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Recipe | Thin Crust, Gluten Free and Wholewheat Pizzas Base with A Crunchy Cilantro Pesto

8 August 2012 33 Comments

Mom, today is the last day of practice session, make some good Pizzas, all my friends have been asking for long, and please don’t add too many veggies...keep it simple and crisp” informed my son taking out his cycle from the garage. I knew it was going to be a long & hectic day. For I need to drop my daughter in school for the last drama practice session in morning, bring her again, dress her up and then leave her back in school auditorium for the evening annual day function.

And making Pizzas in between…Hmm.

I prepared three different kinds of Pizza bases, two easy spreads to complete our dinner and the treat for son’s school friends. Me and hubby like lots of veggies and slightly chewy pizza baked with wholegrain, son likes thin crust little veggies and the daughter eats only the crispy base baked with just cheese.

Chickpea flour is a favorite addition in my cooking, be it Indian flat beads, cookies or Pizza base, am hooked to the nutty flavor of it. The recent visit to my health store surprised me with Tapioca flour, I remember browsing many recipes of bloggers using the same to make gluten free goodies. May be the presence of starch in Tapioca (cassava) helps in gluten free baking and it did give a good shape to the gluten free Pizza base.

During the D day I managed to bake 4 small thin crust Pizzas for the friends of my son, dressed up my Gretel and could also reach early to catch a seat in the auditorium.

Recipe | A Few Homemade Wholewheat Pizzas and A Crunchy Cilantro Pesto

Gluten free and whole wheat flour Pizza base

1. Thin Crust Pizza Base


(makes two small Pizzas)

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 4 tsp. oil/olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. instant yeast
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Method; Warm 2 tbsp of water slightly add sugar and yeast in it. Leave it for 5 5-7 minutes for the yeast to bubble.

Take a large vessel, add flour and salt in it. Mix thoroughly.

Make a well in the flour and pour in the active yeast mixture and rest of water in it. Mix slowly with hands to form soft dough.

Smear your hands with the oil and rub it around the dough and slightly knead it. Repeat the same process using the 4 tsp. of oil in the recipe. Knead the dough several times on a large board. The dough will be sticky, smear oil on your hands or use extra flour on board and keep kneading for 10 minutes.

Place the dough in another vessel brushed with oil and cover with a cling foil or a wet cloth. Let it rise for one hour or till it doubles in size.

Divide the dough into two and shape in a large circular disc. Keep it thin or thick as you desire. I like thin crust and roll the dough using my rolling pin to make it almost paper thin. It rises a little again when baked.

Use Pizza stone if you have or a baking tray to bake the pizza. Baking stone get evenly heated and provides perfect heat for the base to cook. If you are using a large baking tray sprinkle a little cornmeal flour before placing the pizza base.

Bake the crust for 5 minutes in a preheated oven at 200°C. Take out from the oven and let it cool slightly and use for making assorted Pizza.


2. Gluten Free Pizza Base


(makes 2 small Pizzas)

  • 1/2 cup rice flour
  • 1/2  cup chickpea flour or Besan
  • 1/4 cup Tapioca flour
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tsp. dry active yeast
  • 2 tbsp. Olive oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. sugar

Method; Make the pizza base as explained in the first recipe. You can replace Tapicoa flour with all purpose flour if its not available. Tapioca flour helps in binding the gluten free dough which is hard to roll.

The dough will not rise as much as it does in the other two recipes. But the base comes out crispy and tastes good.


3. Whole wheat Pizza Base


(makes 4 small Pizza base)

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup All purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 2 tbsp. Olive oil/oil
  • 1 tsp. sugar/honey
  • 1 tsp. salt

Method; Use the same method as explained for the above base recipe.

1. Cilantro pesto with Peanuts

Recipe | A Few Homemade Wholewheat Pizzas and A Crunchy Cilantro Pesto

Cilantro Pesto and quick tomato sauce


  • 2 cups of cilantro/fresh coriander with stem
  • 1/2 cup of peanuts/almonds
  • 1/4 cup of oil/Olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 green chilies
  • 1 tsp of lemon juice
  • Salt as desired

Method; Wash coriander leaves and roughly chop them. Dry roast the groundnuts or use roasted and salted groundnuts.

Add all the ingredients except the oil in a blender. Blend to make into a fine paste. I left it slightly coarse to give a brighter green color and texture of the Pesto. Pour oil in the blender while it is still running to combine all the ingredients together.

