One thing you will learn if you spend much time around me is that I love food. I’m not one of those people who is adept at describing smells and tastes and hints and overtones, but I love trying new foods and trying to cook them. So, for my first “real” blog post, I thought I’d share with you my recipe for white pizza. But before we can get to the deliciousness of the pizza, you’ll need the dough. Here is the recipe that I use, but feel free to use your own or the store-bought kind.
I basically made up this version of white pizza. I wanted pizza but I had no sauce or pepperoni or other traditional toppings. But I did have some olive oil, some spices, some mozzarella, and a couple of lovely tomatoes. And the results were delicious. So, while you’re waiting for your dough to rise, you can get ready to make the white pizza toppings.
Makes 1 pizza, with extra dough
For the crust:
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 packet active dry yeast
- Pinch of sugar
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp salt
- 3-4 cups flour
For the topping:
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
- 2 tomatoes, sliced
- Heat water to about 115 degrees Fahrenheit. I microwave it for about a minute to get it the right temperature. You should be able to stick your fingers in it and hold them there for a few seconds.
- Add the yeast to the water along with a large pinch of sugar and give it a stir. Let it sit for at least 5 minutes, or until it foams. I like to do this step in my mixing bowl (less cleanup later).
- Add the olive oil, salt, and 2 cups of flour to the yeast mixture in a mixing bowl. Stir with a wooden spoon until blended. Continue to add flour (about 1/3 to 1/2 cup at a time) until the dough isn’t sticking to the bowl.
- Flour a work surface like a counter top or cutting board and turn the dough out onto it. Flour your hands and knead the dough for 2 or 3 minutes, adding flour as needed. Then test it by poking it gently with your thumb–if the dough bounces back, you’re done with this step. Oil the mixing bowl and roll the dough around inside to coat it. Then cover it and let it sit for at least 1/2 an hour, until it has doubled in size.
- Punch out the air in the dough and turn it out on your work surface again. At this point, you can divide the dough into however many pieces you want. You can make about 3 medium pizzas with this recipe, or 6 personal pizzas or calzones (I used 1/3 of the dough for the pizza in the picture). Form each piece into a ball and cover with a towel. (If you want to freeze the dough, this is the time to do it.) Preheat your oven to 450F.
- Working with one piece of dough at a time, roll it, stretch it, toss it, or do whatever you have to to get it into the shape you want. Coat a cookie sheet or pizza pan with nonstick cooking spray and put your dough on it.
- Meanwhile, make the sauce: Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a saute pan. Add the garlic and cook for about two minutes. Add your spices. I used crushed red pepper, dried basil, and an Italian seasoning blend. Cook for another minute or two. Remove from heat and set aside.
- When your dough is ready to go, drizzle the oil on top and spread it around with the back of a spoon. Cover the pizza with mozzarella and Parmesan. Arrange the tomato slices on top. Top with a little more cheese and a sprinkle of basil.
- Pop it in the oven for about ten minutes or so. Let cool (if you can), cut, and enjoy!
- If you want to make calzones, add your toppings to half of a dough round. Fold the other half over top, pinch the edges or press with the tines of a fork to seal, and brush with olive oil or beaten egg before baking.