Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Food Review - Kinnikinnick Pizza Crust

There are foods that you like, and foods that you crave... foods that call to you in the middle of the night, and force you into the kitchen at 3am. For my son & me this food was breadsticks. Chewy, garlicky, carb-loaded breadsticks dripping with butter & herbs.

From day one of our gluten-free adventure, finding a breadstick that would pass our finicky idea of what the perfect breadstick ought to taste like has been our ultimate challenge. We have mixed, baked, whined and cried as batch after batch of quasi-breadlike foods just didn't quite measure up. And to be honest, I think we were both beginning to think that perhaps this just wasn't possible.

I sent my husband to the local health food store for a pizza crust mix this weekend, but our favorite brand was out of stock. Knowing better than to return home emptyhanded when the teenage food-machine is craving pizza, he checked the frozen section and found frozen personal-sizza crusts by Kinnikinnick. Having enjoyed several other goodies from Kinnikinnick & finding them to be reminiscent of their glutened counterparts, he picked them up.

Here's the nitty-gritty for my GF friends. The package holds four square-shaped crusts literally as large as the package for $9. They are bagged in twos, so you won't have half a package getting freezerburn. They're gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, trans fat-free... and they come from a peanut/tree-nut free facility. They claim a single crust is two servings - and for me that's about right, but my starving son ate the whole thing... a sparse 496 calories before toppings as well as 10g fiber & 8g protein! (half that for an actual serving) The directions said to bake for 10-15 minutes & that longer baking times would create a crispier crust so we stuck with the 10 minutes for the chewiest crust possible.

It's tough to tell what a crust will be like when it's frozen solid, but we were vaguely optimistic when the cornmeal dusting on the bottom reminded us of several restaurant-variety glutened breadsticks. Still, we've been fooled before. We decorated our pizzas - mine with Greek toppings & his with cheese & pepperoni, and popped them into the oven. They weren't even halfway through baking before my son & I were sitting in front of the oven, chanting "come ON already!" as the aroma of pizza... real, honest-to-goodness pizza wafted through the house. Once baked the crust was a not-too-thick, not-too thin "handtossed" style chewy, firm, completely non-crumbly crust that reminded us of one thing... BREADSTICKS!!! Don't get me wrong, it made an excellent pizza crust, but we knew how we would be preparing the other two.

Last night we whipped up an herbed batch of Smart Balance for the second pair of yellow squares, and we giggled together conspiratorially as the house began to fill with the nearly-forgotten fragrance of freshly baking breadsticks. And oh, was it divine! They were chewy, rich, doughy... everything we could have wanted (and remembered) from a breadstick was there! It may have taken us 1670 days and dozens of wrong recipes, but we found our breadsticks! These little squares have absolutely made our year. And baby, my waistline is in danger.


Maureen McCabe said...

I thought my one experience with gluten free pizza scarred me for life.. all the ingredients, all the wait for...

Your review made me hungry... maybe.

Anonymous said...

You described me as I was waiting for this wonderfully smelling breadstick/pizza crust to be was so delicious and I ate these crusts within 2 weeks. I was so happy to have found these crusts as the health store didn't have the brand I wanted so I decided to branch out and was I delightfully suprised.