Gluten Free Bases

Anyone doing these?
We started today (didn’t sell any though) using frozen bought in ones. They are 12" but apparently shrink down to about 11" when cooked due to no gluten content.
We have a list of products that contain gluten should a customer order with an ingredient they shouldn’t have, so we can say “are you aware this contains gluten?”
We are keeping the screens separately stored in a sealed box to ensure no cross contamination with flour in the air or from the benches etc. Specific cutters and peels are stored separately as well.
There is a lot of cross checking to ensure everything remains gluten free but I guess this will appreciated by the customer.
We are paying $11.90 for a pack of 3 and charging $4.50 on top of the 13" pizza price (we only do 10", 13" and 15"). Not making anything on doing them but I hope we can get additional sales on other items and/or bring in families where only one has the intolerance and the others can order what they want.


I will be interestedto heaqr how it all goes with this new process for you. I have contacted two customers who have coeliac disease, and they are quite pleased tht our shop will soon offer a gluten-free option. The one difference is that we are not going to start off with the full monte - complete set of different utensils and such. The two I spoke with are not as sensitive as to need all that. We may need to revisit this if they tell us differently. I think you have a great plan with the separate tools!

The efforts we will be able to do include the listing of toppings and such like you are doing. It will take some time to go through them all, but unless they are on “the list”, then they are not certain gluten-free. Of course, tomato, mushroom and vegetable are pretty easy . . . some of the more processed items will take a little research on my part. Gyros slices are right out. The pizza bases we have sourced will come in individual aluminum pans for the express purpose of sequestering from regular table and the deck. We can assemle the pie and bake right on the pan in the deck, according to the manufacturer.

We in US have option to use a product by French Meadow Bakery that is 10.5" par-baked, 8 oz +/- frozen. USfood stocks them in GA, so I am going to ask for a sample and try them with the customers I know of. We have as many as 4 who would start ordering . . . and I think for us it is worth some effort tocapture four families who now have to travel 35 miles to the closest gluten-free pie. We may regret it, but the two are friends of ours, so we are going for it.

where i worked they did the prep for these pizzas in another room, with separate peels, and pizza cutters and baked them in a separate oven to avoid cross contamination. seemed like a lot of work for one or two pizzas a day.

I am curious about the baking aspect of this also. You would have to prep, cook, and cut all in a controlled area to keep the risk of any cross contamination to a minimum. This would have to include a separate oven. I know some have posted that your customers are not “that” sensitive but what happens if someone orders and is told you offer a glutten free pizza but you have not taken all the steps to protect the process and that person is severely allegic? I just read an article about one shop and the extreme steps they take to protect their customers…it is just my opinion that if you are going to offer this…you need to go that extra bit and do it right or not at all. There is too much at risk for a mistake. Think about the worst case senario. :shock:

The reason we are bringing in the pre-made bases is due to the requirements to have a non contaminated area to make them, ie an area where flour dust cannot penentrate. This would have to be well away from our current area (ie like inside a coolroom without the refrig working). I haven’t seen any requirement here to cook in a separate oven, though.
We have a proceedure in place on making - separate screens, using new gloves, utensils and even using fresh ingredients out of the coolroom rather than from the bench where flour dust can easily settle.
We are not going after this market big time but rather add it as a “special customer service” that none of our competitors are offering. We get a few asks for gluten free and I guess when we have said we don’t do them we have more than likely missed out on orders for the rest of the family.
In the end of the day it may end up being break even or negative revenue but there is also the upside of one more happy customer telling 10 others.


Hey Guys…

Contrary to one of the well-known pizza mag contributors…YOU’RE crazy not to serve this customer base. I have tried ALL of the shells that advertise in our journals and had a product cutting…and NOT ONE passed the muster. It was then that I broke down and started to make my own shells…and WOW, I couldn’t even keep up.

The viral marketing among the GF and Food Allergies groups was amazing…I now have people come from 4 states just to eat at our pizzeria becuase of how unique our Allergen Free pizza tastes. Then came the demand created by our customers to make it available in some boutique grocery stores…and that starts next week.

