Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Gluten Free Pizza Crust Taste Test

I have to be honest. I never liked pizza. It was always too bready. I was the weird kid at parties who never ate pizza and people were all, "You're weird. Everybody likes pizza!" Now I know that the real reason I didn't like pizza was because my body was trying to tell me, "This is TOXIC! Do not eat it!" So it has taken me years to develop an affinity for pizza. And I'm also not a very good pizza chef because of that fact. It wasn't hard for me to give it up when I was diagnosed with celiac's disease. I considered myself lucky. But lately I have had an overabundance of fresh garden produce like tomatoes and basil, and the other day I thought a summer pizza sounded like just the thing. Well, you know me, I couldn't just make it easy on myself and buy a premade one. I thought I would do a taste test of two products and see which one was the better pizza crust.

The first one I tried was the Grandpa's Kitchen Pizza Crust Mix. I love me some Grandpa's Kitchen products. They have really discovered a great flavor and texture with their gluten free products. So I mixed up some dough, omitting the cumin powder the package calls for and added 1/2 cup shredded asaiago cheese to the dough for some extra flavor. It made a fragrant, yummy crust. Turns out it looks like this when you pull it out:
And then you make it look like this:




And then you press it out on your pan. Press, not roll. This dough is more like play-doh consistency, you can't just flip it around in the air over your head like a regular crust. You have to massage it. Which is fine. I didn't mind that at all. You could also put it between two sheets of plastic wrap and roll it with your rolling pin. That would work well. The one mistake I made was that I should have pressed my dough out just a little thinner. So remember that when you make it yourself. A thin crust is good. I let it rise for about 20 minutes.

Then I topped it with all my favorite goodies: fresh tomatoes instead of sauce, fresh basil leaves, sliced portobello mushrooms, canned artichoke hearts, and a ton of mozzarella cheese. I'm pretty sure I used too much cheese. But can you ever really have too much cheese?

This is how it turned out. I really should have let the cheese brown for another five minutes or so. It didn't affect the taste at all, however. I ate three slices the first day, gave one away to a gluten free neighbor, and ate the other three slices for lunch the next day. Except for the crust being a little bit too thick because I made it that way, it was divine.







The next product I tried was the Food for Life Brown Rice Tortilla. I had used these the day before for a post I was going to write about using these tortillas for wraps, but they are pretty tough and crack easily, and I didn't like them for that kind of meal. I thought they would be a good candidate for a faux "thin crust style" pizza.






For starters, this was a very easy crust to prepare. Open the package, take out a frozen tortilla, place on a greased pizza pan.











I wanted to give these as close to the same flavor as the other one, so I sprinkled it with shredded asaiago cheese.











Then I loaded on the same toppings: fresh tomato, fresh basil, sliced portobello and canned artichoke hearts. I went a little easier on the cheese for this one. Lesson learned.


I did add a little sprinkling of parmesan cheese on the top of this one for extra browning.








I baked this one for 15-17 minutes (Okay, I can't really remember which one it was, 15 or 17) and I thought it looked so yummy when it came out.






When I cut this one with the pizza cutter, I heard that nice crunch you want to hear when you cut a pizza crust. This was definitely a very, very thin crust but it worked as a fast, easy pizza base. These tortillas are really chewy, so they held together well with all the veggies and melty cheese. The good thing about brown rice is that you can pretty much pair any flavoring with it. It's mild and unobtrusive in your recipes. I ate this one with a fork and I ate about three pieces (Seriously, it's a wonder I'm not 400 pounds yet with all this blog eating) and was perfectly happy with my 20 minute pizza experiment.
So which one did I like better? It depends on what kind of crust you like. If you like a thicker crust, the Grandpa's Kitchen mix is the one for you. It has great flavor, it holds up well, and you can adjust the thickness with your rolling or pressing of the dough. If you like a quick and easy super thin crust, then use your Food For Life Brown Rice Tortillas. They don't require any prep work and they make great personal pizzas. I personally think the key to any pizza's success is the combination of toppings you use. So make it the way you like it and you'll enjoy your pizza no matter what crust you choose!

1 comment:

  1. that pizza looks so yummy!!

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    ReplyDelete

 
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