I like chunky textured spreads and kept this Pesto slightly coarse, you can grind it more and make it smooth and paste like Pesto.

Store in an air tight container and refrigerate till used.


2. Quick Homemade Tomato Sauce


  • 1 cup chopped tomato
  • 2 tsp. oil
  • 1 tsp dry herbs
  • Salt and pepper as desired

Method; Heat oil and add tomatoes cook for 2-3 minutes on high heat. Add salt, pepper and herb of your choice. Mash the cooked tomatoes with a spoon.

Recipe | A Few Homemade Wholewheat Pizzas and A Crunchy Cilantro Pesto

Fresh corn and olive Pizza and Bell pepper and extra cheese Pizza

To assemble the Pizza;

Take a Pizza base and brush it with Olive oil and spread the Cilantro pesto or tomato sauce generously over it. Add veggies of your choice. Colored bell peppers (capsicum or Shimla mirch), fresh corn kernels, olives, mushrooms, peas go well with vegetarian pizza recipes.

I stretched the base in my rectangular baking tin (above picture) to make a single serving Pizza for the whole family and also to reduce time by baking multiple Pizzas.

Sprinkle dry herbs of your choice and 2-3 tbsp. of Olive oil over the Pizza. Bake it at 200°C for 15 minutes.

Add grated Pizza cheese which melts well such as Mozzarella cheese and bake again for 3-4 minutes till the cheese starts to melt. Sever hot.

Recipe | A Few Homemade Wholewheat Pizzas and A Crunchy Cilantro Pesto

Thin crust Pizza is perfect choice when you wish to parcel it or eat it after a while.

Recipe | A Few Homemade Wholewheat Pizzas and A Crunchy Cilantro Pesto

The children enjoyed their crispy treat. 

Reached early…

I was the early bird, reached two hours before and got a perfect place to sit. The school auditorium is spacious, well maintained and equipped with  state of the art technology in video shooting and film production.

Seats getting filled…

School children sit in the gallery above while the parents watch the function from ground floor. The auditorium was packed to its full capacity one hour before the function started. The huge bouncers and reflectors used to adjust the lighting inside were quite exciting to watch.

Recipe | A Few Homemade Wholewheat Pizzas and A Crunchy Cilantro Pesto

I sliced the Pizzas into small wedges and packed them in layers of parchment papers.

Son doing a Bhangra, an Indian folk dance on a peppy Bollywood number…

A fusion song with folk dances from many states of India, they look cute with the makeover and the colorful dresses. We are not supposed to take pictures of the show..Shh…my small PnS did the job well in zooming to its maximum limit.

Recipe | A Few Homemade Wholewheat Pizzas and A Crunchy Cilantro Pesto

Less cheese and few veggies keep the Pizza crisp. Pizza loaded with cheese tend to become rubbery after a while.

My little Gretel lost in the Jungle…with butterflies and flowers …

My little Gretel delivering her dialogues in the drama. This must be her 4th consecutive year of stage performance, but each year I watch her act with bated breath.

Recipe | A Few Homemade Wholewheat Pizzas and A Crunchy Cilantro Pesto

Homemade Pizza is lot more fun, economical and healthier option than the store bought one. You could add veggies of your choice, reduce cheese or can make it more crisp.

Recipe | A Few Homemade Wholewheat Pizzas and A Crunchy Cilantro Pesto

The next day I received a small paper from my son with a note “You make the best Pizza, thanks for the wonderful treat, Aunty“‘ signed by all his friends. A precious moment of highest appreciation and recognition I live for!


  1. Add more oil to store the Cilantro spread for longer period.
  2. Freeze the pesto for about a month.
  3. Use half mint leaves and half coriander leaves for a different flavor and taste.
  4. A pinch of sugar in the Pesto recipe would enhance the flavors.
  5. Use fresh cottage cheese, mushrooms or any other veggie as topping.
  6. Baking the crust before adding sauces and veggies make sure that it remains crisp.
  7. A layer of oil added before spreading the sauces will make sure that the base stays crisp as it will not soak the liquid from the sauces and become soggy.
  8. Stir fry the veggies in a pan to reduce the baking time, just add stir fried veggies, cheese and grill for a few minutes till cheese melts.
  9. Thin crust Pizza with wholewheat flour/rice four/chickpea flour pizza base is a good option if you want to avoid the carbs of white flour in your diet.



