Rebecca's Gluten Free Blog

Gluten Free in the Upper Midwest

Taste Test: Gluten Free Pizza Crusts June 16, 2014

there are so many gluten free pizza crusts available these days, that I know I’m no where near halfway through trying them. but since I have tried a lot of them, I thought I’d share what I’ve found, and help you go straight to the good ones 🙂

PREMADE CRUSTS

Udi’s pizza crust is my overall favorite. you can cook it on a pizza pan, on tinfoil, directly on the rack, it doesn’t matter. it’ll still turn out great! it’s a perfect level of thickness for me, and crisp without being too crisp. it holds any and all toppings wonderfully, and probably tastes the most normal out of all the crusts I’ve tried. when I make pizza using an Udi’s crust, goat mozzarella, Davanni’s pizza sauce, Hormel pepperoni, and fresh basil pieces cut up and sprinkled throughout, I’ve had multiple people tell me over time that it’s the best pizza they’ve ever had (and mostly from non-gluten free people!) so it’s got the stamp of approval from a lot of people! a supreme pizza with Italian sausage meat (available at Kowalski’s and SuperTargets and sometimes Cub’s freezer section), green pepper, and onion, is another favorite way that I make these. I usually do supremes only when I buy the crusts by the case (there’s a 10% discount to do so at most co-ops or Whole Foods). I make a pizza prep station and separate the two crusts that come in each pack with parchment paper, once prepared, then put them back in the package, label it, and throw them in the freezer. that way I can buy the fresh basil and other fun ingredients just once, and have a frozen pizza ready to go, whenever I want. my only complaint is that if these 9″ pizzas were 1-2 inches wider, it’d be a much better serving size for two people. it’s just a bit small for two, and leaves you wanting. but a whole pizza for one is a little too much. so it’s probably best to make it a personal pizza with a little bit of leftovers (if you can resist eating it all!) the crusts are two to a pack and are gluten, soy and dairy free.

Venice Bakery (available online) is the company whose flatbread supplies Biaggi’s (the variety pack is a great way to check out both the pizza crusts and flatbread). they have a few pizza crust options available as well, plain or seasoned, and 5″ or 12″. the pizza crusts are about the same “thinness” as the flatbread, and really, really good. this is my second-favorite crust (although a little too thin for some of my family). the only issue I have with them is that with the larger size, it can bake really limp in the middle. I’ve found that using a pizza pan with holes perforated into it really helps (make sure it’s a dedicated pan, otherwise gluten can get trapped in those little holes and contaminate you). the other thing that really helps is letting it sit for 3-5 minutes after removing from the oven, and it’ll be much firmer when you serve. once I tried brushing the bottom with olive oil~ that helped some, but not enough to make it worth the hassle. I’ve also tried cooking it directly on the rack, but this was a gooey nightmare, so I don’t recommend it. but with those two adjustments, I think it turns out quite well. another thing you could do is just order the small size, but it’s really small~ I’d probably make two of them for a one-person serving, unless it’s just a light meal or if you’ll have sides with it. I should also mentioned that these crusts are vegan, and therefore dairy and egg-free, and it’s also soy, corn, and, of course, gluten-free. my favorite way to eat these pizzas are with a mixture of different flavors of goat cheese~ about half mozzarella, with some cojack and/or cheddar thrown in, plus Davanni’s pizza sauce (my favorite), Hormel pepperoni, and a healthy sprinkling of Litehouse freeze-dried oregano (available at Target, just like fresh herbs but without having to spend a ton each time). this pizza combo tastes a lot like a regular restaurant pizza. and it’s large enough for two people to share, and be quite full afterwards.

Down in the Valley Bakehouse was my third choice (second favorite of some of my family). it’s a local brand, made by Valley Natural Foods. it looks similar to Udi’s crusts, both are 9 inches, come two to a pack, and are about the same thickness.  this one had a bit of a more homemade taste, as you could smell and taste a yeast flavor, for better or worse depending on your personal preferences.

Bittersweet Bakery is a local one that I finally tried. they do take & bake or just plain crusts, from their Eagan location. or you can find the crusts from a few places around town, such as Fresh & Natural. this crust is on the thicker side, has some seasoning in it, and all around tastes pretty good! plus, it’s nice to support local places, especially since we have so few dedicated gluten free bakeries. some pizza places around town use this crust, like Fresh Picked Pizza in Shoreview. they come in 8 or 12 inch sizes, and are gluten, dairy, and soy-free.

Schar’s pizza crust is probably a good option for people who like thicker crusts. I won’t say that it’s quite like a fresh deep-dish or anything, but maybe comparable to the Red Baron Singles Deep Dish (frozen pizza). I’ve never been a fan of deep dish or too thick of a crust, so this wasn’t my favorite, but my family said that it was decent, particularly for gluten free. I usually love Schar products (Dr Schar in Europe), so this anomaly was just due to a personal preference. I will say that with such a sturdy crust, it will easily hold any and all toppings. so if you want to pile your pizza high, this could also be a good option for you. it’s also a really nice size for a personal pizza, at 8″ (2 per box), it’s gluten, soy and egg free.

Kinnikinnick makes little rectangular pizza crusts. they looked small to me at first, but they’re actually a really good personal pizza size~ it’s like one really large slice of pizza. this crust is also on the thicker side, so it filled me up before I even finished. it’s actually just a bit thicker than I like, but many people prefer a thick crust. I think it would be much better with more toppings to balance it out, so I think I’ll make a supreme pizza on this crust next time (instead of just pepperoni). the bottom of the crust is a cornmeal dusting. I like the thought of the cornmeal more than I liked it in practice. the little pieces ore corn were falling everywhere, and they cut up my mouth a little. next time I’ll probably use that as the side I top, to avoid the mess. the crusts come 4 to a pack, and they are gluten, soy and dairy free.

Against the Grain: I liked the texture and the size of this crust (12″), and also the sturdiness to hold any toppings. however, with 3 cheeses in the crust (mozzarella, cheddar, and parmesan), I must say that I got a little cheesed-out. I likened it to the cheese-stuffed pizza crusts at Pizza Hut, except none of the fun goo, and you can eat around it if you don’t want it. maybe next time, with less cheese of my own on top, it could taste great (and more economical), I don’t know. I also thought about the possibility of just making it into a flatbread, but I think it may be too thick for that. anyway, I was a bit overloaded, but if you really love lots of cheese, it could end up being the right pizza for you. this is gluten, soy, corn, and yeast-free.

Nature’s Hilights’ Brown Rice Pizza Crust is the ultimate allergy-friendly crust. the ingredients are literally brown rice flour and water. beyond being free of everything in the world except brown rice, I’ve found that it’s one of the few I’ve found that is yeast-free. but for the bad news, if you can eat other alternatives, you may opt for those first. the crust usually turns out quite gummy. unfortunately I didn’t have a perforated, dedicated pizza rack back then. that probably would’ve helped, and I also should’ve let it sit for a few minutes, now that I’ve since discovered that trick. and unless you have no other options with preventing cross-contamination, do not use tinfoil underneath. it seems to exacerbate the problem. if I made them again, another thing I’d try would be to quarter the pizza and cook in smaller pieces. because once you can get it crisp (like the edges), it’s actually surprisingly good. and for those who can’t find gluten, dairy, egg, soy, corn, and yeast-free pizza, it tastes amazing 🙂 I made these with just tomato sauce, some veggies, and pepperoni back when I was avoiding more allergens, and appreciated them very much! Whole Foods carries them, and they come two to a pack.

I hope this helps you make your pizza crust decisions easier to make! and don’t be afraid to do a little taste-testing of your own~ there are a lot of options these days!

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