Bake at Home Pizza…Gluten Free Pizza

Warning!! This blog post comes with a reader advisory. If you are looking for a gluten free pizza but don’t live in or within driving distance of South West London, you may want to look away now. You may be about to suffer gluten free pizza envy.

Read on at your peril…

Some days all you want is a lovely slice of pizza delivered to your door. The ultimate comfort indulgence. Peruse menu, select, ring, order, pay and soon a man on a scooter screeches to a halt outside your front door and presses a warm (but often soggy) box into your open arms. Simple, right? Except it’s not simple when the only pizza you can eat is a gluten free pizza.

I’d been aware of Bake At Home Pizza for a while but until earlier this week I had not been presented with the ideal comfort food opportunity to try one of their gluten free pizzas.

Bake At Home Pizza is run from Fulham, South West London. The premium quality pizzas are prepared and then delivered for you to cook in your own oven. If you live outside of the delivery radius, they are also open for collection.

You can view the Bake At Home pizza menu here. I ordered the Buffalo Mozzarella, Stilton, Goat’s Cheese, Grana Padano and Tomato pizza. Since this was treat night, I had Proscuitto Crudo on my pizza as an extra topping. The gluten free pizzas only come in one size, 12″. Not that I was complaining!

In under 30 minutes our pizzas arrived. We’d been advised to get our oven heated up ready for the delivery. The pizzas arrive like this packed onto a cardboard base, with baking parchment and wrapped in clingfilm:

The cooking instructions are labelled and this is the pizza ready to be carefully slipped into the oven on its baking parchment:

So how did it taste? One word. Fabulous. The base which is made with Dove’s gluten free flour was thin and crispy. I absolutely loved the tomato sauce on the base. It tasted deeply and deliciously of tomatoes and was seasoned perfectly.

The 12″ gluten free pizza I ordered cost £14 (plus £1 for the additional topping). Was this a fair price? I have to say, yes. The quality of  the ingredients was extremely high and, let’s be honest, eating delivery pizza is not something most people do all the time, it’s a treat to be savoured. Plus I am willing to fly to Milan or Rome for a gluten free pizza (and nothing at all to do with shopping, of course!) so this seems like a good deal to me!

Mr D had previously been fairly sceptical about ordering from Bake At Home pizza. Why, he asked, would we order a pizza which we still had to cook once it arrived? Fair point, and then he tasted his pizza (the regular version) and was also won over by the high quality of ingredients.The point is that you cannot buy this quality or freshness of pizza in the shops and whilst there is another local delivery company which offers gluten free pizza (yes, I know I’m lucky!) the Bake At Home pizza is in another league.

The whole bake your pizza at home concept may be new to these shores but in my view it really works. No more worries about cross contamination in delivery company ovens and your pizza is hot and crispy, straight to the table from your own oven.

The owner of Bake at Home pizza, Joshua, called me the next day for some feedback on the order. He explained he calls back new customers to see how the order went – I’d signed up on his website to get 50% off my first order. He’s clearly passionate about his business and I was really impressed at his genuine desire to understand what his customers liked or thought could be improved in his products. I think more businesses should seek this sort of feedback – how can you grow your business if you don’t know what drives your customers? The good thing for me is that I had the opportunity to chat to him about his business and his gluten free pizzas. I queried how big the gluten free pizza business was. Josh said that 1 in 10 of his orders contain a gluten free pizza. Wow – am I alone in thinking that is a big chunk of business for something which is often seen as ‘niche’ by others in the catering business?

As far as cross contamination issues go, Josh explained that at Bake At Home, they use a separate work bench and tools to prepare their gluten free pizzas. In addition, because the pizzas are baked in your oven at home, there is no chance of cross contamination there either.

What can I say? Sorry to those of you not in the delivery area but, my goodness, am I glad that I am! With an excellent gluten free pizza delivery company on my doorstep, I may need a new excuse for the next trip to Rome or Milan!

Details:

Bake At Home pizza website: www.bakeathomepizza.co.uk

Want to know if you’re in the delivery area? Click on this link or alternatively you can collect from Bake At Home

Special offer: Current promotion running on website offering 50% off your first order if you sign up on the website

Pod Food…Healthy Fast Food, Gluten Free

In last night’s really fun gluten free tweet up, a question was raised on favourite gluten free fast food chains. Without hesitation I volunteered Pod. I go to Pod every day, either for my lunch or breakfast but often both. A ‘Tweet Up’ for the unintiated is a meeting (or really discussion) held over Twittter. If you’re interested, you can read Alex Gazzola’s round up here.

Pod was set up in 2006 and has branches  mainly in the City of London. You can check out their locations here. They serve a seasonal menu in which the food does not contain additives, preservatives or colourings. They also have some keen eco principles: Their food is served in compostable packaging and each Pod store has its own composter to dispose of it in. Their stores are also built using sustainably sourced and recycled materials as far as possible.

But most importantly the food is very tasty.  And they have LOTS of gluten free options. The menu is here  and I like it because it very clearly displays the ingredients of each dish with information on allergens as well as calorie and other counts. I find it easier to check the menu before I go to the store to make sure I know what’s gluten free. It’s often really busy at lunchtime and I’d rather go prepared. They do have boards above the serving counter with the menu and stating if it’s gluten free, wheat free etc and they also have an allergy book which you can ask to double check but I prefer to check in advance so that I don’t hold up the queue of busy and hungry City workers!

Here’s my daily breakfast:

It’s quinoa with yoghurt, mango and topped with flaked almonds. Delish!

Pod have several gluten free salad options for lunch including this Indian Slaw Salad (Note to nut allergy sufferers, this one is not for you):

The salad comes without protein topping but I like it with salmon or plain chicken as in the photo below:

If I fancy something warm for lunch I really like the Thai Green Chicken Curry and the vegetarian Sunshine Stew with rice but make sure to request the rice and not the pearl barley. Both dishes are both very tasty and filling.

And if I’m having a spectacularly bad day in the office I have been known to invest in one of the Pod gluten free chocolate brownies which are without doubt the best chocolate brownies you can buy in a store in London. I wrote about them last year here. The packaging has changed since then and they’ve introduced an orange chocolate brownie too. But they still taste just as good!

Other sweet treats include gluten free carrot cake, a gluten free ginger cake, various GF biscuits including Eat Natural bars and my newest discovery: HoneyBuns. I recently tried one of the HoneyBuns Almond Moons which was a neat bundle of polenta, cranberries and toasted almonds. Best of all, it was in a small-ish sized bar which made me a little less guilty about my sweet guilty pleasure!

If you are looking for a place to pick up a healthy lunch or breakfast on the go (ignoring the gluten free brownies /cake in this “healthy” statement!) then I recommend giving Pod a try.