Gill Books - Reading Matters



Welcome to Finn's World: I Can't Believe its not Cardboard-Thick Crust Pizza

04-05-2017 09:33

Eat, surf, sleep, repeat … step into Finn’s World with I Can’t Believe It’s Not Cardboard – Thick Crust Pizza!


Most of us start our day with coffee and a commute; Finn starts hers with a smoothie and a surf. With her twin passions of food and the sea, Finn’s philosophy is that as long as she is never far from either, it’s been a good day at the office!


Everyone has that one dish that if someone said you couldn’t eat it, you’d shoot them. For me it’s pizza. I love Italian food, but mostly I love pizza. When GF pizzas started to pop up it was like the fates were taunting me. I’d eat gluten-free pizza in a restaurant and they’d cook it in the oven with regular ones and I get poisoned. Then I tried buying the extortionately priced pizza bases from supermarkets – the consistency of a stale bagel! Then one day a friend showed me how to make pizzas on a GF tortilla wrap. Revelation! Healthy pizza! But it still wasn’t that bold, thick, crunchy takeaway pizza. And so I crafted and schemed: there were dry crusts; there were a few rank soggy ones. Finally the golden ticket of simple ingredients was found. Eating this can cause untold levels of glee. Crunchy crust for dipping into garlic mayo? Chewy base for tearing away with your teeth? Check and check! Below is my favourite, a simple twist on the classic Hawaiian. Serve with gluten-free beer and a smug grin.




1 cup (120g) GF self-raising flour, plus extra for rolling Doves Farm Organic is tip top: great ingredients and no chemicals!

pinch of salt

1 cup (250g) Greek yogurt

2 tbsp olive oil


2 chestnut mushrooms

2 pineapple rings in juice not syrup, no need for that nastaay sugar

1 cup (225g) tomato frito a wonderful Spanish invention where they have already added the garlic and seasoning to the tomato; if your local supermarket doesn’t have it, passata with some oregano, garlic powder and salt will do.

big handful (30g grated or ½ ball sliced) of mozzarella for each mini pizza

2 slices Serrano or Parma ham


1 Preheat the oven to 180°C.

2 Line 2 baking trays with baking parchment – this stops the pizzas from sticking and makes them easier to move.

3 Chuck the flour and salt in a big bowl. Make a well in the middle of the flour and pour in the yogurt and olive oil. Mix the lot together with a wooden spoon to make a sticky dough.

4 Now the fancy looking bit. Pour about 1/3 cup of flour on a big chopping board and smooth it out a bit. For non-gluey hands, quickly dust your hands with flour. I love doing this as it reminds me of ‘chalking up’ for weight lifting. Time to show this dough who’s boss! Working with ¼ of your dough at a time, grab a chunk and drop it on the floured board. Roll it around till you have a floury ball – if the dough feels too wet just add more flour. Warning: this GF version will never be as gluey as regular pizza dough and will feel softer than you’d expect, so none of that fancy swinging it around the place!

5 Next, pop a ball of dough on one side of your papered-up baking tray (you should fit two small pizzas on an average tray). Cover your rolling pin in flour to stop the dough sticking. Roll the pizza base out by moving the dough a quarter turn clockwise after each roll. This stops the dough from breaking and keeps the nice round shape. Using your hands, flatten the dough in the centre and squish the edges to create a thick-crust pizza.

6 Repeat till you have 2 mini pizzas for each tray. Pop the trays in the oven for 10 minutes to partially cook the dough.

7 For the toppings, thinly slice the mushrooms and chop the pineapple into chunks. I love Serrano ham for a little twist on the classic Hawaiian – it adds such a great flavour and you can cut thin strips using a scissors.

8 Take the pizza bases out of the oven, and now it’s time to customise! Do you like loads of sauce? Not too much cheese? I like a good dollop of sauce, but plenty of space for plain crust that I can use for dippies later.

9 Spoon on your sauce, spread it out then grab a good handful of cheese and sprinkle over each pizza. Pop the bases back in the oven for 5–10 minutes to let the cheese melt. After this take them out, arrange your mushrooms, pineapple and ham and pop back in for another 10– 15 minutes till the cheese is golden brown.




For a healthier dinner, this pizza goes great with one of the salads from page 100 of Finn’s World and some sweet home fries (page 139 of Finn’s World). For naughty nights, scoff two of the mini pizzas, wash down with a GF beer or a nice cider and keep your crusts for dipping in a creamy garlic mayo – 4 tbsp mayo, 1/2 tsp garlic powder and 1/2 tsp oregano. This base works brilliantly with any combo of toppings and sauces you can dream up – think salsa instead of tomato sauce, or if cow’s milk doesn’t agree with you, try goat’s yogurt in the base and melty goat’s cheese with sundried tomatoes and artichokes as a topping.


Get your copy of Finn’s World online with Eason, Dubray, Gill Books and Amazon or in all good bookshops nationwide.


Follow Finn’s daily adventures on Follow @finsfitfood on Instagram, @finsfitfood on Facebook, @fins_fit_food on Twitter, or search for Finns World on snapchat.



About the Author


Finn Ní Fhaoláin’s food journey began when she was diagnosed as a coeliac and became determined to recreate all her favourite dishes – this time without gluten. That difficult road led to a beautiful destination, where Finn has created food that’s not only nutritious, but tastes amazing too! Hailing from the west coast, by the age of 10 Finn had already sailed past a glacier in Alaska, stayed in a convent in the south of France and watched cobras dancing in India. She has a BSc in Earth and Ocean Science and an MSc in Marine Biology, and has completed a professional cookery course at the Lough Gill School of Culinary Arts. She lives, surfs and cooks in Bundoran on Ireland’s northwest coast.



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