This week in the vegan kitchen, the Examiner tested Bob's Red Mill brand gluten-free pizza crust mix. This product was chosen because it is dairy-free dough, with the added bonus of being gluten free. The quality of the dough becomes more important to pizza connoisseurs once they go vegan, since vegans don't eat cheese or other dairy products, so even butter in the dough is ruled out. Bob's Red Mill brand passed the test for quality pizza dough.
The first criterion was ease of preparation. Mixing the dough was almost as easy as an instant crust mix. Even the yeast was included in a small bag that is inside the curst packet. All the mix required was water, the yeast, oil and egg substitute. The instructions even tell the new vegan cook how to make vegan egg substitute from flax powder, in the same manner that was profiled in the Examiner earlier this year. The mix can be made in the time it takes to pre-heat the oven.
Second, the dough is very easy to work with. The dough is looser than wheat-based mix so in mixes very easy in a stand mixer and requires almost no kneading afterward. Simply cover it and allow it to rise for 20 minutes and then spread it out on a greased pan. There is an option to make one 16-inch pizza or two 12-inch pizzas. The soft dough has no gluten and thus does not retract like rubbery, wheat-based dough. It takes but a few minutes to spread the dough out to the proper size and shape.
The dough does require seven to nine minutes of baking before adding sauce and toppings to re-bake for another ten minutes or so. But this is the only aspect about the process that is unconventional. The dough bakes into a for-real pizza crust that will satisfy any pizza lover. This is the third reason why Bob’s crust mix gets a good grade. The dough transforms into a light-but-substantial crust. And it stays light in the stomach. The Examiner made both a thin-crust pizza and a deep-dish pizza with Bob’s mix, and both turned out well.
The fourth reason Bob’s gets good marks for pizza dough is really a compliment to reason number three. The crust is not dry. So many gluten-free baked goods fail to satisfy the most open-minded foodie because they are so dry and crumbly. Bob’s Gluten-free Pizza Crust mix doesn’t mimic most gluten-free baked goods when it becomes the intended final product. Instead, it feels and tastes like pizza crust.
Next week, The Examiner will try Namaste Foods brand Pizza crust mix. Bob's Red Mill brand pizza crust mix can be found at the Gluten Solutions website and is also available at most Denver-area grocery stores.