Thursday, September 18, 2008

GFCF Pizza Crust Review

I decided to do a little pantry diving yesterday and I found...

Chebe Pizza Crust

...a packet of Chebe Pizza Crust. All Chebe products are naturally gluten free, but depending on what you buy, there could be casein. I've tried the all-purpose Chebe mix (I'll review that another day) and now the Pizza Crust. It's easy as pie...or crust!

I found the mix at Coborn's, a locally owned grocery store, in their natural/organic foods section and I think I paid somewhere around $4. It's not cheap, but if you can't or don't want to rely on always making homemade, I think this might be a winner for you. Just a quick shout out to Coborn's: you ROCK at the natural/organic foods! They have the best selection of GFCF products in my area. That section of the store even has it's own freezer and refrigerator cases full of gluten free, casein free, natural, organic, whatever you want. They my favorite premium soy ice cream (lalallalalalala...droool), but I digress.

Back to the pizza crust.

You dump the crust in your mixer and immediately see the herbs. Yes, herbs! It actually smells like pizza! In with the mix goes 2 eggs and 2 Tbsp. olive oil. I used extra virgin (EVOO, kids). I mixed this with my dough hook until it had all combined. It took a little bit of scraping, but it worked. Then you add about 4 Tbsp. of a CF milk substitute (again, I used 8th Continent). I needed a little more for it to all come together to my liking. I mixed it as well as I could with the dough hook, then lightly kneaded it in the bowl with my hand.

I plopped the dough onto my pizza stone and rolled out with my rolling pin. The bag claims you can get a 16" circle, but I'm doubtful. I didn't try that hard and this is what I came up would be more the thickness of a hand tossed or traditional crust. See the speckles? That's the oregano.

Chebe Pizza Crust (1)

I poked the dough all over with a fork and baked for 10 minutes at 375 F. If there were any puffs, I poked them again with the fork. The crust baked for another 15 minutes and then I took it out. The directions tell you this is the time to add your pizza toppings, then bake until the toppings are hot. I'd had enough of that smell and was not inclined to wait any longer before I broke of a piece and dunked it in some EVOO on a plate.

Chebe Pizza Crust (2)

The first thing I noticed was the non-bake-iness in the center. Because of this, it's a little chewy in the center, but the flavor was awesome! I would try baking this a little longer next time and perhaps this is why the bag tells you to make a 16" circle. It would probably cook perfectly.

The verdict? If you want to make GF pizza in a hurry, make a few calls and see if your store carries this mix. Then go buy it. Go on, you can do it. I have made excellent homemade crusts and Kinnikinnick sells a premade frozen crust, but this is what you need if you want quick and easy. Let me know what you think!

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