Sunday, July 8, 2012

Gluten Free Pesto Pizza - Bought and Homemade Reviews

If you are gluten free, you know that pizza can be a struggle. I have tried on and off for years now to try to make a decent homemade pizza crust, and at best have only been slightly successful. The dough is usually crazy sticky and difficult to deal with, and baking it correctly so it's not burnt on the edges but done on the inside has never seemed to be my forte.

And then there is the issue of toppings.  To me, homemade pizza just never tastes as good as something that comes from a real pizza place.  Homemade ones can be good in their own right, but it's just never the same.  Although, I also always think that any salad or grilled cheese sandwich that is made for me, by someone else, always tastes better, so maybe it's that whole phenomena going on.  At any rate, I digress...

A while back, we got some pizzas from Z Pizza up the street, across from the Graceland shopping center. They offer a gluten free crust, so I was excited to try it and support the new local spot.  I have to say that the pizza was fantastic.  We got pesto, kalamata olives, and garlic as toppings, which was a very fun combo.  The crust was thinner but had a nice crunchy/chewy thing going on.  Of course it was a little pricey, but it really was spectacular, so it was worth it.  After further research, they seem to also use all organic ingredients, which helped the price tag I'm sure, but also contributed to the extreme yumminess.

So after making my own homemade pesto sauce, I decided that I needed to try making some gluten free pizza crust at home again.  I was at Marc's, and they had a Bob's Red Mill gluten free pizza crust mix in their little health food/organic isle, so I decided to try it.  In my experience Bob's usually makes decent stuff, and I decided that trying a mix versus making my own from scratch may take some of the guess work out of the equation.

I was very pleasantly surprised at how easy the crusts were to make and how good they turned out.  I honestly think it was one of the best I've made yet.  The edges were a little crispy and the center was done.  It turned out to be a little thicker style crust than the Z's Pizza, but I think I could have done a better job at smoothing/thinning it out.  The mix also makes enough to make two large pizzas, so even though the bag may seem a little expensive, it is a better buy for the money.

Look, crispy crusts!  The little one was for Addy.
She just got spaghetti sauce, cheese, and tomatoes.
Oh, and those other things were roasted beets.  Yuck.

The end result with my pesto, mozzarella, sun dried tomatoes, artichokes, and cut up grape tomatoes was really good!  I think next time I will use less pesto; when the pesto heated up, the oils really got flowing and there was a lot more on there than I realized.  But the flavors were great, and the crust held up well.

So my excitement for homemade pizza has been refreshed.  I'm still tempted to try making my own from scratch again, but we'll see - the fact that they sell Bob's at Marc's is pretty tempting, now that I know how easy it was and how well it turned out.

What do you think?  Makes me hungry again.

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