Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Gluten Free Pizza Crust Mix Review

There are oh so many gluten free mixes on the market for everything from pancakes to biscuits to pizza. I've spent the last few months year laboriously going through the numerous pizza crust mixes. Here are the contenders:

Arrowhead Mills



texture: 4/5
taste: 4/5
color: 5/5
ease of preparation: 4/5
overall: 4/5

Despite the use of yeast in this dough, it is certainly a gluten free crust for thin crust lovers. Which, it seems is not the majority of us when we can't have a traditional chewy crust. I suppose you always want what you can't have, right?


* Good marks for not getting soggy even though we put fresh tomatoes on it when baking.
* Don't need to pre-bake the crust.

Toppings: tomato sauce, balsamic onions, fresh basil, goat cheese, fresh tomato slices, black olives
pizza 2: pesto/daiya mozza / tomato sauce, sundried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, olives, daiya mozza, fresh basil


Namaste Foods: 



texture: 3/5
taste: 4/5
color: 4/5
ease of preparation: 4/5
overall: 3.5/5

This mix didn't have a yeast packet do deal with which was nice & also had a sprinkling of herbs in the dry ingredients, which was a welcome surprise. I always add in a variety of Italian herbs when I make pizza from scratch as we do enjoy it.


This crust was... crispy. We're talkin Rice Crispies crispy. Kind of strange & unexpected. Kind of like these actually. I hate to say, but we wouldn't buy it again.


Square pizza toppings: pizza sauce, black olives, fresh tomato, daiya pepperjack, artichoke hearts, fresh mushrooms
Round pizza toppings: basil paste, smoked salmon, sundried tomatoes, black olives, capers, artichoke hearts, goats gouda.

Celimix:



texture: 4.5/5
taste: 5/5
color: 5/5
ease of preparation: 5/5
overall: 5/5

This is a crust mix fit for someone who doesn't love thin crust. I was always a sucker for Chicago Deep dish pizza, and this one comes closer than any I've had in the last few years (you can make it a thin crust with a larger pizza pan though). It wasn't heavy and didn't get soggy! I haven't been terribly impressed with any of the other products I've had from this company, but this one's a winner for sure.


Being yeast free, this crust took only a handful of minutes (less time than the oven took to preheat) to mix up, which is definitely a bonus in my books. Less than 20 minutes to bake (plus a few to broil the toppings) what more could one ask for? Okay, maybe a bit more healthful as the main ingredient is rice flour. But really, who's looking for anything healthy in their pizza? Toppings: green pepper, pizza sauce, artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes, proscuitto, mozzarella & cheddar Daiya. 




Bob's Red Mill: 



texture: 5/5
taste: 5/5
color: 5/5
ease of preparation: 3/5
overall: 5/5

"If you told me that this pizza crust was fake I wouldn't believe you." -Mr.C

And I said "Fake?"


It's that good. But I had my doubts when I was pressing the crust into the pans. It was whole-grainy, and sticky and generally a pain in my butt. I wasn't optimistic, but at the same time there was a glimmer of hope in the back of my mind because I know that Bob's makes good stuff. Compared to the other two brands of mixes we had in the house at the time, this one required the least amount of time for yeast rising, and baking. But it was worth it. Especially since I was at yoga while the crusts were magically being prepared!

Round pizza: goat cheese base topped with veggies (zucchini, red onion, mushrooms, yellow pepper) sauteed in olive oil with cumin, chili powder & a bit of salt along with a teeny bit of cheddar Daiya.

Rectangle pizza: pizza sauce, black olives, capers, sundried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts, cheddar Daiya & fresh tomato.

Pamela's:



texture: 5/5
taste: 5/5
color: 5/5
ease of preparation: 3/5
overall: 4.5/5

The prep on this pizza was a sticky mess just like the last one. It didn't leave me doubting this time, just frustrated. Rather than fighting with trying to smooth out a second crust, I threw the second half of the dough into a muffin tin in globs. After the dough had time to rise, I topped said globs with a bit of pasta sauce & some cheddar daiya & put them in beside the pizza. A tasty little appetizer!


I had a heck of a time getting the crust off of my "non-stick" pizza pan as you can see. Clearly not enough oil went down on the pan before the crust did. 


Now this was totally a "clean out the fridge" pizza. Goat cheese, fresh picked basil, roasted red peppers, pasta sauce, cheddar daiya, sundried tomatoes, green & red pepper, mushrooms, black olives, artichoke hearts, capers, fresh tomato, plus we added Italian seasoning to the dough... man was it good! And as promised, chewy too!

Bisquick:



texture: 0/5
taste: 3/5
color: 2/5
ease of preparation: 5/5
overall: 2/5

The texture of this "crust" isn't pizza-like at all. Definitely more reminiscent of a crumbly biscuit, or cornbread maybe. Much like one would expect from Bisquick I suppose... I suggest to them that they take this recipe off of the box, it's not pizza.


