The first time I had white pizza, I was living in an Italian neighborhood in Brooklyn, NY. One bite and I was hooked! Soon I became a frequent customer at the nearest pizza shop, ordering the white pizza with broccoli.
My son loves white pizza as well, but with spinach. For years, this was the only way he would eat a vegetable without coercion.
Just like traditional pizzas, white pizza offers endless variety of ways to make and top them. You can truly customize them for your tastes and dietary needs. You can try out Greek style using feta cheese and spinach one week, then opt for roasted red peppers and chicken the next. I do something different every time, but wanted to write up a fun vegetarian recipe to get you started.
The homemade crust is the same one I use for my Picky Eater Pizza. It is easy and predictable, so I’m sticking with it for now. Roasting the garlic cloves in the oven while the dough bakes is fun and the result is fragrant and delicious.
I also tried cheese making last month, using homemade mozzarella and ricotta on some of the white pizzas I made. It was a lot of fun and I better understand now how cheese is formed. To make the cheese, I ordered a kit from a company online, and purchased raw milk at a local farmer’s market.
Well, on to the recipe …
Start by making the pizza dough. This recipe makes enough for two 12-inch pizzas.
Homemade Pizza Dough
2 1/2 cups flour
1 packet active dry yeast
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup warm water
Note: I use a stand mixer that with a dough hook attachment to save some of the work of kneading, since I get inflammation easily in my hands. I’ll provide the information for making it either using the stand mixer to knead or by hand.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large mixing bowl (or the bowl from your stand mixer), combine 1 cup flour with the yeast and salt. Add in warm water and oil. Beat with mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, then on med high for 3 minutes. Scrape bowl with spoon as needed.
Kneading by hand: Using a wooden spoon, stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Continue to knead in flour until dough is smooth, elastic and not sticky (around 5 minutes).
Kneading using stand mixer: Slowly add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time and continue to mix on medium for 3 minutes, until no more flour will go into dough. Remove dough from bowl, turn onto lightly floured surface and knead in enough remaining flour to make a moderately stiff but elastic dough.
Divide dough into two balls of dough, cover and let rise in a warm area for 10 minutes.
Take one of the balls of dough and flatten it out into a circular shape on a lightly floured surface using a rolling pin, until it is approximately 12 inches (30.5 cm) in diameter. Lay the dough on a lightly greased pizza pan, pinching the edges to build up a crust. Poke holes all over the surface of the dough with a fork to prevent air bubbles. Repeat with the second ball of dough.
Bake crust for 10-12 minutes, until just starting to turn golden brown.
While the crust is baking the first time is a great time to roast your garlic cloves and cook the spinach. See below for directions.
White Pizza with Spinach, Mushrooms and Artichoke
6-8 ounces marinated artichoke hearts
16 ounces frozen leaf spinach, cooked and drained
6-8 cloves garlic
1-2 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
½ cup Ricotta Cheese
8 ounces mozzarella cheese, grated
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
4-6 ounces white mushrooms, sliced
2 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
Pinch of Sea salt
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
If you have not already done so, roast the garlic cloves and cook the spinach according to package directions, if using frozen spinach.
Roast garlic cloves. Break off 6-8 garlic cloves, leaving the skins on. Lay them on a piece of aluminum foil. Spritz or brush them with a little olive oil and a pinch of sea salt. Fold the foil over so they are in a little packet, and lay on the oven rack. Leave them in until they are fragrant and a little brown, or around the time the crust of ready. When they are done, remove the skins and mush them up into a paste using a fork.
After the dough has baked the first time, you can begin to add the toppings. First, brush on a light coating of olive oil, approximately ½ Tablespoon on each pizza. Spread half of the roasted garlic paste on the pizza dough. Using a pepper grinder, freshly grind black pepper across the surface.
Next add ¼ cup of Ricotta cheese, and ½ cup cooked spinach, to each pizza. The spinach does not have to be spread evenly.
Slice the artichokes into halves, quarters or smaller, according to your preference and spread half on each pizza. Sprinkle 4 ounces of grated mozzarella cheese on each and then evenly spread sliced mushrooms. Coat the surface with a light layer of grated parmesan cheese. Bake for approximately 15-20 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling and just starting to turn golden brown.
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