Saturday, November 22, 2008

Homemade Pizza...With A Little Help From Whole Foods Pizza Crust Mix

November conjures up a great many images in the mind. In early November, autumn is in full bloom, while in the later part of the month, the frost of winter creeps in with the season's first snow. One might imagine cornucopias filled with gourds, apples, and other fall fruits or pilgrims shaking hands with scantily clad natives. Perhaps the multicolored plumage of turkeys and uncomfortably early Santa Clauses posing for pictures in mall displays spring to mind. I could go on and on about what November usually brings, but this November is different. This year, November tis the season for pizza. 

On all of my recent trips, there's been pizza. All over the gluten-free blogosphere, thanks to the latest Daring Bakers' challenge, there's been pizza. And every time I talk to my gluten eating friends, there seemed to be pizza. A girl can only think about, read about, and travel for pizza for so long before the overwhelming craving leads to some kind of action. And I'm the action oriented type. 

But, if you're going to be determined about something, it may as well be pizza. 

Trouble is, thanks in part to the chill of November, I've also feeling a bit lazy. Pizza has always been a convince food, at least that's how I think of it. So spending time to make a perfect dough - mixing different flours, letting it rise, rolling it out - then, after baking, ending up with only mixed "it'll do" results? No thank you. That, I was not in the mood for.  

Enter Whole Foods 365 Organic Gluten Free Pizza Crust Mix. With 2 eggs, an egg white, cider vinegar, warm water, olive oil, and a packet of included yeast, the guess work is taken out of pizza dough, leaving me with a surprisingly fast and relatively easy end product. Add to that pizza sauce from a can, low fat pre-shredded mozzarella cheese, and Trader Joe's frozen, precut sweet pepper mix and pizza is almost a convince food again. Almost. From start to finish the pizza making process still took over an hour and a half. 

The box makes 2 12.5 inch pizzas. Or, if you're like me and pizza pan-less, it makes 3 incredibly thick crust 8.5 inch pizzas, as made in a pie pan.  On the whole, I'd make this pizza crust again. Unlike the thin, foldable pizza crust I'm accustomed to, this thick, bready crust was more like a Chicago-style pizza crossed with a loaf of crusty french bread. "Chicago style pizza on steroids", my boyfriend mused (he ate his whole pizza in one sitting, mind you). But, if you're not a fan of dough an inch and a half thick, I'm sure following the directions - and using a pizza pan - would result in a much more manageable crust. 

While I doubt homemade pizza will take the place of mashed potatoes or pumpkin pie at my Thanksgiving table (though, never say never!), I think I rather like this new November tradition. Besides, I'm not sure if the pizza bug is out of me yet. And with so many variations to try, I can't help but hope it doesn't leave any time soon. 

As I go off to lick the crumbs from my plate, I leave you with a final question: Any favorite pizza crusts, sauces, toppings? Any suggestions for pizza goodness? Tried and true recipes? Strange but delicious combinations? Dig in, dish it out, and share in the pizza goodness. 


H.Peter said...

I think you covered it pretty much.
Well, you picked Whole Foods AND Trader Joe's ingredients, doesn't get any better!

When it comes to toppings, less is more for me. But that's personal I guess.
Real Mozzarella, good San Marzano tomatoes, fresh Basil and for me, ANCHOVIES.

Pre marriage to a Celiac my favorite dough secret was to replace half the requested liquids with beer. It gives the dough a primo flavor and helps with the rising.

There are some GF beers available, so try it next time....

VeggieGirl said...

Looks AMAZING!! I just got home from Whole Foods, haha ;-)

**I LOVE this pizza recipe:

Anonymous said...

I just made pizza crust with Chebe bread was very easy and tasted the closest to what I remember "real" crust tastes like. I bought the mix at Giant Eagle.

glutenfreeforgood said...

Bob's Red Mill makes a good GF pizza crust as well. I didn't know Whole Foods had a mix. I've used their rustic version; the one that's frozen (WF GF Bakehouse). I make the Bob's Red Mill one on a big cookie sheet to avoid the 3 inch thick Chicago style thing you're talking about. A bit too doughy for me, but I do miss good pizza. Yours looks wonderful. My favorite topping combo is spinach, tomatoes, red onions, and black olives. Yum! Thanks for the tip about the crust mix!

Lynn Barry said...

Yummo! Looks fantastic! Good for you! HUGS

Erin said...

my favorite toppings are ham and pineapple. i will tell you that even though you don't eat meat.

Elle said...

Hmmm... the oddest and best I ever had was in Africa - ham and banana. Whod've thunk it? Of course, you had to set aside all previous ideas about pizza....

Thanks so much for coming by my blog and leaving such a sweet comment - it made my day!

Joanna said...

that pizza is huge!!! wow it looks amazing. i haven't had a pizza in a while because i can't find a vegan cheese that i like.

i used to love anchovies, but now, i just like mushrooms and peppers. i'm pretty traditional when it comes to pizza.

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