Thanks to Holland Barrett I’ve been introduced to a new (to me) gluten free brand; Isabel’s Free From. I’d seen Isabel’s mixes in stores but not tried them before. In my last post on Gluten Free at Holland and Barrett I raved about the dough balls and the Yorkshire puddings, and that evening we tried the pizza base mix. In the past we’ve tried ready-made gluten free pizza bases (both from supermarkets and from prescription-only brands) but they’ve not been brilliant – most are quite biscuit-like and some are like a thick bread, which is OK but not amazing. In pre-coeliac days we used to make our own pizza bases but we haven’t yet tried making gluten free pizza bases from scratch. I was intrigued by the mix but had high expectations based on the experience we’d had with the dough balls and the Yorkshire puddings. We weren’t disappointed!
In each box you get enough to make 4 pizza bases; two sachets with enough mix for 2 bases in each. The mix is really easy to make – you just need an egg, some olive oil, and some cold water. Initially as you mix it starts to clump together but once you knead it together it goes to a fairly stretchy dough. I was really impressed with the texture – it made it really easy to deal with (if you’ve ever done gluten free baking you may be familiar with the usual crumbly texture you often have to deal with!). It was easy to roll too and held together when rolled – no cracks or breaks at all. We kept it fairly rustic rather than trying to make a perfect round pizza, but I would think you could do fairly easily if you wanted to.
Once the bases are rolled, you part-bake them before removing from the oven and adding the toppings then baking again. The bases puffed up when we baked them, which I was initially a bit concerned about, but it’s just trapped air, so it lowers out of the oven, and you can push it out as you add the toppings if you wish too. It shows how light the base is though!
We chose prosciutto, spinach, mozzarella and ricotta on our pizza, along with a homemade pizza topping (which is basically Heinz Stir tomato soup, with garlic and herbs). We steamed the spinach, chopped the prosciutto, and sliced the mozzarella and added them onto the base and sauce. Once they were baked we added the ricotta (and in my case I added a bit more spinach as I love it!).
It was absolutely delicious! It makes a fairly thin and crispy base, but there’s still a slight softness to it so it’s not difficult to eat and you can tell it’s a dough (rather than a biscuit or cracker!).
I loved it, but then I haven’t had a ‘regular’ pizza for over 5 years. So the real test is my partner. His verdict… “It’s lovely, you wouldn’t even know it’s gluten free”. High praise indeed! We loved it so much that we had it again a few days later, and have ordered another box already!
So that’s three of the Isabel’s mixes we’ve tried now, all of which we have loved. We’re total converts! What product should we try next? Any recommendations? I notice there’s a new baked donut mix, has anyone tried that?