Adventures with Gluten-Free Pizza using Udi’s Crust

So once upon a time, in a galaxy far far away a few months back, Drew’s work decided to order everyone some pizza. Since a few people there have gluten-free needs, Drew was the lucky one that was given cash to stop by a completely different pizza place at some point before Pizza Day in order to pick up a gluten free pizza for said persons with gluten-free needs. Drew remembered this fact about an hour or so after this pizza place closed, and thus Plan B was formed. Plan B consisted of going to the grocery store, buying a gluten-free crust, and cobbling together something that vaguely resembled pizza in order to appease Drew’s various hungry coworkers.

Apparently our (well, my) cobbled together pizza was better then the gluten-filled pizza everyone else was eating. And, about a week or so ago, one of Drew’s coworkers gave Drew money to make her pizza so that she could experience my magical gluten-free pizza skills again, insisting that we keep one of the pies as well.

So, we start with the crust. Udi’s (a local bakery/restaurant chain) makes these frisbee-sized gluten-free crusts that come two to a bag, for about $5 per bag.

Udi's crust in the bag

They kinda had the thickness and consistency of frisbees as well. I managed to use my mighty powers of self-control to refrain from flinging them across the apartment.

Discus crusts!

So, making pizza sauce at home has gotten even easier. See, I usually make sauce by cranking open a can of tomato paste and dumping it in a bowl, then adding a can’s worth of water. Next is a dash of vinegar, sugar, and a range of seasonings including oregano, parsley, cilantro, garlic, , salt, and pepper. When buying the ingredients for these pizzas, however, I noticed that there’s now an “Italian Style” tomato paste, which consists of tomato paste plus pretty much all of the ingredients I just mentioned. So, yay! Paste + water = sauce. A win for lazy people everywhere!

Cheesetastic pizza

This pizza completely lucked out when it comes to cheese. My original intent was to just use mozzarella (you know, that whole “lazy” thing and all). But we always have Parmesan around, so I added some of that. And then I remembered that we had some leftover Romano cheese from some recently made manicotti. And I couldn’t pass up the chance to sprinkle on some very convenient feta as well. You can’t get much better then four cheese pizza. Well, except for five cheese pizza, I suppose. However, the only cheese left was individual slices of American cheese, and I just wasn’t ready to commit the culinary crime of flinging that all over a pizza.

So, Drew’s co-worker had requested pineapple, ham, and onion for toppings, and I obliged. We made four pizzas altogether (even if I didn’t really bring myself to photograph more then two, I’m not lying, really!), and as the fourth was for Drew and I to keep, I left the onions out. I understand that onions are healthy and good for you, and while I am trying to eat them on more things, I feel that onions taint an otherwise delicious pizza.

Completely topped pizza

So after adding the toppings, I dumped on a final layer of cheese and stuck these babies into a hot and ready 425 degree oven for about 6 minutes.

Cooked pizza

The pizza was good! It’s hard not to be good with that sort of a range of cheese on it, admittedly, but the crust was better than I’d expected. A bit chewy, and missing….something. (Hmm, gluten perhaps?) But still decent. Albeit, I’m coming at this from the angle of someone who is capable of digesting most things known to Man (and some things only known to Woman!) and so these crusts wouldn’t be my first choice if I were to set out to make pizza for myself. However, I’d totally eat these over any Little Caesars pizza, or most other crappy chain pizzas, for that matter. It’s better than Pizza Hut on a bad day, but not as good as Pizza Hut on a good day. And of course, by making it myself, I am empowered to add as much cheese as I want, which is the best part really.

In any case, I have done my duty to serve the gluten-free community. Drew’s co-worker was pleased, and I got to eat tasty Hawaiian pizza. Yay!

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