We make ours at our pizzeria WHEN NO ONE IS THERE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT
We clean and sanitize the complete area before making the shells
We have separate tools…screens…and boxes and warning lables.
We NEVER let the pizza out of our hands from taking the shell from the freezer to placing the baked pie into the box.

YES…it’s a TON of work but when you see little kids cry…people who haven’t had pizza in years thank you…and in my case, my son is soooo happy.

As for 1 or 2 a day…LMAO…we first offered our Allergen Free pizza 2/1 and we have sold 500+ through today. AGAIN you must have a good product or they will not come back. So, when the pizza pundent says that it’s not work the hassle…I say he’s sniffed too much High Gluten Flour in his day since this move has increased our profits…our consumer awareness…and we are now in grocery stores OUTSELLING the closest competitor who is ONLY gluten free not allergen free which captures a whole other market.

BTW…advise your insurance company…it will increase your liabiity…but he cost difference has already been covered in my first month of sales.

Oh…I forgot…we now offer GF calzones and flatbread sandwiches.

oops…I was asked if I use a separate oven…that I do not since my XLT offers me a lot of safety when it comes to blowing gluten around. If I had a deck oven…NOPE…if I had a conveyor with a blower…Maybe…but my XLT - Np Problemmo.

Good Luck
Mandy’s Pizza

Every outlet here doing gluten free are putting them throgh their traditional ovens - no special oven required, and a huge majority are using conveyors.
I can’t see how flour can blow around in the oven in our case as we roll out all our normal bases before we open so when they are used there is no loose flour around. If you were hand tossing I guess you would have a lot of fresh flour on the bottom of the bases.
We are not getting excited about volumes at the moment but if we just help someone out with a gluten free pizza then I think the long term spin off will be worth the effort.


So I am starting to get the idea that a little bit of contamination is no big deal?..Is that why cooking these in ovens also used for regular pizza is not an issue?

depends on the level of sensitivity of the diner to the gluten.

One of the guys at the pizza competitions showed me his menu, and the disclaimer about his gluten-free crust was larger than the description of the pizza. I would offer that if you are going to sell this product in an environment that lends itself to even a small/tiny level of cross contamination, you might not want to menu it as gluten “free.”

“Free” indicates a complete absence of something. I would find a word that says “a tiny bit to a small amount of gluten may be present, if you’re not deadly sensitive you can probably eat this.” I’m not sure what that word or phrase is - maybe someone can think of a way to menu this product in the proper legalese.



Sounds like a very “slippery slope” and potential liability claim waiting to happen…Even if you have adequate insurance you often have to pay a deductible from the 1st $…

I am right there with you (and Royster with the liability). I am going to make my description pretty straight forward. Something like “GLUTEN MINIMIZED PIZZA: we start with a gluten-free pizza base product that is baked on an aluminum pan to reduce the chances of flour contamination, but our kitchen environment is not guaranteed gluten free . . . Do not order this pizza if you have concerns at all about your particular level of sensitivity.”

I have an attorney friend who has a very good head on his shoulders whom I will ask for his assistance. He has given good counsel in the past. We may ultimately end up just offering to specific people who are certain of their sensitivities and unwilling to gig us if they get some discomfort from the pizza.

ok…great concern when it comes to the gluten in our pizzerias…however, can any of us guarantee the a mushroom has never ended up in the sauce…or the bin such as sausage next to the mushrooms.

Did you know that mushrooms are more deadly to those with food allergies than those with gluten intolerance. GI will cause stomach pains, a messy stool and possible puking…but not death like a mushroom.

What I have learned while having a son that suffers form wheat allergies…and NOT gluten intolerance, which is far less worse, ALL of my customers know that they are buying a product that is made in a pizzeria and YES there is a risk…but so is there with those damn mushrooms.

We MUST start thinking about the big picture and stop worrying about what you cannot control. ALL of my customers have concerns, but from a legal standpoint, they are coming to a pizzeria that is known for using flours or oats that contain gluten…if I were to be sued, I have been told that the choice is on the customer to NOT purchase the product since there is an ASSUMED RISK.

