desperately seeking pizza

April 30, 2013 0 Comments

The day I finally realized I was “gluten intolerant” was bittersweet, as for years I had blamed my digestive problems on dairy. But no… it was the CRUST of my beloved pizza that was killing me, not the cheese. It was the delicious little Olde Cape Cod oyster crackers I was pouring into my clam chowder, not the cream in the base. The amazingly crusty sourdough sides on my grilled cheese sandwich, not the cheddar within. You see where I’m going here. Just typing the names of those foods gave me stabby little pangs of longing… not unlike the stabby little pangs I would experience should I actually ingest them.

When I first accepted my gluten-free fate, I tried to replicate my favorite foods using G-free substitutes, with varying degrees of success. As it is with pretty much all food, frozen/pre-packaged GF food generally tastes like drywall. In particular, pizza on prefab GF crust was great in theory, but not so great in practice. As pizza is my favorite food (as well as a staple of the Seeking Ambition family), we needed a better solution.

This quest brought me back to my good old friend Bob, of Bob’s Red Mill fame. I’ve written before about Bob’s Red Mill GF products – they’re inexpensive (under $4.00), easy to find (Stop and Shop, Whole Foods, etc.) and most importantly – really delicious. Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Pizza Crust Mix has been a complete game-changer for us… if that sounds overly dramatic, you aren’t grasping just how much I like pizza.

pizza

Pizza… the final frontier.

Here’s the recipe:

  • 1 package Bob’s Red Mill GF pizza crust mix
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 yeast packet (enclosed in the mix)
  • cheese – we either grate our own mozzarella or use a bag (or two!) of Sargento
  • fixins – whatever you like to put on top. Spinach, onion, green pepper – pick your poison(s)

Makes two 12-inch or one- 16-inch pizza crusts. (Being the trailblazers we are, we use 2 cookie sheets. Mainly because we have Extremely Divergent Opinions on acceptable pizza toppings.)

“Step by Step”

Directions, presented as an homage to New Kids on the Block. You’re welcome.

STEP 1 – “We can have lots of fun”

Preheat oven to 425°F.

STEP 2 – “There’s so much we can do”

In a large bowl, combine water and yeast. Let stand a few minutes. Add eggs and oil to mixture and blend briefly. Add GF Pizza Crust Mix and blend about a minute on medium speed, until combined.

STEP 3 – “It’s just you and me”

Leave dough in bowl, split in half, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise 20 minutes.

STEP 4 – “I can give you more”

Place dough on greased pizza pans. (Note: We just use olive oil.) Using wet hands, spread out dough to cover the full pizza pan. Bake without topping for 7-9 minutes. (Another note: We find that 6 minutes does the trick in our oven.)

STEP 5 – “Don’t you know the time has arrived?”

Remove from oven, cover with favorite sauce and toppings. (It will be bumpy and lumpy when you first take it out of the oven – don’t worry. It reverts to a normal, flat state.) Bake for 15-18 minutes.

We used to make our own dough before I went G-free, and I have to say – this tastes even better. You can create as much or as little of a crust as you want. I am pro-thicker crust and am very pleased with this product’s taste, texture, and ability to support a ton o’ cheese. For the investment of about an hour, it’s vastly superior to pre-fab crap you get from a local place or the grocer’s freezer.

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