Tuesday, April 16

Nasty-I Mean Namaste-Gluten-Free Pizza Crust-Fail

Namaste Gluten-Free Pizza Crust

I purchased this in the gluten-free section at our local grocery store.  I had originally grabbed a box of King Arthur GF bread and pizza mix, but that mix was only going to make one pizza, and the Namaste brand said it made two 14" pizza crusts, and for less money.  Score!  I tossed that one into the cart and left King Arthur on the shelf in its place.  Well, I wish I'd opted for the King Arthur brand, because this was not good.  Not good at all.  Strike one.

I got the mix out of the pantry for dinner.  I also had a bag of Pamela's pizza crust in my pantry, but I was starting dinner late, and Pamela's required a few hours of rise time, whereas the Namaste was mix and bake, with no rise time.  Great!  Strike two.

I read the instructions on the bag.  Mix 1 1/2 C water and 1 tsp of oil into the mix with an electric mixer for three minutes.  I wondered about the mix when the instructions said, "mix will look like cake batter".  Cake batter pizza crust??  Strike three.  I should have stopped here.  I kept going anyway.  I was hungry.

The instructions said to spread the mix onto a greased pan, making sure that the batter was at least 14" wide and no thicker than 1/4".  So I did that.  Then, bake it at 450 degrees for 20 minutes on the lowest rack in the oven.  So I did that.  While it was baking, I began working on getting the toppings together, and then I looked into the oven to see what was happening with the crust.

It was starting to bubble up in various places.  Not just small dough bubbles--there was a huuuge bubble on one corner.  How do you put toppings on a huge bubble?
View through the oven door.  Super bubbles!

When baking time was over, I pulled it out of the oven.  It was a sickly pale, with no browning whatsoever.  The instructions said that to achieve a crispier crust, flip it over on the pan before adding toppings.  With a bit of muscle, I was able to flip it over, but it stuck to the pan and made a big hole on one side of the crust.  Oh well...added the toppings anyway.  Then I stuck it back in the oven.
Pizza crust as it looked right out of the oven
Pizza crust after flipping
After another 15 minutes to let the toppings heat up and cheese melt, it was time to eat.  It didn't look bad, and smelled okay, but it tasted pretty bad.  It was gummy in the middle, but the edges were super-crispy, like a cracker.  It was bland, despite the fact that there were Italian spices in the mix.  We ate some out of duty, and then couldn't handle it anymore.  My husband even threw a Stouffer's French bread pizza in the oven, since he was still hungry.  I wasn't really hungry after I threw mine away.  Pizza night was a sad affair with this mix.  My score: 0.5 out of 5 stars.  Half a star because it was easy prep, but that's the only good point I can come up with.  You get what you pay for, I guess!

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