By Jennifer North, National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) Vice President
I don’t generally bake, which is why I had to wing it when making pizza from Enjoy Life’s new line of gluten-free baking mixes with ancient grains that include a new technology: heat-resistant probiotics.
But let’s stick with the pizza for now. The only required ingredients are water, olive oil and salt. While I didn’t have a rolling pin and had to use a glass cup to roll out the dough instead, I do have a pizza stone that I inherited from my sister. The box includes enough mix for two pizza crusts, free of gluten and all top eight allergens (unless you choose to add some when you select toppings). The instructions provided some direction about my options for rolling out a thin, crispy crust or a thicker, more “doughy” crust. I thought I would try one of each.
I used a can of crushed tomatoes, along with my freshly picked Jersey garden tomatoes (and basil!). On the thin, crispy pizza, I also added spinach and thin slices of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, which is an aged cheese and therefore also lactose-free. The dough was actually dough. I got to knead it and feel it in my hands. I baked the crust on its own for eight minutes, then added the toppings and allowed to bake for another 10 minutes. The result was a wonderful, warm, cracker-like pizza. The parm also crusted up and gave the pizza a deeper flavor.
I chose to go with a lighter flavor on the thicker crust, so I used all of the same ingredients, except I subbed out the parm for goat cheese, which is not lactose-free. The bottom of the crust was crispy (as I would expect from using a pizza stone) and while the inside looked under-cooked, it didn’t feel doughy once it cooled a little.
I tend to enjoy a heartier, artisan flavor to my breads, so I appreciate the non-traditional ingredients in this crust like teff, millet and flaxseed meal. Those ingredients provide more fiber and some added protein, as well. The probiotics are an added benefit and this patented formula that allows the probiotics to stay in tact when baked enables Enjoy Life to make the claim that these mixes do support immune health, something we know is of interest to those with celiac disease and other autoimmune disorders.
You can learn more about the Enjoy Life gluten-free Pizza Crust Mix, along with other new mixes, at www.EnjoyLifeFoods.com.