Want to spend almost 2 hours (total time) cooking and feel like spitting out the food you made? That basically explains my recent homemade pizza disaster. It was saved by the fact that my cooking assistants were both under the age of 10, so at least it was fun. It was also saved by some quick thinking in the grocery store beforehand, which I’ll explain at the end.
There’s some good news and some bad news.
First of all, I don’t like to make a habit of complaining about gluten free products (at least in public)! I applaud anyone who takes the time to support celiacs and others. However, once in a while either I must be using the product incorrectly or it’s just a dud. I confirmed with some celiac friends that in the case of my homemade pizza disaster story below, it’s the latter.
So here’s my story. I spoke with Tom Karounos (guest blogger from earlier this week), about pizzas after my pizza post. He said, “Why don’t you make it at home? Udi’s has a great product.” I got the kids all excited about making pizza and then went to the store, only to find out that my local Stop & Shop had a bunch of Udi’s Gluten Free Pantry flours (pancake, sandwich, muffin, cornbread) but not the pizza blend. If you are not familiar with gluten free flours, you need to get the right blend to approximate the right taste and achieve proper consistency. Next time I’ll try another store, but as you know, there are only so many hours in the day to grocery shop!
Left with no other options for pizza dough other than Pamela’s, I picked up a bag. I didn’t check with Tom first. There was no time. Mistake #1.
We then followed the directions, mixing, letting dough sit, etc. It took forever. A novice at gluten free pizza making (or any, for that matter), I didn’t anticipate the waiting time. My daughter joined this part, having a blast playing with the dough. That was my first saving grace. At least she enjoyed it.
Once done, the pizza itself was chewy and not a good flavor. Of course, I am happy to hear from others if they like it or have suggestions for my readers, but this will not be a repeat in our home. (We haven’t liked their pancake mix either. It’s very hard to flip them without the pancake falling apart, and they don’t taste like “normal” pancakes at all.)
First, the good news. It looked like a beautiful rustic-style pizza.
Since our pizza was homemade, I was able to add my own toppings, like chicken.
As I said, Tamara had lots of fun.
Lastly, some friends stopped by for a few minutes while the pizzas were cooking, so I got some “great mom” and “great cook” kudos for creating a baking experience and having something yummy-smelling in the oven.
Now the bad news. It was sticky. No amount of water or oil would keep it from sticking to my hands. It got everywhere. I couldn’t get it to smooth out properly on the pan. And I’ve already told you about the taste.
This is the consistency, by the way. Sticky.
Some more good news, but not about Pamela’s. I am fully aware of my limited baking skills, so I had picked up some pre-cooked crusts just in case the homemade ones were a bust. We ended up using them, and they were OK for what they were. Even Danny liked them, and he is NOT a fan of gluten free pizza, always insisting he gets the regular thin crust when we order out. Here’s the rest of the pizza making experience, with Schär’s gluten free crusts.
No wait time, and they tasted better than Pamela’s, although they were certainly not as good as I expect true homemade pizzas to taste. It’s more the fun factor without a mess that would be the draw if we make them again.
More bad news. Although when I cut the crusts for my children’s pizza, we were able to do it lickety-split, I had some trouble with mine. Just as my husband was walking into the kitchen from our garage, he heard a “Sh__!!” come out of my mouth, loud enough to be audible through the door. Unphased, he said, “What’s for dinner? Did the pizzas work out?”
While running the pizza cutter over mine, I flipped half the pizza over and onto the floor. So we each got 3/4 of a personal sized one rather than our own whole mini-pizza. Plus we sampled the Pamela’s a while later, of course, of which we each ate about two bites. Luckily, neither of us are huge pizza fans, so it was just enough with the salad accompaniment.
And that’s how it went. We will try Udi’s next time, or Cup for Cup from William’s Sonoma, which has been recommended to me twice in the past week.
Good luck with your own homemade pizza adventures! Happy to hear advice, encouragement our your own tales of gluten free pizza disaster!