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Thin Crust White Pizza

As much as cooking makes me happy, one of the main reasons I cook is because I like to make other people happy. I like feeding people. And satisfying their appetites. And hearing sounds of satisfaction. It makes my day, sometimes even my week.

I especially like to make my parents happy. So when I realized how much it must suck that my dad hasn't been able to eat real pizza(with tomato sauce) in a long time because of his acid reflux, I knew that the best way to make him happy was by making him a pizza he would be able to eat. 

Yes, I'm just as glad as you are that I'm finally cooking something and not baking. I needed to change things up. There was no way I was using the rest of the ricotta in my fridge for cookies or a cake or anything like that.

I got the idea to make white pizza after seeing it on Foodgawker. I was going to use the dough recipe listed, but then I thought about it, and was like, why would I use a specific thin crust dough recipe when I could just roll my usual pizza dough out really thin? It would basically be the same thing. Plus I kind of didn't have the instant yeast that the recipe called for.

I also didn't have the heavy cream that the white sauce called for but I improvised with just some milk and cornstarch. Oh, and I substituted the Pecorino-Romano cheese with Parmesan, because that's what I had on hand. See, that's the great thing about cooking. You can always change things up or leave things out. The possibilities are endless; you are in control and you can cater to your own tastes.

In this case, I was catering to my dad's diet. And I'm happy to say that it was a success. I knew the pizza was going to be good just by the way it smelled when it was in the oven. With three different kinds of cheeses, a delicious combination of herbs and spices, and a hint of garlic, this pizza is in a class by itself. Some people say white pizza is an acquired taste, but if you don't like it after one bite, then you need to acquire some new taste buds.

Thin Crust White Pizza

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For the dough:
3 and 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 heaping tablespoon of active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the sauce:
1/2 cup whole-milk ricotta
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons whole milk, plus some cornstarch to thicken
1/2 large egg yolk
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
about 1/4 tsp black pepper
dash of cayenne pepper
pinch nutmeg
1/3 teaspoon dried oregano
dash of dried rosemary

For the topping:
about 1/4 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
3/4 cup shredded whole milk mozzarella
1/8 cup grated Parmesan cheese


For the dough: 
In a KitchenAid stand mixer bowl, combine the flour, oil, and salt. Pour the yeast in a cup of warm water and add 1 teaspoon of sugar so that it will rise quickly. When the yeast rises, add it to the bowl(along with the water it rose in) and using the dough hook attachment, knead the dough on medium speed. Add warm water as needed, until a soft dough forms. Cover the bowl with a cloth and let it rise for an hour or until it doubles in bulk.

For the sauce: 
Whisk all the ingredients together in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Assembling the pizza:  

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

The recipe for the dough makes enough for a round 13 inch pan and a rectangular 18 x 13 inch pan. So, just pinch off a ball of dough enough for a 13 inch pan because you only have enough sauce for that. 

Lightly flour the surface which you are going to work on, as well as the rolling pin. Flatten the dough into a disk and roll it out thinly into a circle to fit the pan. Spray the pan with cooking spray and then transfer the dough to the pan. Use your fingers to make an indentation around the edges to form the crust.

Brush the outer edge of the dough with olive oil. Use the back of a spoon to spread the white sauce over the dough, leaving a 1/4-inch border around the outside. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over the white sauce, followed by the mozzarella. Using a 1/2-teaspoon measuring spoon, drop the ricotta over the mozzarella.

Bake for 10 minutes on the middle rack, and then rotate the pizza and bake for 10 more minutes on the bottom rack. All ovens run differently, but basically, if the cheese is browned and the dough is slightly golden brown, the pizza is done. Allow to cool 5-10 minutes before serving.

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