cook it on one side for about six minutes and then flip it over, add your toppings and cook for about another four minutes. Note – if you are NOT using convection then you should cook it eight minutes on the first side and then about 5-6 minutes on the other side with the toppings.


Pizza Crust

Everyone loves pizza! Unfortunately, the best pizza dough recipes out there (either online or in restaurants) typically call for high gluten flour, mainly due to gluten being the best binder for the dough. And since most of us have had to cut gluten out altogether, then that doesn’t work.

So many of you have probably tried the GF pizza options that are out there. And like me, if you’ve ever had a good thick pizza crust, then you have been sadly disappointed in the options that are out there. Before I was diagnosed, I had a really good crust recipe that was light and airy with a lot of flavour. I tried it out recently with GF flour and it at least produced a thicker crust than those other paper thin options. I will continue to experiment and try to pinpoint improvements and other options.

Pizza Crust

3 cups (675 g) GF flour with Xanthan Gum
1/2 cup (120 g) Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp (15 g) oregano
3 tbsp (45 g) sugar
1 tsp (5 g) salt
2 packages active dry yeast
1 cup (250 ml) milk
1/2 cup (125 ml) water
1/4 cup (63 g) butter
olive oil

  1. Combine about 2 1/2 cups of flour with the other dry ingredients up to the yeast, mixing well.doughball
  2. In a small pot, bring the rest of the ingredients up to a temperature of 120 degrees. That it just about before it boils but to be certain, use a candy thermometer to verify the temperature.
  3. Slowly pour the hot milk, water and butter into the flour mixture and mix together until it starts to become sticky. Pour the mixture onto a floured countertop and then slowly add in a little bit of flour until the mixture seems more like a small ball than a small puddle. Don’t add too much flour because your dough will be very heavy then.
  4. Preheat your pizza stone in the oven at 450 degrees.
  5. Basically when you start the dough it will be very rough and tend to want to fall apart since there is no gluten to help bind it. What you want to do is knead your dough and ensure that all the ingredients are mixed well.
  6. To knead your dough, put both hands on the ball and push forward with your palms like you were almost trying to flatten out the end of the ball. Fold the mixture back over the flattened part so that it’s like a ball again and repeat. Each time you repeat this make sure that you turn the dough so you are not just flattening the same side each time. A tip on keeping the dough from sticking to your fingers and the counter is to keep the area dusted with flour.
  7. Pinch off a small portion of it about half the size of an egg. Using your fingers spread the dough into a small disc rotating it until it is thin in the middle. If you can do this without actually creating a hole in the dough and you can see light through the thin membrane then your dough to proof.
  8. Unfortunately your dough will not rise that much considering the lack of gluten. That said, put the dough ball in a oiled bowl and let it proof for about 15-20 minutes.
  9. Take your dough ball and spread it out carefully on the stone. Make a pizza shape and then put it in the oven for about five minutes without the toppings.
  10. Flip your dough, dress it and let it cook for another 7-10 minutes. The dough will look a little dark once you flip it, but this will help for the dough to cook throughout after you load your pizza with toppings.