Based just outside Norwich, Novo Farina produces a range of gluten-free flour products and snacks made from locally grown milled yellow peas.
When they invited me to sample some of their products, I jumped at the chance. Having spent most of lockdown upping my baking game, I was excited by the prospect of trying something new.
Ready to get started? Here’s what happened…
Gluten-Free Pea-zza Base Mix
Makes 2 12in pizzas
First up, I love the pun. Whoever thought up their name is a legend 😂
Although I bake a lot of bread and regularly make my own pizza bases, I wasn’t sure what to expect from a gluten-free dough mix. Without gluten to hold it all together, I was half expecting it to turn out like granite.
To combat my fears, I carefully followed the instructions on the back of the packet. I needn’t have worried too much; the directions were clear and concise. In fact, the process was much easier than regular pizza dough!
If you’re going to try it, my tip is to make sure your hands are well oiled. Although the instructions recommend this, I’d make sure you keep the oil nearby when handling the dough. It’s very sticky. You’ll end up with more of it stuck to your hands than in the oven if you’re not careful.
But what about the finished product, I hear you cry?!
It was really good.
While I am a fan of a thin, crispy base, this was a golden, spongey, deep-pan affair.
It’s was good and crunchy around the edges, but light inside.
Because the pea flour is high in protein and fibre, it was really filling too. We could only manage a half where we’d normally eat a whole one each.
We had the second pizza the next day and it was just as good. Because it’s got a crisp crust, it traps the moisture inside, so it stays fresh.
The Novo Farina team also sent over a pack of gluten-free all-purpose flour, which I was intrigued by.
I’m someone who buys all the random flour and ingredients at the supermarket, only to discover that I don’t actually like them when I get home (which is why I have a cupboard full of coconut flour, gram flour, rye flour…).
Read more: Black Bee Honey
I made the chocolate-chip cookie recipe they sent over and – again – didn’t hold out much hope.
The flour is a bit yellow and smells a bit…different. To be honest, it smells a bit like peas, which is fine if you like peas, but it’s a bit off-putting when you’re making sweet treats.
The flour is also very light, but also slightly grainy (if that’s possible). In fact, the appearance reminded me of coconut flour.
But, being the consummate professional (and really hungry), I cracked on.
The recipe was really simple to follow, adding eggs, sugar, butter, baking powder and chocolate chips to the flour, before baking in the oven for 15 mins.
And guess what?
They turned out perfectly.
Once they’d cooled, they were crisp on the outside, soft and almost gooey in the centre.
And they tasted amazing.
The Chap couldn’t tell that I’d used anything unusual in the mix either and went back for seconds. I’ll definitely be making them again!
And, like the pizza, they were filling.
Maybe it was dominant thought but I ate one and felt sated, which isn’t like me at all. Surely that’s got to be good for combatting the corona-kilos?!
Stay tuned for the Gluten-Free Tempura Batter Mix.
To find out more and order gluten-free flour, visit Novo Farina online.