As far as taste is concerned, well, it tastes like a biscuit. Again not like pizza at all, but it doesn't taste bad. There was a bit of browning in the oven, but in general the coloring is pale.

This item isn't something that I have found in Canada to date, I purchased it in Hawaii on our last trip to the U.S. I can't forsee myself purchasing it ever again.

Toppings: olive oil, fresh basil leaves, capers, sliced black olives, smoked salmon, goat cheese.

Gluten Free Pantry:




texture: 4/5
taste: 4/5
color: 5/5
ease of preparation: 4/5
overall: 4/5

The instructions for making this mix into a pizza crust weren't terribly clear on the back of the box, so we did the best we could. I let the dough rise for 40 minutes, then scooped it out onto the pizza pan & baked for 15. I probably should have divvied the dough into two pizzas, but went for one monstrous, reminscent of deep-dish pizza instead. It was light & fluffy as you would expect from French Bread (the alternate use for this mix) but didn't quite have the same chewiness that a deep dish pizza does. This is certainly the closest I've had since going gluten free.


The pizza dough recipe we have at work (not gluten free) calls for flour that has a higher than normal level of gluten in it, so I suspect this is the "secret ingredient" in the chewy pizza crusts I used to love. Dammit.

Toppings: pureed fresh salsa, sliced black olives, diced green pepper, sliced fresh crimini mushrooms, hungarian salami, daiya mozzarella.

Highwood Crossing:




A picture is worth a thousand words... 


And those words are "I wouldn't buy this one again..."


On two different pans (one stainless steel, one non-stick) this pizza stuck like glue. The stainless steel pan that I slathered the olive oil onto (after seeing what happened with the non-stick pan -which I did spray) wasn't as bad, but still stuck.

texture: 3/5
taste: 2/5
color: 4/5
ease of preparation: 2/5
overall: 2/5

I don't even know what else to tell you about this one... just don't buy it.

Toppings: sweet basil marinara, deli cured black forest ham, fresh pineapple, black olives. 

Purely Bulk:




texture: 4/5
taste: 4.5/5
color: 5/5
ease of preparation: 5/5
overall: 4.5/5

This is definitely a thin crust pizza mix. The batter (not dough...) was very thin, much like pancake mix. It spread out on the baking sheet just as a pancake would have. If the liquid was reduced the crust may be thicker, but this is how it turned out according to the package directions. 


The majority of the crust was almost chewy like a thicker traditional pizza crust may be, but the outer edge (sans toppings) was crunchy almost like a cracker. I would suggest topping this pizza crust right to the edge. Because the batter spread so much there was no way to form this part of the crust anyways, so it was the same height as the rest of the pie.


The directions required eggs and milk in addition to the mix contained in the bag. We used unsweetened original almond breeze in our crust mix. Also worth noting is that there's three 12" pizzas worth of mix in the bag! All in all, this is one of the better ones, for sure! We would buy this one again.

Toppings: Roasted garlic pasta sauce, green pepper, dry pepperoni (lots of oil on the pan after baking) & goat's mozzarella.

Heartland Gourmet:



texture: 2.5/5
taste: 2.5/5
color: 3.5/5
ease of preparation: 4/5
overall: 2.5/5

This crust is very focaccia bread-like in appearance. Moreso in looks than taste though, and sort of like a biscuit (much better than the bisquick though!). It doesn't have the gluten-y appeal that a "good" deep dish pizza does (in my opinion) but it's not bad. The directions indicated that we could either make 2 thin crust pizzas, or 1 thick crust- we chose the latter.

I've begun to notice that the mixes that contain herbs in them seem to be attempting to make up for a general lack of flavor within the mix. I think that one that called for some salt or butter would perhaps fare better taste wise. Despite the herbs, this crust didn't taste like much. I put jam on my crusts and ate them for dessert. Try not to judge me...


As this was a mix that involved yeast, there was a total of one hour of rise time, but the preparation wasn't difficult per se. Overall I don't think we would buy this brand again. Pizza crust isn't meant to be biscuity, biscuits are.

Toppings: cooked crumbled "Juliet" sweet italian chicken sausage, sauteed red onion, black olives, sundried tomatoes, roasted red pepper, goat's feta & mozzarella daiya.

So there you have it folks! A years worth of pizza at our house, dissected & scrutinized. Tell me about your favorite way to rock gluten free pizza in the comments below!



2 comments:

  1. Haha, thanks, you did all the work! I have a friend whose celiac and when she comes over for dinner, I feel like I need to break out the chemistry set.

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    1. It can be tricky for sure! Hopefully this will give you a bit of guidance next time they come over :)

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