Weekend Project: Polenta Pizza Crust

Cook, Weekend Project

Polenta Pizza Crust

Pizza doesn’t have to be off the menu if you’re living gluten free. You can mimic the taste and texture of a traditional crust with our Cup4Cup Gluten-Free Pizza Crust Mix, or for something entirely different, try this pizza crust made from polenta. There’s no need to wait for the crust to rise, as with yeast-risen wheat-flour bases, and it’s a surprising dish to serve to company. The crust won’t be firm enough to pick but, but eaten with a fork, it has a wonderfully satisfying texture and flavor. Add your favorite toppings as you like, or scroll down for one of our favorite recipes, a take on the traditional Margherita.

 

Polenta Pizza Crust

 

1 1/3 cups (7 oz./220 g.) gluten-free medium-grind cornmeal

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1 1/2 Tbs. olive oil, plus more as needed

Toppings of your choice

 

In a microwave-safe bowl, mix 4 cups (32 fl. oz./1 l.) water, the cornmeal, and 1 3/4 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 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil and a generous amount of pepper.

 

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 1/3 inch (9 mm.) thick and about 12 inches (30 cm.) in diameter, building up the edges slightly.

 

To bake, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees 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.

 

Sprinkle the top of the finished pizza with chopped fresh herbs, if desired, then cut into wedges and serve right away.

 

Weekend Project: Polenta Pizza Crust

Polenta Pizza with Tomatoes and Fresh Herbs

 

Gooey cheese melting into baked polenta — crisp on the outside with a creamy interior — is as satisfying as pizza, but is definitely its own creation. For a novel approach, toss baby arugula with olive oil and lemon and mound it on top fontina or mozzarella cheese melted on the finished crust.

 

1/2 lb. (250 g.) fresh mozzarella cheese, coarsely grated

Polenta Pizza Crust (above)

1 1/3 cups (8 oz./250 g.) halved small cherry or grape tomatoes

2 Tbs. minced shallot or 2 cloves garlic, minced

1 1/2 Tbs. olive oil, plus more as needed

1 1/2 tsp. balsamic vinegar

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1/3 cup (1 1/2 oz./45 g.) freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup (1/3 oz./10 g.) sliced fresh basil, or 3 tablespoons chopped fresh marjoram

 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese over the pizza crust on the pizza pan, leaving a border.

 

In a small bowl, mix the tomatoes, shallot, 1 1/2 tablespoons oil, and the vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon the tomato mixture over the cheese. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.

 

Bake the pizza until it is beginning to brown in spots, about 20 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes to set up. Sprinkle with the herbs and serve right away with forks and knives for eating. Serves 4.

 

Weeknight Gluten FreeFind more great gluten-free recipes in our new cookbook Weeknight Gluten Free, by Kristine Kidd.

20 comments about “Weekend Project: Polenta Pizza Crust

  1. Williams-Sonoma Post author

    Hi Marge, we haven’t tried the recipe on a pizza stone, but our guess is that it would work well. If you try it, let us know how it goes!

    Reply
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  4. Liesel

    I want to try this soon. Although I have a microwave, i’d prefer to just cook the polenta in a pot then transfer to baking sheet or pizza stone. Think I’ll try with the stone first. Perhaps putting down a sprinkle of cornmeal as I would with a normal wheat/bread crust.

    Reply
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  6. Randi

    Polenta cooked in the microwave? I thought Williams Sonoma had a bit more class…

    Reply
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  9. Ali

    Tried it tonight for my boyfriend and I. It was really yummy, mostly because we both like polenta and pizza so the combination worked out. Instead of microwaving I just did it on the stovetop, it seemed more of a hassle to microwave.

    Reply
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