Thursday, March 19, 2015

Schar Pizza Crust Challenge

As a teen who's a college student, pizza is safely one of my favorite foods. It's flexibility and easy assembly is a bonus for me as I often need quick-cooking meals that use the ingredients I have on hand. 

When gluten-free giant Schar reached out to me to taste test their reformulated pizza crusts as a part of their gluten-free blogger team, I couldn't say no to the possibility of finding a perfect pizza crust for my busy lifestyle.

With most store-bought crusts leaving little to be desired in the taste and performance department, I've found limited success with crusts mixes, while good, require a little too much prep time for a practical weeknight meal after classes. Schar's crust, on the other hand, comes fully baked and is ready for a splattering of sauce and scattering of toppings before a short bake time renders it ready to go. 

In Schar's reformulation of their crust, they increased the size, and removed dairy from the ingredients list- both of which made me jump for joy. Each box contains two individually-wrapped vacuum sealed crusts, which make it really easy to make one and preserve the other's freshness for further use. The crusts, as shelf stable, do not need refrigeration or freezing, which is another awesome attribute that helps free up food storage space for other staples.



For the sake of taste testing and giving them a test run, I concocted my own unique pizza creation- the Chesapeake Special. Inspired by my beloved Maryland, I topped my pizza with red sauce, artichokes, Old Bay seasoning, and lump crab meat (bought at Costco). Done in 12 minutes, the pizza emerged golden brown and just begging to be eaten. 

The bottom of the crust was crisp and crunchy and the inside was chewy without being soggy- the ultimate crust betrayal. I especially loved the crunchy crust, which was thicker than any other crust I've seen. More restaurant style than any before it, the crust is a game changer for those wanting a crust that's sturdy and tasty. My only complaint of sorts, and it really is not a true complaint, was that the crust split along one radius and "pac man-ed" mid-baking. Figuring it was the high heat of the pizza stone I baked it on, I was curious to see if the phenomenon would happen again.

I loved the unusual, but totally Maryland-inspired pizza toppings, which came together to make for one amazing pizza. As a true Maryland girl at heart though, I could have definitely used a bit more Old Bay to spice it up! One can never have enough have enough Old Bay.



For taste test two, I opted for a more traditional mix of toppings: fresh basil, tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and marinara. Like a pro, the crust took on the wet, heavy ingredients and emerged once more golden brown and perfect. I baked it on a baking sheet instead of the pizza stone to test the curious breaking of the crust, and sure enough it happened again. I'm not sure if my crusts were a fluke, but it was a minor inconvenience.

Not one to be deterred, the pizza itself was downright delicious and salvageable. I was really impressed how easily it held the weight of the soupy toppings while remaining crispy and crunchy in the crust ends and bottom. The classical taste of caprese (minus the mozzarella) was downright delicious, and smelled simply divine.



Overall, I was really impressed with the taste and performance of Schar's crust. I'm so happy they reformulated to make them dairy-free safe and bigger to accommodate bigger appetites and serve more people. It's great to welcome such a reliable product to the market that is sure to be a dorm cooking staple that's easy to prepare and delicious to boot. There is a reason that Schar is Europe's number one gluten-free brand. 

For more information about Schar, click here.




Disclaimer: This review is current to the original publication date. Updates will be noted. Ingredients and manufacturing processes can change without notice. Each product should be reviewed for individual nutritional needs. Feel free to to contact me with any questions or comments. I was provided samples from Schar for this post as a blogger affiliate and it is a reflection of my personal opinion. 

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