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  • Divya said:

    Such a nice read Sanjeeta and what lovely photographs-I see you are using your camera to the fullest.Bookmarking this page-so many wonderful recipes in one post-awesome!
    Divya recently posted..Idli Manchurian | Leftover Idli RecipesMy Profile

  • Richa said:

    the pizzas look amazing! i am sucker for a good pizza base. chickpea flour is definitely such a versatile flour which works in so many different diet choices! that note fro your son’s friends is so sweet.
    Richa recently posted..Gluten-free Chocolate Pretzels. Vegan, soy free recipeMy Profile

  • Lata Raja said:

    The thin crust and with veggies are such a treat though the cheese draws your attention to the richness in the other one. i cannot choose between the two for a “like”option here.
    Lata Raja recently posted..Baked herb potatoesMy Profile

  • Sarah said:

    Love the gluten-free pizza base! Would love to give it a try? Though unsure of finding tapioca flour! But I do have some soy flour on hand… i wonder if that will do?

  • Priya Srinivasan said:

    Oh my Pizza looks so delicious, love that cilantro pesto!!!! What is with kids and veggies, even my kiddo doesn’t like too many of them in his box!!!! Kids grow very fast, but we as parents remain the same!!!! 🙂
    Priya Srinivasan recently posted..Potato-Peas Korma – Side Dish for Roti/PooriMy Profile

  • Nandita said:

    Just loved the pizza bases. But the highlight of this post was the photograph of your little Gretel. That was so cute!!! The photography is excellent as usual 🙂
    Nandita recently posted..Curried chick pea wrapsMy Profile

  • chinmayie @ love food eat said:

    I have been making pizza from scratch at home for a while right now and it’s so much better! Your gluten free base looks interesting. Will try that soon 🙂
    chinmayie @ love food eat recently posted..Green Tomato, Star Fruit and Avocado SaladMy Profile

  • Jyoti said:

    I don’t know where moms get the energy from.. Kudos to u.. I bet thy sweet little note made ur day.. Cheers
    Jyoti recently posted..Event Round Up ~ Cool Summer SipsMy Profile

  • Srishti@ProlificCooking said:

    Can cooking get more satisfying?! As usual, I loved the pictures.Your daughter is adorable :).
    My hubby was not too satisfied 🙁 when last time I tried whole wheat pizza at home. He said that it does’t taste very authentic. I think the problem was with the sauce I used! Will try your recipe and see how he reacts :). Thanks for sharing.
    Srishti@ProlificCooking recently posted..Shahi Paneer ! Not so shahi but really deliciousMy Profile

  • kristy @ the wicked noodle said:

    How sweet that they wrote you a note! What a great pizza, the cilantro pesto sounds divine!
    kristy @ the wicked noodle recently posted..grilled peach, corn & feta saladMy Profile

  • Deepa said:

    And that thank you note by the little one’s friends must be very satisfying to read 🙂 Your daughter isn’t looking nervous at all..Loved the pizza base..Yummy

  • Simone said:

    So you made all those gorgeous pizza’s on a really busy day in between running around..? Hat of to you and they look fantastic. So cute that you received that note with their appreciation too!
    Simone recently posted..Goatcheese rocket pestoMy Profile

  • Priya said:

    Dunno none at home love thin crust pizza, they came out simply awesome.
    Priya recently posted..Couscous & Peas TikkiMy Profile

  • Priti said:

    wonderful recipe and looks so yum ..lovely clicks
    Priti recently posted..Uppu Seedai | Janmashtami RecipesMy Profile

  • Baker Street said:

    There’s nothing more delicious than a fresh homemade pizza and you made a whole bunch of them! Looks great, Sanjee! I’m very impressed that you make your own base too!
    Baker Street recently posted..Coconut Cream Cheese Chocolate BrowniesMy Profile

  • Flo Makanai said:

    I love this post, there is so much inside, life as well as food, love it, thanks.
    And I’ll try your GF pizza crust very very soon : I’ve often used tapioca starch, but not its flour, although I own a small bag of it. Didn’t dare use it, until today.

