I have a confession to make: Bread dough is my nemesis.

I can bake cupcakes, cakes, cookies, and vegan banana bread with my eyes closed. I can make pastries like  rugelach, mini goat cheese and pear tarts,  and spinach mozzarella puffs. But when yeast enters the equation - something goes haywire.  My yeast will get gloriously puffy and bubbles with dance to the surface.  It will rise and swell to double it's size. But it never gets quite right.  The dough will be sticky and tacky (beyond the normal for gluten-free dough).  It will be slightly difficult to roll out and shape.

But, in the end, it always tastes damn good.

That was the case when I did a bake-along challenge with Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef. If you're not already reading this blog, do it. Seriously.  Anyways, on their Facebook page - Shauna called out for everyone to bake a recipe from their new cookbook, Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef. The recipe - a cracker/pizza dough.  Simple enough, I've made gluten-filled pizza quite a few times before and it has always gone smoothly.

I grabbed my kitchen scale (if you don't have one, get one - it is critical to gluten-free baking), my flours (I used millet, sorghum, potato starch, and corn starch) and cracked open the cookbook.  I followed the instructions with the exception of substituting flours and using a flax seed slurry instead of gums.  My dough was too wet - I added some flour.  I let it rise using a proofbox method.  Basically, boil some water, pour it in a pan, put the pan in the oven, add your covered dough and boom - makeshift proofbox.  I made my mise en place for my toppings which consisted of mushrooms, caramelized onions, herbs, fire roasted tomatoes, and garlic (no cheese in this house - it doesn't agree with me or Brad).  I went to roll out the still tacky dough - that is when my troubles began.  It stuck to everything. It even stuck to my floured Silpat.  But I kept on - I got my pizza stone smoking hot, flipped my, um, "rustic" flatbread dough on to it, baked, added toppings, baked some more and took it out.

It looked really good. I patiently let it cool (agony since it was late, I was hungry, and it smelled divine). I sliced it up, grabbed a gluten-free beer, and dug in.  Damn. It was delicious!

My ugly duckling pizza. Seriously delicious.
As usual, Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef did not steer me wrong. The recipe was fantastic.  Next time, I will try it with the same flours as they use in the cookbook.
As for me and the battle of the bread dough?  I refuse to let it win.  I'm getting better - I cooked up some bagels this weekend, they were delicious, chewy, but not quite right. In the meantime, I will eat my ugly duckling pizza and try to beat my nemesis.
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