Venice Bakery, I am in love. Seriously, seriously in love. I can say, hand on heart, that your seasoned pizza bases are the BEST gluten free bases I have ever tasted. EVER.
If you haven’t heard of Venice Bakery or tried their pizza bases before, I urge you to read on and then GO FIND THEM!
I first discovered Venice Bakery at the 2013 Allergy and Free From Show in London. Keen to see why the stall in front of me was so crowded, I hung around waiting for the crowd to disperse and edged forward to discover…..pizza. Beautifully presented with an amazing aroma, before I’d even tasted it I could see why they’d been popular. I waited for the fresh slices to be brought out and dived in.
The BEST gluten free pizza ever. So chewy and doughy with just the right amount of crispyness at the crust, I really was in heaven. These bases are not only gluten free, but they’re also free from dairy, egg, nuts, soy and corn. I promptly grabbed one of each large base (they offer a plain or seasoned base, in large and small sizes) and totted off home, eager to try.
Try I did- first of all the plain base during an evening with my bestie and homemade pizza. Even she tried a bit and was impressed with how good it tasted. I have to say though, the plain base didn’t win me over as much as it’s counterpart. It’s nice, but I found the flavour and the texture of the seasoned base much more palatable.
When the 2014 Allergy Show rolled around last month, I headed to Venice Bakery early on in the day and it was already crowded with hungry show-goers eager to taste their wares- always a positive sign! This year they teamed up with Vegan cheese producer MozzaRisella, who’s rice based ‘cheese’ mimics mozzarella and is perfect for any dairy-free eaters out there. They make the perfect pairing with a Venice Bakery base, and of course I had to try another fresh slice to make sure it still tasted as good as the year before. I wasn’t disappointed, and with their fantastic show deal I picked up two large bases, a pack of MozzaRisella and a pack of the smaller bases. I decided not to go for the flat breads, but really wish I had picked up a packet now- they’re definitely on my list for when I place an order!
I made my first pizza with one of these bases in 2014 last week. I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed it, even the leftovers in my lunch box the next day tasted fantastic cold! I simply topped it with a homemade pizza sauce, made from a recipe suggested by Venice Bakery (see below), slices of the MozzaRisella, slices of courgette, pepper, red onion, halved cherry tomatoes and some pine nuts.
This week it was the turn of their mini bases- a pack of three seasoned bases that are just mini versions of the large base. Equally as delicious, these would work perfectly if you were having friends over or on a buffet. For me they were great to have as I couldn’t decide which topping to have! My two options were:
Sacla Firey Chilli pesto mixed with tomato puree and topped with MozzaRisella, sweetcorn, red onion and cherry tomatoes.
Sacla Basil pesto topped with MozzaRisella, sweetcorn, red onion and cherry tomatoes.
(Yes, I love pesto!)
These bases really are perfect, and the fact that they’re free from multiple allergens make them far more accessible to people than many other gluten free bases are. They taste fantastic, have a fantastic texture and paired with the MozzaRisella you really can’t go wrong!
Adam from Venice Bakery has very kindly shared his recipe for a classic pizza sauce with us. This is a great recipe and the one I used for my large base.
A Classic Recipe for Pizza Sauce
Makes approx. 400 ml sauce
45 ml (3 tbsp) olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
2.5 ml (1/2 tbsp) salt
2.5 ml (1/2 tbsp) dried oregano
1. To prepare the sauce, heat the olive oil in a large heavy frying pan
2. Add the garlic & cook for 1 to 2 minutes
3. Add the tomatoes and crush any large chunks with a wooden spoon
4. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until most liquid has evaporated & the sauce has thickened
5. Blitz in a food blender for 5-10 seconds
6. Add the salt & oregano to taste
7. Freeze any leftover sauce into portion sized freezer bags for future use
For anyone who is gluten free and also dairy free, these bases are a godsend and paired with the cheese, you’re in pizza heaven. It’s fantastic to see a brand catering for multiple alleriges and also helping another free-from brand to get introduced to their key audience. I predict big things for both companies in the free from world, and hopefully the larger retailers and even restaurants will take notice and begin to use these products.
I can’t wait to make my first order with them and stock up on the bases. Pizza is my winter comfort food staple and I’ve got lots of topping ideas I’m eager to try. If you’d like to get your hands on some of these bases, then head to the Venice Bakery wesbite now.
Coeliac Delight readers can claim 15% off their first orders until 7th September 2014! Just enter code ‘coeliacme15’ at the checkout (only one use valid per customer).
For more information on where to buy MozzaRisella cheese, head to their website here.