  • Anamika@madcookingfusions said:

    The pizza looks great, me too love thin crust pizza. Sanjeeta pizza slices looking yummy. It’s so much fun watching your kids perform, i get too emotional seeing them on stage 🙂

  • Maureen said:

    What a lovely story. Your children sound terrific. I don’t know how you got all that done in one day!
    Maureen recently posted..Vintaged Bar & Grill, BrisbaneMy Profile

  • thyme (sarah) said:

    Wonderful photos of your daughter’s performance (taken on the sly!). I would love to try that gluten free crust…I just saw Tapioca flour the other day and had no idea what to do with it. I think I would also like the flavors in chickpea flour too.
    thyme (sarah) recently posted..Toasted Cardamom Buckwheat and Almond Flour Spice Cake with Vanilla Bean Glaze (low sugar)…and Road Trip #2My Profile

  • kankana said:

    WOW you have shared so many diff type of pizza base! Love home made pizza .. and i find it a fun activity too. Even if you do it all alone 🙂
    kankana recently posted..Tomato Tart with Basil and PaneerMy Profile

  • mjskit said:

    I’m dying for some pizza right now! And here I didn’t think I was hungry.:) Thin crust is my favorite but I have a hard time getting it thin enough. Based on your instructions, I obviously don’t roll it out thin enough because your crust is perfect! Next time I’ll get more aggressive. That cilantro pesto with peanuts and green chile looks AMAZING! Pesto on pizza is the best of all sauces so I’m definitely going to be trying your pesto.
    mjskit recently posted..Cantaloupe Walnut Salad with Lime DressingMy Profile

  • Faith said:

    Delicious! I love a good thin crust pizza and this looks amazing, especially with those flavorful toppings you used!
    Faith recently posted..Kiwi, Coconut, & Lime MuffinsMy Profile

  • Kiran @ KiranTarun.com said:

    Amazing pizza and variations on different crusts! Love school plays, brought back so many wonderful memories 🙂

  • Monet said:

    Wonderful pictures and wonderful recipes! I can’t wait to make these thin crusts. And I love the cilantro pesto. I’m sure it would make each bite pop! Thank you for sharing!

  • Helene Dsouza I Masala Herb said:

    Hi Sanjeeta!

    Love your gluten free pizza base, I ought to try it out pretty soon with the chickpea flour and the pesto topping. thanks for sharing.

    the kids look cute by the way. =)

  • Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen said:

    A special thank you note like that is the best reward isn’t it? These pizzas look phenomenal.

  • EA-The Spicy RD said:

    Love the note from your son, and the photo of your daughter. These are the little things that make all the hard work of being a mom so worth it :-). We are thinking along the same lines, with thin crus veggie pizza…I just made one too, although I have not had much success with my homemade GF crusts, so this is when I succumb to the lure of premade. I will definitely try your crust out thoug, and love the cilantro and tomato toppings!
    EA-The Spicy RD recently posted..Goat Cheese Pizza with Spinach, Mushrooms, and Onions: Easy, Delicious, Cheap!My Profile

  • Terra said:

    You know I am a pizza addict right? I love that you share all three recipes. I have been dying to try garbanzo bean flour, i bet it is fantastic in pizza dough:-) Looks delicious, Hugs, Terra
    Terra recently posted..Valeria Lukyanova – Living Barbie DollMy Profile

  • Nami | Just One Cookbook said:

    First of all, your daughter is beautiful! How fun and wonderful to watch your own daughter acting in the drama! 🙂 And I love this post that you broke recipes into section to explain details – very easy to follow! I love thin crust pizza too, and wish we have this for lunch!
    Nami | Just One Cookbook recently posted..Chocolate Ice Cream & GiveawaysMy Profile

  • foodwanderings said:

    Dying to try this garbanzo beans pizza. Beautiful pics. Congrats to you and your daughter, you must be a proud momma!
    foodwanderings recently posted..Lamb Biryani – Rosh HaShana 5773 Indian StyleMy Profile

  • Raggi said:

    Hi, sanjeeta,

    I have just started baking, and facing many problems. I tried to make pizza but it become very hard 1st day & 2nd day it wasn’t evenly cooked…. Following every bit of the recipies.. but still…..please help me. I have a convection mwo… which mode is best for baking?

  • sanjeeta kk (author) said:

    @Raggi, You can bake a pizza in convection mode of MW. Every oven has a slightly different temperature settings, try a few bakes and you will know which fits for your baking needs. Bake the pizza base for 10 minutes on 190°C, add all the toppings and grill it for another 15-20 minutes.

  • lakshmi said:

    Hi Sanjeeta,

    Made the gluten free base and pesto recipe . Came out very well. First time ever, enjoyed having a pizza that is homemade. However, I made using a tava.

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