Stuffed Pizza Pie: Spinach, Mushrooms, Sausage

Pizza, without a doubt, is one of those universal things you miss having to live a gluten-free life. Since I have been gluten-free, I make so many different iterations of pizza: polenta crust or a "quick bread" dough using eggs and baking powder. None of which are a traditional yeast leavened pizza crust. For this month's Gluten-Free Ratio Rally, Karen of Cooking Gluten-Free posed the challenge of traditional yeast-leavened pizza.

The Gluten-Free Ratio Rally is a group of GF bloggers, rallied by Shauna of, where we put our on spin a a culinary standard. These culinary standards are known formulas, ratios, that professionals use. The caveat is that everything is done by weight, since weight is more standardized and much more accurate than measuring by volume. Which is foundation of the GFreeRally as started and explained by Gluten-Free Girl here. The book that we base our ratios is Michael Ruhlman's Ratio. In my recipes I only note ingredients by weight. I know as a scientist that measuring by weight, there is little to no error. Whereas, measuring by volume, especially in cups can lead up to 100% error. I believe this is a huge contributing factor of why most Americans fear baking. With this kind of error, baking from a recipe in volume is domed for failure and the garbage. Gluten-free or not. Please take some time to read this great article "Tipping the Balance for Kitchen Scales" in the New York Times. My favorite scale is the OXO since it can do negative weights, i.e., you can put a bag of flour on the scale, zero out and scoop until you have your target weight before adding to the bowl. This weighing technique you will find easier, cleaner, faster.

Ruhlman's ratio for pizza is 5:3/flour:water. My recipe is in line with that. I decided to make stuffed pizza pie. For me, stuffed pizza pie is the ultimate indulgence pizza. Yes, a bit more involved to make, but worth the effort in the heartiness. I stuff the pie with sauteed mushrooms, mild Italian sausage, garlic, and goat mozzarella. Once baked, top it with a traditional tomato marinara sauce and a sprinkling of pecorino romano cheese. It only one piece of this pizza to leave you satisfied. Perfect with a gluten-free beer!


For the tomato sauce:
  • 115 grams brown rice flour
  • 115 grams sweet (glutinous) rice flour
  • 115 grams tapioca flour/starch
  • 37 grams flaxmeal
  • 8 grams salt
  • 200 grams boiling water
  • 12 grams olive oil
  • 8 grams yeast, active or instant
  • 4 grams sugar
  • 30 grams warm water (100F)

For the sausage, mushroom, spinach filling:
  • 2 mild Italian sausage links, remove casing
  • 4 ounces fresh mushrooms, your choice, slice thin
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 package of thawed, squeezed out spinach
  • 4 ounces grated mozzarella (I used goat milk mozzarella)
  • salt, pepper to taste

For the tomato sauce:
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced fine
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • ½ teaspoon salt, to taste
  • Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • Dried chile flakes, to taste (optional)
  • 4-6 fresh basil leaves, cut chiffonade (very thin strips)
  • Grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese, for garnish


For the pizza dough:
In the work bowl of your mixer, weigh in all the flours, flaxmeal, and salt. Using the paddle attachment, stir at lowest speed. While stirring, slowly add in the boiling water, followed by the olive oil. Allow to stir for a couple of minutes. Keep an eye on it. In a cup, mix together the yeast, sugar, and warm water. Mix with spoon until mixed and frothy. This should take a few minutes. Once the dough has cooled just warm, add the foamy yeast slurry.

For the filling:
In a large saute pan, start browning the sausage over medium heat while breaking it up. Add in the sliced mushrooms and garlic. Once sausage is cooked and mushrooms are tender, remove from heat. Drain liquid as needed. Allow to cool. Add in the shredded cheese and seasonings to taste.

For the tomato sauce:

In a wide pan, with low walls (I use a fry pan), sauté the garlic and olive oil over low-medium heat until aromatic. Add in the canned tomatoes. Bring up temperature to medium. Add in salt, pepper, and chile flakes. Stir occasionally. Once the tomatoes start simmering, use a potato masher to break down the tomatoes into a smooth yet hardy texture if using diced or whole tomatoes. Allow to cook, simmering and stirring occasionally, thickening for about 15-20 minutes.

Assembly & Cooking:
Preheat oven to 450F. Roll out about 1/3 of the pizza dough about 1/4 inch thick and place in oiled 9" cake pan leaving about 1/4 inch gap around the circumference. Poke dough with fork to keep from bubbling up. Bake until golden, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Roll out the remaining dough to 1/4 inch thickness and cover with a damp towel.

Top the cooked, cooled bottom generously with the filling. Keep within the parameter of the dough round, pack about 2 inches thick. Carefully drape the large round of uncooked dough on top to the filling. Pick up an edge of the dough bottom and tuck the uncooked dough underneath. Working in small increments, work this around until it is all covered and tucked under the dough. Lightly brush the surface with oil and return to the oven. Bake until the top is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Remove from cake pan onto serving dish and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Serve with the tomato sauce and romano cheese as a topping.

Don't forget to head on over to Karen's host post to see her amazing pizza and all the other fantastic recipes brought to you by rally participants this month! Thanks again Karen! Also, if you're on Twitter, search #GFreeRally

-Erin Swing
The Sensitive Epicure


Karen said…
I have always loved stuffed pizza and have craved it since 1997 when we went gluten free AND the best stuffed pizza place closed down here. Cannot wait to try it!
Caneel said…
Yes, please! I'd LOVE a piece of this. Yumm!
Carol Stevens said…
I could eat that picture! The fresh tomato sauce looks amazing.
Jenn said…
Erin, this is so creative, I love it! Wonderful take on this month's challenge, as always :)
brooke said…
My word! I don't even eat sausage, and I want me a piece of that mouthwatering delicacy! yummy!
Morri said…

Words cannot describe the deliciousness you have concocted.

The world bows its head to you, madam.

Your stuffed pizza takes this challenge to a whole new level. It looks and sounds amazing! Good work.
Erin Swing said…
Thanks everyone for your sweet comments! You all made some very temptingly delicious pizzas, too. I love this stuffed pizza pie. Reminds me of my favorite pizza of my youth, pre-celiac, from Mio's Pizzeria here in Cincy.