One of my main pregnancy cravings, alongside boiled potatoes, plain rice cakes and popcorn (yep, all the carbs), has been PIZZA. I’m taking the full works: A crispy base – not too thin or stodgy – topped with a generous layer of nicely seasoned tomato sauce and of course, cheese. Simple, not the healthiest but certainly satisfying.
My only problem has been finding a decent gluten-free version of the above. In Manchester we are lucky to have Dough in the Northern Quarter, where they serve the most incredible gluten and dairy-free pizza, as well as chains like Zizzi’s which have introduced free-from versions, so eating out is great.
But what about when you just want to stick one in the oven at home for a quick and easy dinner? Let’s thank Dr Oetker for releasing two new gluten-free pizzas made using only the finest quality ingredients: ‘Pizza Mozzarella’ with mozzarella, freshly sliced baby tomatoes, a drizzle of pesto and tomato sauce, and ‘Pizza Salame’ topped with lightly spiced, tender slices of salami, cheese and tomato sauce, both on a thin and crispy gluten free base. I’m not dissing the classic Margarita but it’s good to see a more interesting version available with the addition of pesto (one of my favourite things) and although I don’t usually go for pizzas with meat on but of course, I was willing to give it a go.
What did I think? Here’s my verdict on the all important components to a successful pizza:
It’s always going to be a challenge to achieve the right consistency when you take gluten out of the equation but Dr Oetker have hit the nail on the head with these: Just the right level of thickness without being crumbly and anaemic or doughy and stodgy, the base was bang on what you’d want from a pizza. The crust went slightly crispy around the edge too, which I loved!
It was a relief to see a generous amount of topping covering both pizzas, something which some brands can skimp on, forcing you to add extra cheese (or whatever else) before cooking. Highly annoying when that happens, isn’t it? But with plenty of pesto, tomatoes and mozzarella, and salami and cheese on the other, I didn’t need to do anything, simply unwrap and place in the oven.
Both had the right ratio of base to topping, another tick-box which some brands can get wrong – who wants a mouthful of dough and a slither of tomato and cheese? Or not enough base to hold an over-generous amount of ingredients on top? Each bite was full of flavour and allowed the indulgence of gloriously melted, stringy cheese.
The base and toppings hit the spot, but what about the actual flavour and overall experience? I savoured every mouthful As someone who previously rarely ate pizza but now craves the stuff, both pizzas really hit the spot and made this pregnant lady happy. Although I enjoyed the Salami one more that I expected (slightly on the oily side but not excessive), it was the bursts of juicy tomato amongst the flavoursome pesto smothered in cheese of the Mozzarella one which nailed it for me.
As you’d expect from any pizza, although gluten-free they aren’t healthy – boasting around 800+ calories, around 40g fat and 80g carbohydrates per whole one – but of course they make a very satisfying, enjoyable treat. It’s a slight shame they are £0.51 extra than their gluten-filled cousins but I guess we still expect to pay that little bit extra when it comes to free-from alternatives (hopefully that will change over time?!). Well done Dr Oetker, you’ve succeeded in creating pizzas that taste like, well, normal pizzas!