Pizza need not be off-limits if you are living a gluten-free lifestyle. There are many gluten-free pizza crusts available today that are perfect for quick weekday meals, but I enjoy making pizza crusts from polenta, as I like the texture and flavor that it contributes. There’s no need to wait for the crust to rise, as with yeast-risen wheat-flour bases, and it is a surprising dish to serve to company. The crust will not be firm enough to pick up, but, enjoyed with a fork, it has the same satisfaction of wheat-flour pizza.

Ingredients

  • Gluten-free medium-grind cornmeal (I like Bob’s Red Mill), 1⠓ cups (7 oz/220 g)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Olive oil, tablespoons, plus more as needed
  • Toppings of your choice

Method

  1. In a microwave-safe bowl, mix 4 cups (32 fl oz/1 l) water, the cornmeal, and 1¾ teaspoons salt. Place in the microwave and cook at the high setting for 5 minutes. Stir thoroughly, then return to the microwave and cook at the high setting for 5 more minutes. Stir well. Return to the microwave and cook at the high setting until very thick, about 5 minutes longer. Stir again, and then mix in the 1½ tablespoons olive oil and a generous amount of pepper.
  2. Brush a large pizza pan generously with olive oil. (Do not line the pan with parchment, or the crust will not gain the desired texture.) Spread the cornmeal mixture out on the pan in a circle about ⠓ inch (9 mm) thick and about 12 inches (30 cm) in diameter, building up the edges slightly.
  3. To bake, preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Spread tomato sauce, if using, over the cornmeal crust, leaving a border, then layer on the desired toppings. Bake the pizza until it is beginning to brown in spots, about 20 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes to set up.
  4. Sprinkle the top of the finished pizza with chopped fresh herbs, if desired, then cut into wedges and serve right away.

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