Thursday, February 17, 2011

Gluten-Free pizza review: Mangieri's at Circle C

I don't eat Gluten-Free because I have celiac disease.  I'm lucky in that I have no wheat sensitivity.  But lately I've been experimenting with GF products and dishes because I have friends who suffer from the disease.  I'm curious to see how things have changed from the early days of crumbly, icky textured, second rate goods.  I'm relieved to say that G-F has gotten yum-my.  In the recent past I've been blown away entirely by the deliciousness that is Blackbird Bakery.  Karen turns out amazingly lucious desserts with nary a speck of gluten in them.  Her crepes! Oh how I love those delicate, airy crepes!  (The Maker's Mark in the apple pie filling doesn't hurt, either).

I've had a burger at Hopdoddy on a GF bun and I simply couldn't tell it was wheat free.  And this week in honor of Chef Jess at ATX Gluten-Free, I tried a pizza from Mangieri's for ATX Gluten-Free Pizza Fest.

I chose Bella's pizza, a specialty pie, with the GF crust.  Making your pizza with a GF crust will cost you a bit extra, but for those who couldn't eat it any other way, it's worth the few dollars.  Bella's pizza is topped with grilled chicken, baby spinach, roma tomatoes, oregano, sesame seeds, EVOO, mozzarella and feta cheese.   Umm, hells yeah!

The crust was crispy on the edge, which was wonderful while warm but be warned, as it cooled it went from slightly toothsome to a little on the chewy side.  The taste was spot on, even a bit buttery.  As a thin crust, this one is definitely a winner.  I would order it again, without a celiac sensitivity to blame it on.  The toppings are fresh, well-seasoned and paired nicely with each other.  There was no one ingredient that stood out too much or too little.  On a scale of 1 to 5 stars, I give this a 3.75, and that would've been higher if the crust hadn't turned tough.

ATX Gluten-Free Pizza Fest Take Two...

Another winner from guest blogger Carrie Wood!  Carries is my GF friend who gives me her opinion of GF products available in area grocery stores.  I can count on her to either give two thumbs up or a resounding "no!" to GF goods.  Carries writes this post as part of ATX Gluten-Free's Pizza Fest.

This time I tried a gluten-free, yeast-free crust mix by Chebe.

I made it according to the directions on the back - the one with the parmesan cheese added to the crust mix.

I topped it exactly like I topped the Almond Flour Pizza crust.

Pic. 3 - just out of the oven (sorry, it's a little out of focus, but I think I swooned!)

Pic. 4 is what was left (hubs ate half) and the empty Chebe package.

This crust is quite simple, and shapes easily. I forgot to sprinkle cornmeal on the stone, so it stuck just a teensy, but loosened easily with a spatula. It makes a thin crust, but it's not chewy or tough. Hubs doesn't like crispy crust so I bake a little less than crispy crust would require. This crust held up well and didn't get soggy in the middle and the slices could be picked up and eaten by hand just like pizzeria slices.

Our vote between the 2 we tested is the Chebe, because it mostly closely approximates a yeasty pizza dough and because we both agree we'd eat it again!

Gluten-Free Pizza Fest Take One...

Welcome guest blogger Carrie Wood to my blog site today.  Carrie is a Gluten-Free friend of mine and she'll be reviewing a few GF pizzas in honor of ATX Gluten-Free's Pizza Fest. 

Since going wheat and yeast-free over 2.5 yrs. ago, pizza has not been part of my life. Oh, sure I could eat the toppings, but pizza isn't pizza without the crust. Carrie, of GingerLemon Girl fame, posted a gluten-free, yeast-free recipe last year and the Pizza Fest gave me a reason to coerce my husband into trying 2 different gluten-free, yeast-free pizza crusts.

1st Contestant: Gluten Free Almond Flour Pizza Crust (courtesy of GingerLemonGirl)

Dry Ingredients:

2 c. almond flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. oregano

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. basil

Wet Ingredients:

3/4 c. mashed white beans (I used cannelinni beans)

3 eggs (Egg sub. would work, too)

3 T. olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12-14" pizza pan with parchment paper.

2. In a large metal bowl mix all dry ingredients together.

3. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and all all the wet ingredients.

4. Mix them thoroughly. The dough will be quite wet.

5. If you're making 2 med. pizzas, split the dough in half.

6. Spread the dough in a circle on the parchment paper with a spatula. It may help to wet the spatula or spritz it with non-stick cooking spray to keep the dough from sticking to the spatula. (I like the feel of dough in my hands. I opted to plop it out on the parchment paper on my pizza stone. And using wet hands, I smeared and shaped the dough - rewetting hand as necessary).

Pre bake the dough in the preheated oven for 10-132 min. until golden brown.

Add toppings (I used 1 c. Delallo Tomatoes with Basil pureed, topped with slices of low-fat, thinly sliced provolone, then turkey peppperoni, and topped with grated low-fat mozzarella).

Bake topped pizza for 10-15 min. until toppings are cooked to your satisfaction.

Cool for about 5 min. and then serve.

This crust is a bit mealy, of course, due to the almond flour. It's easy to make & shape, sets up nicely and has a good flavor. The verdict: Good, but not good enough to make again.

The rule at our house is that we all have to like it . . . since hubs is compromising and eating wheat-free goodies to accommodate my sensitivity, and my goal is to make delicious food that so closely approximates it's wheaten counterparts that no one misses the wheat!