Thanks to the kindness of Make It Gluten Free (UK), I’ve got another gluten free box mix product to review for you. This time it’s Simple Mills’ gluten free pizza crust mix. This mix is grain free, paleo-friendly and vegan, and made from almond flour and a few other ingredients. You can get it in the US directly from Simple Mills or *on Amazon. In the UK you can buy it online from Make It Gluten Free.
It’s really easy to make too; just add water, apple cider vinegar and oil. Since the mix makes two crusts, I divided the mix so I could make one pizza crust at a time.
The first time I made it, I followed the directions and pre-heated the pan before pressing the crust out. However, you are basically smashing dough into pizza crust shape with your hands on a hot pan; didn’t feel like a good idea to me! Proceed with caution. The second time I ignored that one and it came out just fine, so feel free to use a room-temperature pan and not burn yourself!
The dough is not like “real” pizza dough at all – it feels a lot like Play-doh, to be honest. I was totally dubious the first time I made it because it didn’t seem like it would firm up into anything resembling pizza. However, I was pleasantly surprised – even after the 5 minutes of baking the crust before adding toppings, it did start to firm up into a pizza base. After adding sauce and toppings, it goes back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes (closer to 15 for me both times.)
The end result was pretty good! It held together structurally, with a crispy outer edge and a stable base for a slice you could pick up and eat with your hands. The texture is where it departs from “pizza” for me – as it’s made primarily from nut flour, it’s got a totally different texture from what you’d expect in a pizza. It’s closer in mouth feel to a sugar cookie maybe – in fact, the texture is quite like the America’s Test Kitchen sugar cookies, which are also made from a lot of almond flour. Still, once you get past that, it has a really good flavor and smell – the oregano in the crust is a brilliant ingredient. It’s a pizza base that I think would lend itself well to experimenting with non-traditional pizza ingredients, like a breakfast pizza or maybe a Mexican vibe. I didn’t go too crazy (though one of them involved avocado slices!) but here’s what I did with my two pizzas.
Pesto and avocado pizza
I used basil pesto as the ‘sauce’ instead of traditional tomato. I added tomato slices and shredded mozzarella cheese as well as a sprinkle of dried basil and oregano on top. After baking, I added sliced avocado to the top.
Verdict: I would have liked a creamier cheese for this, but all in all a good combination of flavors. Would eat again.
Inspired by the Caprese salad, I used a tomato sauce base and added sliced tomatoes and sliced mozzarella, sprinkled with a little dried oregano. After baking, I added a ton of basil leaves and a balsamic reduction drizzle on top.
Verdict: The balsamic was a little overpowering, but this was pretty delightful. However, if you make this, be careful how much mozzarella you use – ours created a milk flood that over topped the pizza and ran down… into the bottom of the oven. Which reminds me, I still need to clean that.
If you don’t mind the little difference in texture, this is a great option for a creative gluten free pizza base. I really liked it and would definitely eat it again.
Have you tried any of the Simple Mills mixes? They were all over the American blogs for a while there. What’s your favorite gluten free pizza crust mix or recipe? Tell me in the comments!
Other Make It Gluten Free reviews:
My review policy and disclosure: I received the mix reviewed in this article for free. I have done a fair and honest review of the product, and promise that I always will.
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