My family said my gluten-free pizza sucked, so I did something about it!
I would guess that nearly every family has had a regular pizza night at one point in their lives. Everyone gathers around the dinner table enjoy a meal of delicious meats, veggies and cheese nestled on delicious tasting wheat dough, baked to perfection. Even Papa Murphy centers their commercials around this tradition.
When I was still eating gluten, family pizza night was a regular occurrence. Then, in an instant, it all changed. I became intolerant to gluten and my family became intolerant to my gluten-free foods. Family pizza night was dead. Forever.
I tried to resurrect family pizza night many times by ordering a gluten-filled pizza for them and topping and cooking a gluten-free frozen pizzMy a crust for me. You could say we still had family pizza night, but it was not the same. I would sit and watch my family eat and thoroughly enjoy their triangular slices of amazingness and I would eat my “cracker with toppings” for nourishment rather than enjoyment.
Where’s the love in that scenario?
During the “lost years” I had never encountered a gluten-free frozen pizza crust, ready-to-bake pizza or pizza crust mix that brought me closer to enjoying family pizza night like the rest of my family did. Sure, they tried my cracker-like pizza crust in an attempt to be diplomatic and giving, yet the gluten-free version of one of their favorite meals was deemed by them to be substandard and not worth the calories. Sadly, I had to agree.
I wanted the same things they did. Great tasting pizza that didn’t eliminate the most wonderful things about pizza: a crust with a bready, yeasty flavor and texture that was crispy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside. Unfortunately, a gluten-free option fitting that description did not exist.
Fast forward a few years and I now have a new family (same child, same dog, different spouse). Now, thankfully, pizza is different for me. When I met Rich in 2013, he wanted to support my gluten-free lifestyle and quickly adjusted to all things gluten-free. Most everything we loved to cook and eat was perfect without bread so the transition was not as difficult as it could have been. But what about pizza? Well, that was our challenge. We both LOVED pizza and Rich could not imagine living without it, like I had to.
When I presented Rich with the gluten-free pizza crust options available, his comments were honest and straightforward. He hated them all. Well, now what, I thought. He was the one who suggested we try to make our own, from scratch. We both loved to cook and he thought it would a fun experiment. I thought, holy cow, do you know how many flours and other “things” we need to buy and find a way to combine to make pizza crust? I was skeptical but determined and experiment we did.
Our main goal when creating the crust was to make something both of us loved. That meant the taste and texture would have to be similar to what Rich was used to (wheat flour crust) and what I remembered loving before I was gluten-free (wheat flour crust). So basically, we had to create a gluten-free pizza crust that very, very similar in taste and texture to wheat flour crust. And if Rich loved the crusts we created then family pizza night could be restored, right?
Yes, we had found the answer to bringing back family pizza night. Create a crust everyone loved. And that is what we did. After a year or so of experimenting, Rich and I had settled on THE recipe for the crust which we both loved and could not stop eating. We then sampled our creation for our non-gluten-free friends and family to get their opinions. Each and every person who tried our pizza crust gave it a two thumbs up and were amazed it was gluten-free. They also ate every bite and asked for more!
From there, we started our company, The Gluten Free Explorer. Rich and I believe our products are the next generation of gluten-free and will help bring families back to the dinner table, all eating the same delicious pizza. Families will also enjoy their time in the kitchen together as each member of the family helps decide on the toppings and cheese for unique family pizza.
One of our customers, Steve, stated it so perfectly: “Thank you for figuring out how to make a gluten-free pizza dough that doesn’t suck and taste like cardboard!”
So, if you are suffering from family pizza night withdrawal, get your hands on our pizza crusts! Head on over to our Indiegogo campaign, support us, and we’ll ship our crusts to you, anywhere in the US. And, you can get this unique t-shirt too!
It’s time to bring back family pizza night and #LovePizzaAgain!
Cook. Enjoy. Share.