Thursday, December 24, 2009

Cornmeal Crust

I've been wanting to try making a pizza with a cornmeal crust. I remember a place in San Francisco, near where we lived early on, whose trademark was cornmeal pizza crust. I think it was called Vicolo. We went there for their pizzas many times back then.

I added sautéed mushrooms and ground chicken sausage to top the pizza.

So I modified my current pizza crust recipe by substituting half the flour with cornmeal. I was afraid at first that I had gone too far, but the crust rose well. It even rolled out more or less nicely.

One of the two pizza crusts, after rising overnight in the fridge.

The only problem was that when I rolled it out, the edges cracked. That meant there were many little crevices for liquid to flow off the edge of the pizza. Normally, the edge puffs up a bit and holds the sauce and cheese on the interior of the pie. I think the cracking was caused by the lack of gluten in the cornmeal; less gluten equals less elasticity in the dough.

You can see the cracked edges on the finished pizza.

Some of the sauce and cheese took advantage of the crevices in my cornmeal crust to flow out off the pie and onto the stone. No matter, the pizza still cooked allright and I didn't have any stuck crust in the oven. And it tasted pretty good, although the crust was a lot denser than the traditional all white flour crust.

I'm not rushing to do it again, but it was a fun experiment.


  1. If I remember correctly, the Viccolo pizzas have a raised edge as if they are baked in a tart pan. It may be a dough more similar to cornbread than traditional pizza dough?

    BTW, I had steak au poive tonight in honor of your birthday.

  2. All the best for the festive season on this Xmas eve in OZ to you both.
    Looking forward to saying hello in March 2010.
    Leon and Sue

  3. This was how lots of classic dishes have been invented in the past - culinary mistakes or experiments with unconventional ingredients. Just think, you might have made something that could have turned you into a millionaire overnight !!

    Happy Christmas to you both,

  4. Joyeux Noel! & happy belated special to have your birthday on the winter solstice!
    Wishing you & your guy & your canine all the best from the West Coast of the USA.
    Thaks for delighful blog & amazing photography in 2009. It has been a treat to get to know a bit about you.
    Your fan,

  5. peter, I think you're right... I looked at their web site and, although the restaurant no longer exists, they continue to make (frozen) pizzas, and the crust is made in a pie tin. How was the steak?

    leon and sue, and the same to you! We'll be here!

    jean, if only it hadn't been done already!

    stephen, many thanks and warm wishes to you both!


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