January 26, 2010

365 GF Pizza Crust= Pretty Good!

Zucchini, Garlic, Spinach & Goat Cheese

Mushroom, Thyme & Goat Cheese

I spent a lot of time cooking & treating my mom to some delicious meals this weekend. It was really nice to have a chance to pamper her!

Since I took Monday off from work to spend some time with her, I thought it would be nice to make us home made gluten free pizza but when I ran to Whole Foods to pick up brown rice flour for the dough, they were all out of it. As I was searching, I stumbled upon the Whole Food brand 365 Gluten Free Pizza Crust mix in a box. The ingredients (white rice flour, potato starch, cornstarch, guar gum, granulated honey, salt & yeast) were just about the same ingredients in the dough I usually make so I figured I'd give it a try.

I'm so happy I did! For only $3.99, it was quick, easy & delicious... leaving me more valuable time to spend with mom.

The Pros?
1. Like I already said, quick, easy & delicious
2. The crust turned out perfectly browned & crisp
3. A great base to add additional flavors
4. Also makes a mean focaccia
5. Makes enough dough to feed your entire family

The Cons?
1. The recipe calls for eggs so it's not necessarily vegan. I'll try it using egg replacers in the near future and will let you know how it comes out
2. The instructions are a bit lacking for those new to gluten free baking... I'll fill you in on that in a minute
3. The main ingredient is white rice flour. I would've preferred brown rice flour for extra nutrition & fiber.
That being said, I would definitely buy this mix again.

Making the dough involves a mixer, the mix & some additional ingredients (water, eggs, sugar, salt, olive oil & cider vinegar). It's important to have all of your ingredients at room temperature or warmer so that the yeast will work and the dough will rise.

If you're new to gluten free baking it is important to note that the dough will not look like typical pizza dough. You won't be able to roll it in a ball & toss it up in the air. Instead, it will be very sticky & soft. This is totally normal since there isn't any gluten to form the elasticity that is typical of regular pizza dough. To smooth the dough once you spoon it into your pizza pans, moisten the tips of your fingers and use them to spread the dough. This method actually works really well with any sticky gluten free dough you make. Just don't soak your fingers- the goal isn't too add extra liquid to the dough.

Once you have the dough in pans, cover and place them in a draft free area. I like to turn my oven on as low as possible, let it warm for a few minutes, then turn it off and put the dough in to rise. This dough rose beautifully.

Now for some variations... I added 1 teaspoon of Italian Seasoning to my dough before spooning it into my pans. The flavors were perfect. I didn't have 2 large pizza pans so I used some smaller pans instead and made 2 deep dish style pizzas. Since I had some leftover dough available, I spread it in another deep pan and made some focaccia that will be perfect for grilled veggie paninis later this week. The first pie I made had fresh spinach, zucchini, sliced garlic and goat cheese. The second featured fresh thyme, mushrooms & goat cheese. Both were seriously incredible and mom definitely agreed! Perfect with a nice bottle of red wine and a green salad.

1 comment :

  1. It sounds delicious! I love this spicy recipe. Thanks!!
    I would like to make it in breakfast.