This is a fun little snack or meal that my boys absolutely devour.  Being an Italian girl from New York, it’s kind of heartbreaking to me that Casey has never, and may not ever, have real New York pizza.  Like bagels, it’s true our pizza has that something extra.  Most say it’s the water, some say it’s the classic recipes brought over in the early 20th century to Brooklyn, Queens and the City.  Regardless, it’s a thing of beauty.

I was bent on making one Casey could have and he wasn’t really feeling them with the doughs I was testing.  Then I had an idea to use pie dough to make it more like a Hot Pocket, and it was a hit from the get-go.  You can use any safe cheese, sauce and fillings that you like which makes it great for family night.

Working with pie dough is a scary thing for people, novice or experienced bakers alike.  It was one of my toughest days to teach at school because I found everyone was scared of the dough and that led to easy mistakes.  Pie dough is like bread, you just have to feel and listen to it to know when it’s right.  It can definitely be tricky, but it will only be an Achilles heel if you let it!

Allergy friendly pie dough, especially gluten free, is not that hard to master.  The gluten free factor actually makes it a hit easier because the gluten in wheat flour is what makes the dough shrink and hard to work with.  Obviously, that issue isn’t there with gluten free dough.  It does make it a bit more likely to break, so that’s where the delicate hand comes in.

This is classic 3-2-1 pie dough, meaning it’s 3 parts flour (regular or gluten free), 2 parts fat, and one part ice water.  Any variation of substitutions works here  which is why I love this dough.  I also have a link for a grain free version made with cassava dough, keep it Paelo friendly! I make everything from these pizza pockets to fruit galettes to apple hand pies with this dough.  It freezes well and doesn’t take more than a few minutes to pull together.  Because it is very neutral in flavor, it is ideal for sweet or savory dishes.

These pizza pockets freeze great unbaked as well, so stash some in the freezer to have on hand when you’re short on time.  Enjoy! 💙

**As always, please check which brands are safe for your needs**

 Ingredients and Substitutions 

Flour – I use gluten free flour for this recipe, but you can use wheat flour interchangeably.  This is one of the recipes that I like to measure the flour to get it just right.  Remember, different gluten free flours will have different weights depending on the density of the ingredients.  I primarily use King Arthur Measure for Measure gluten free flour but have also use Namaste and Authentic Foods with good results.  Just be sure your flour has xanthan gum in it. 

Fat – The fat that you choose to use here is entirely up to your needs.  I use both regular butter and Spectrum palm shortening.  I found that when I used Casey’s safe margarine it was way too greasy.  The biggest key here is that you have the fat very cold before using.  Have it wrapped in the refrigerator to get a nice chill on it.  It is necessary to keep the pieces of fat on the larger size to create flaky layers in the dough.  If it too small, the dough will be more like a paste and not bake properly. 

Ice water – Sounds like an odd thing to make a note about ice water, right?  Well although this is pretty much as allergy friendly as it gets, the water at the wrong temperature can mess it all up.  Let the ice water sit, then remove the ice and measure.  Don’t measure the water and then add ice.  The whole proportion will be off.  Also, this is a guideline for water.  A good rule of thumb is you can always add more but cannot take away.  Depending on how large you’ve kept your fat and the humidity level outside (yes, weather affects pie dough and bread!), you may need more or less water.

Cheese – Use your safe cheese in these pizzas, whether it be dairy, soy, nut or coconut based.  Casey can have baked milk, and this is a great recipe for me to get his dosing in either through butter in the dough or safe mozzarella.  If he’s having a particularly eczema-y week, I might use So Delicious coconut mozzarella shreds and back off on the dairy a bit.

Sauce – Make your own, or use safe canned or jarred!  I won’t tell if it’s not homemade! 😜

Fillings – Casey cannot have beef or pork, but I always make some with pepperoni for my husband and middle guy Gabriel.  Any fillings will work, be it olive, meatballs or mushrooms, just finely chop because it gets tight in those pockets and they can leak out.  Please note!! If you are adding fillings, a larger size is the way to go.

Cutters/Shaping – I tend to use 3” cutters because I get the most out the dough and it’s a good size for Casey.  You can freehand cut any shape you want, just remember you need 2 per pizza pocket and they must be even.  A bowl or glass work well if you don’t have cutters.  Alternatively, you can make them larger, like a calzone, and cut a large circle and fold over.

