When your intolerances get in the way of you ordering in a pizza, it doesn’t have to ruin your weekend. In fact, it can be more fun to make your own! Last night, I made (and ate) so much food, I could barely move afterwards – BBQ pizza with a polenta base, a side of crispy potato wedges with a creamy garlic & herb dip, and even a gluten free lager to wash it all down with. I was only cooking for me and B, and I think it’s fair to say I made too much food. That didn’t stop us eating it all, mind you. Anyway, pictured below is my Friday Feast.
Yes. We had a whole pizza each. I had a search online, and took inspiration from a handful of recipes for the bases before getting busy in the kitchen, mainly these ones; annabelkarmel, fatfreevegankitchen, and Carla’s GlutenFreeRecipeBox. Below is what I ended up doing, and gives the quantities to make 2 pizza bases, roughly 10 inches, and around about 1cm thick.
190g polenta (dry weight)
850ml vegetable stock
1/2 tbsp xanthan gum
1 tbsp GF plain flour (I used Dove’s Farm)
1 tsp dry parmesan substitute
- Bring the stock to a simmer then slowly add the polenta, whisking as you do so
- Keep at a very low heat, and cook for around 3-5 minutes, until you have a smooth polenta mixture (add more water if it starts to become dry)
- Turn off the heat and mix in the xanthan gum, flour and ‘parmesan’
Now time to make them into pizza bases…
- If you have pizza tins, spread the mixture into the oiled tins to desired thickness
- I don’t have a pizza tin, so I put a sheet of baking paper over a dinner plate and used that. The polenta will probably be stick and stubborn, so persevere and try to spread it evenly
- Bake in a fairly hot oven (200 degrees or thereabouts) for 15 minutes
- Once done, the polenta will feel springy and spongy
- Remove from the oven, and either allow to cool, and refrigerate until you need it, or put on your toppings and pop them straight back in the oven!
I was surprised at how well the base held up. The middle was a little bit on the floppy side, but the majority of it was very ‘handleable’. Pizza is all about the hands, and if you’re gentle, this base doesn’t require a knife and fork! It is, however, very filling, so one pizza between 2 should be plenty.
I topped mine with homemade BBQ sauce, which was amazing! The recipe is here. I also added grated lactofree cheese, fresh spinach, and some salami. Of course, you can top it with whatever you like! I like my pizzas crispy, so I baked them for 25 minutes, meaning the polenta had a total of 40 minutes in the oven.
Now, pizza wouldn’t be pizza without a side, would it? I made some simple potato wedges to go with mine, and of course, a Dominos-esque garlic and herb dip. With inspiration from this beautifully simple recipe, I threw together 100g Lactofree soft cheese, 50g Alpro plain soya yoghurt, a crushed clove of garlic, some chives and a squeeze of lime juice, and wound up with a delicious dip!
So, that was my Friday Food. I would definitely make a pizza base from polenta again. I’ve seen some fascinating things turned into ‘alternative’ pizza bases before, but in taste and in texture, I always imagined polenta would be pretty similar to one made from bread. And I was right. I’d love to hear if you’ve made any weird and wonderful gluten free pizza bases?