I unexpectedly managed to make a really good thin-crust pizza yesterday using arepa flour / PAN pre-cooked white cornmeal a.k.a. arepa pizza. ?
The ingredients are super simple as well, basically just like arepas: cornmeal, water, oil, salt and that’s it! The only difference is that you want to make these as thin as you possibly can.
I’ve never been able to make anything that even resembles a proper crispy restaurant-style thin crust pizza at home. Because let’s face it, it’s hard to achieve without a fire oven and that’s not really an option when you live in a tiny flat in central London (I highly doubt my landlord would approve). ? But to my surprise, this arepa pizza actually ended up having some aspects of it! Seeing as I cooked it in a frying pan first (as you would with arepas), it had that super crispy cooked at the bottom texture (if you know what I mean) which made a big difference and set it apart from other homemade pizzas I’ve done in the past. ?
I’m not claiming it’s exactly the same as a stone baked pizzas at all, but when I first got the idea to make pizzas out of arepas, I literally just expected them to be arepas with pizza toppings. So the fact that the crust actually ended up feeling like a pizza crust was a nice surprise. As homemade thin-crust pizzas go, this is quite possibly my favourite attempt so far. ❤️
Now I’m looking forward to experimenting with this recipe and seeing how I can make it even better. Let me know what you think in a comment if you give it a try. ?
Gluten Free Thin Crust Arepa Pizza Recipe:
- 150g / 1 cup pre-cooke white cornmeal (I used P.A.N.)
- 200g warm water
- 15g / 1 Tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp salt
- Oil of your choice (to cook)
- Tomato purée
- Garlic powder
- Dried oregano
- Cayenne pepper
- Black pepper
- Olive oil
- Sweet peppers
- Roasted chicken
- Fresh coriander (to garnish)
PREPARE THE DOUGH:
- Combine the cornmeal and salt together in a bowl, then add the olive oil and warm water little by little, kneading the dough with your hands, until you can form a smooth dough ball. Note: the consistency of the dough should be smooth (no cracks) and slightly sticky, but still easy to handle with your hands. If you accidentally add too much water, just make up for it by adding a little more cornmeal.
- Divide the dough into 2 portions (or more if you want smaller pizzas). Note: I don’t recommend making one very large pizza as the base is likely to break apart when you transfer it to the frying pan (if it even fits in the pan ?).
- Place one half of the arepa pizza dough between two sheets of baking paper or cling film (to prevent sticking) and flatten with your hands or a rolling pin until very thin. I made mine about half a cm thick for a thin crispy pizza crust.
- Then fix any cracks around the edges with your fingers so it’s as smooth as possible.
PAN FRY THE AREPA PIZZA BASE:
- Heat up a frying pan on medium heat with a generous drizzle of olive oil and then carefully transfer the arepa pizza base into it. Pan fry, and gently flip it over midway through, until both sides turn crispy and golden. This should take about 10 minutes.
BAKE THE AREPA PIZZA:
- Once cooked and crispy, transfer it to an oiled baking tray along with pizza sauce and toppings of you choice. I opted for leftover roasted chicken, finely chopped sweet peppers, mozzarella and fresh coriander to garnish. ?
- Bake in a pre-heated oven (220C/428F) until the toppings are cooked and the cheese has melted to your liking (about 10-15 mins).