Guys…let’s just make people happy by allowing them to eat a product they may not have had for years.
BTW…my liability did increase…but more because my shells will be in grocery stores and WE cannot protect the customer at that point.


I agree totally with you. Unfortunately some years ago the USA - and I DO NOT MEAN ANY DISRESPECT TO YOUR COUNTRY OR CITIZENS - lead by greedy law firms embarked on a litigation on any issue mentality. Sadly this led things like good citizens no longer lending a hand to others, such as assisting someone who was injured or had fallen down sick in the street because of their good deeds something may have adversely affected the “victim”. Leave die rather try to assist - what a poor, poor view. It flowed from there.

It has now got to the stage that anyone and everyone is looking on how they can fleece some poor person for their own gain. This includes when you are trying to do a product such as gluten free bases. H3ll, these people are craving for a pizza and now we are giving them the opportunity we still have to worry about litigation.

People will not die from a minute cross contamination of gluten. It is an intolerance not an allergic reaction such as those experience with peanuts. The amount of gluten in a very slight cross contamination of flour probably would not even be noticed by the body’s immune system, unless you had a very uncontrolled floury (a word ???) enviroment. If you take the carefull steps of specific untensils, correct handling proceedures, keeping a clean area and minimising cross contamination you will OK.

I know of hundreds of various food outlets that sell gluten and non gluten products side by side and cook them in the same ovens, including untold many pizza joints around Australia who use the same kitchen, ovens etc and have never seen or heard of any evidence of problems. I get many hospitality magazines and never have I seen the hysteria I have read in this post. Wow even Domino’s are doing gluten free here in Australia and they don’t have any disclaimers and I bet their in kitchen systems and controls won’t be anywhere near as thorough as mine, mainly because they are all young kids left to the control of just as young managers. I doubt that if they had any concerns they would not have gone down this market area.

Sorry if I offended anyone and it may be because our society is not so litigation obsessed, but I think that if you manage it correctly then you should have no problem. If you are affraid, rest easy and stay away.

One point I will ensure is that if anyone orders gluten free they will be told at point of ordering that the product will be made in a gluten enviroment and they make the choice to proceed or not (not that means anything in a point of law) and that will be their choice.

When are we going to stand up to the politicians / law makers and say enough is enough ? !!!

As a safeguard we will have a disclaimer posted in the shop just in case an American littigation attorney visits our shop and sees an opportunity :stuck_out_tongue:



Very well worded response.

Mandy’s Pizza

I agree…good post Dave. Now I am going to sue you over the use of the word “floury” :stuck_out_tongue:

Sold our first one last night - a PEPPERONI !!!
Talk about taking care not to cross contaminate and this goose orders something with gluten. :shock:
Oh well everyone to their own.
Everything went well with our procedures in place, but the main thing was the customer was rapt he could eat pizza again.


Seeeeee…way to go. Our shells are doing so well and getting such local and regional attention that they will now be offered in grocery stores. You just need to pay attention to the “big picture” and realize that there are sooooo many allergens in our shop that you didn’t even realize that once you do pay attention as it relates to Gluten-Free…you have made a milestone in someones life.

Good Luck!

How are the sales going for you Dave? I posted on FaceBook that I was investigating gluten free pizza and got more response than I have with any other post.

Hey…I would love to know also.

We have experienced overwhelming success with the crust that I developled and am soooo glad that my 8 year old made me do it. As of last week we, in 5 months we have sold 1100 (NO BULL CRAP) gluten-free/allergen-free pizzas from our one location. Add to that we are the only pizzeria who actually makes and sells an allergen-free (not just gluten-free) pizza in the U.S…

Next week we will be in one of the areas largest grocery chains and thats because of all the pleas from customers who live so far away and cannot get our crusts. Even more exciting is that we are flying to the West Coast to meet with an investment group who wants to franchise us out there.

Serving GG/AF pizzas has been the best decision we have made in a long time.

HEY…PMQ…you should really think about adding this to one of your education segments on the cruise or at the show.

mandy’s pizza