So I've been having issues with this GF tapioca pizza crust. I like the crust a lot because it's allergy friendly (no yeast/soy/gluten/nuts/anything really) and actually doesn't taste like rocks. Problem is, I can't tell why the crust is coming out undercooked every time.
The box recommends 450F in a 14" circular pan for 15-18 mins or 7 mins to cook the crust, 7 minutes to cook with toppings. (Note: it's not a premade crust, it's essentially just flavored tapioca flour - I add eggs, milk, and oil to it).
The first time I made it, I put the crust in for 7 mins on a metal sheet at 450, and then cooked it until the desire time. Upon seeing it unfinished, I put the combined crust and toppings in for 13 extra minutes (so ~20 minutes totally). The results were the same and I would have kept it in longer, but the cheese was starting to burn.
So I said okay, let me change it up. Today, I used a glass pie pan (I think a 12" one), cooked the crust for a full 10 minutes at 425*, and then cooked it with toppings for another 10 minutes at 450. Exact same results. I figured this could be my fault, it's hard to guess the time difference of 25 degrees, so I said screw it.
I put it in the oven for a whole 16 minutes at full 450 degrees...no luck.
My question is then:
1) Judging by the images, is this actually undercooked? I assume it is, but I've never had actual tapioca bread before, so I don't really know. But in the first image, you can see how the bottom looks clearly done (aeorated and structured), but the middle is slightly mushy, translucent, and (hard to tell from the lighting) significantly darker than the rest of the crust.
To best describe it, it's a thin, shiny line that looks like the texture of a gummy bear.
2) Since I assume it is undercooked, where am I going wrong? Do I just need to stretch the dough out that much more? It was already tearing both times, so I figured it shouldn't be any thinner than it was. I don't think it's an oven issue - we did have some uneven cooking year and a half ago, but cleaning it out seemed much better now.
Do I just need to ignore the box and just stick it in the oven longer, maybe at 400 degrees?
Any suggestions or help would be most appreciated!
This seems to be a leavening problem. Normal pizza crust is leavened by the interaction of yeast and gluten, you admit you don't have any of those here.
You can of course try making a chemically leavened crust (with baking powder), but it will still have trouble working without gluten, that's why gluten free flours usually contain gums.
From your description, I can't tell if your "flavored flour" has leavener and gums. If it doesn't, look around for a recipe which uses tapioca flour from scratch and has those, and use this flavored version instead of the pure one. If it does, then it is a trouble with the balance of the two, plus the added ingredients. Are you sure you are making it exactly by the package instructions? If it says to use water, the fat you are adding could interfere.
In the end, it is quite difficult to get a gluten free dough to rise properly. You can experiment with gums and leaveners, but expect a long process of tweaking until you get it right.