Thursday, June 2, 2016

gfJules Pizza Crust Mix

One of the foods I missed the most after my celiac diagnosis was gluten-filled pizza.  Pre-celiac, I enjoyed eating pizza in restaurants, and I loved the homemade pizza my husband's Italian grandmother used to make.  I gave up on making pizza at home for several years, because all the pizza mixes and doughs I tried were mediocre at best.  I was excited when I discovered Against the Grain Gourmet pesto pizza, and I occasionally make pizza with their pizza shells, when I can find them in local stores.  Shortly after I started my blog, I started making pizza with Chebe Original Cheese Bread Mix, which you can read about here.  I love pizza made with Chebe, because it is easy to make, it's grain free, and it tastes great, but at times, I craved pizza with a more traditional pizza crust, like I used to eat pre-celiac.

A couple of months ago, one of my blog readers convinced me that I had to try gfJules pizza crust mix, so I ordered the value box online, along with some gfJules gluten free all-purpose flour, which is the key ingredient in my Easter Bread Buns recipe.

Each value box contains enough pizza crust mix and yeast to make eight 12-inch pizza crusts, and everything is individually packaged.

We followed the instructions that came with the pizza crust mix, doubling everything to make enough dough for two pizzas.  I did all the mixing in my stand mixer, using the dough hook.  We put half of the dough on our 14-inch cast iron pizza pan, which we season with olive oil or canola oil after it is cleaned, and before each use.  I was able to spread out the dough pretty easily with a spatula for this pizza, but the other pizza was cooked on our foil covered Williams-Sonoma pizza crisper, and my husband spread the dough as directed, with oil coated hands.

We followed the directions for allowing the dough to rise for 30 minutes, then preheated our oven to 375 degrees.  We baked both pizzas at the same time, par baking them on their own shelves, then switching them for their final bake, once the toppings were added.

We made two pizzas Mitch's grandmother used to make.  Mammaw's cheddar cheese pizza has two simple ingredients - grated sharp cheddar cheese and garlic powder.  After par baking the crust, we rubbed minced garlic on it instead of using garlic powder, and added 8 ounces of freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese.

After adding the toppings, our cheddar cheese pizza only needed to be cooked 15 more minutes.  I ended up sprinkling some garlic salt on my slices of pizza for added flavor.  The crust was amazing, and tasted like the gluten-filled pizza crusts I have missed for the past 8 years.  My gluten-eating daughters and husband were impressed as well.  I was very happy with how the cheddar cheese pizza cooked on my cast iron pizza pan.  It did not stick at all, and I easily transferred it over to another pizza pan to cut it.

For our second pizza, we made Mammaw's oregano pizza with one change - we used fresh chopped oregano instead of dried oregano.  Right before we par baked it, we used our fingers to make dents in the dough, and spread olive oil on top of it.  Before the final bake, which only took 10 minutes, we added a generous sprinkle of sea salt and chopped oregano.   Next time, I would probably add more olive oil after the pizza is par baked.  Our oregano pizza was good, but it stuck to the oiled aluminum foil we used, so if I ever use this pizza pan again, I would try covering it with parchment paper instead of foil.  I really need to invest in a second cast iron pizza pan, because they are the best pans for making pizza that I have found.

Next time, I want to make a pesto chicken pizza with gfJules pizza crust mix on my cast iron pan.  I plan on making a double portion of dough again, so I have enough to make a 14-inch pizza.  With the extra dough, I might try to make garlic bread sticks or garlic knots.  gfJules pizza crust mix can also be used to make gluten free baguettes and calzones.

You can read more about gfJules pizza crust mix on Jules' website here.  I purchased it online, because gfJules products are not available for sale anywhere in Florida, but you can view her store locator here to see if they are available where you live.  If you live in my hometown of Pittsburgh, you can buy gfJules products at Naturally Soergel's in Wexford.

A big thank you to blog reader Ginny for convincing me to finally try gfJules pizza crust mix!


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