Milk/Egg Wash – This is necessary to seal the pockets and give a nice color to the baking pizzas.  Use either that is safe.  I use coconut milk all the time so any safe milk will work. Egg will make them shinier, milk will make them more brown from the natural sugars.

**As always, please check which brands are safe for your needs.**

Author: Katie Martino Lopez

Prep Time: with dough chilling time, 1 hr. 15 minutes

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Cook Time: 25-45 minutes

Total Time: approximately 2 hours

Ingredients

3-2-1 Pie Dough

  • 12 oz. (340 g., scant 2 ½ cups) gluten free (make sure your blend contains xanthan gum) or regular flour
  • 8 oz. vegan shortening (I like Spectrum) or unsalted safe/regular butter, or a mix of both
  • 4 oz. ice water
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. sugar

Grain Free Pie Crust

Recipe link and instructions here: https://katiebakesforcasey.com/2020/11/grain-free-sweet-potato-pie/ 

Pizza Assembly

Marinara sauce

Shredded mozzarella or cheese of your choice

Toppings of your choice, chopped small

Milk or egg wash for sealing and glazing pockets

Method

  1. Measure and chill fat at least 10 minutes before starting recipe.
  2. Let water and ice sit while preparing dry ingredients.
  3. In a large bowl, sift dry ingredients. Add fat to the bowl and toss lightly with your fingers to coat with flour.  Using fingertips, a pastry blender (my choice) or two knives, gently cut the fat into the flour.  Don’t squeeze or flatten or the fat will be too small and will not be flaky.  The pieces should be about the size of blueberries.
  4. Measure out 4 oz. from the ice water. Drizzle about 2/3 around the bowl, not just in one spot. Gently blend until the dough comes together.  It should not be sticky like a cookie dough but will hold together when lightly squeezed.  Add more water by tablespoons if more is needed.  Gluten free flour will require a bit more water because it absorbs more than wheat flour.
  5. Gather dough together and spilt in 2. Flatten into a disk on parchment or wax paper and wrap.  Chill at least one hour before using.
  6. Prepare toppings and have sauce, cheese and milk/egg wash ready to go.
  7. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  8. When dough is chilled, work with only one half at a time. I like to roll out between two pieces of parchment or on silicone mats. Use a small amount of bench flour, too much will dry out dough.  Roll dough to no more than 1/4” thick and cut into desired shapes, having 2 cuts per pocket, one for top and one for bottom.  So, to have 4 pockets, you need 8 rounds, squares, or rectangles.  Alternatively, you can cut large circles and fold over into a half moon shape.  **NOTE** For reference, I use a 3” round cutter and get about 6-8 pockets per HALF batch of dough.  Re-roll scraps gently if needed.  SEE ABOVE IN POST NOTES.
  9. Lay rounds on a parchment lined sheet pan. Refrigerate if the dough has gotten cold or the warm fat will melt in the oven and not be flaky.  Remember, you need 2 rounds per pizza. 
  10. Working with one round at a time, brush the bottom of the round with egg or milk wash, especially on the edges. Work quickly or the dough will absorb the wash! Spoon a SMALL amount of sauce onto the base, do not go to the edge! **NOTE** For reference, I use about a teaspoon of sauce for my 3” rounds.  It will leak out if there’s too much.
  11. Add a small amount of toppings and cheese. Place a top over the filling and gently use a fork to seal the edges shut. If the top is cracking, then you used too much filling. 
  12. Brush the top with milk/egg wash.
  13. Bake immediately at 425 degrees. 3” pizzas take approximately 25-30 minutes.
  14. Cool pizza pie pockets a bit before eating, those insides can be really hot!!!

 

Recipe Notes

  • This recipe is very easily scaled up or down.
  • The dough will freeze for up to 3 months. Divide into 2 and wrap in parchment, then tightly in plastic wrap or a freezer bag with air removed.
  • Unbaked pizza pies can be frozen as well. Freeze individually and them place in a freezer bag for one month.  Cook from frozen in a 400 degree oven.

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Disclaimer

As we all know, reading labels and preparing food when managing allergies is a job within itself with much responsibility. All the brands I use are ones that I have contacted, and Casey has eaten safely. That being said, I must remind…

Please do your own research when deciding which products and foods are safe for the allergies you manage. These are the ones that are safe for our needs but may not be for you. Everyone has different comfort levels with manufacturing and production procedures.

And, as a friendly reminder, always have 2 epinephrine auto injectors on hand!

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