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Brian's Photo Blog — Article 687
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A Homemade Artisan White Pizza
Saturday 30 September 2017   —   Category: Cooking & Food
A long, long time ago when I was a teenager, I occasionally went out to eat at Klondike Pizza in old-​town Arroyo Grande, on California’s Central Coast. Besides being served free peanuts as an appetizer and being allowed (and encouraged!) to throw the shells on the floor, one memory that sticks out was their “white pizza.” Instead of a traditional tomato sauce you could have some sort of creamy garlic white sauce, although these days that sauce seems to be based on olive oil. Even now, forty years later, I remember the original sauce as being a truly scrumptious treat.
In late 2015 I created my first home­made artisan pizza. During the next six months I experienced homemade artisan pizza woes because of the consistency of the dough and my pizza assembly and trans­fer techniques.

After I eventually switched to focaccia dough and techniques, things were on a much better track. One of those suc­cess­es is shown to the right.

Once those problems were resolved I got the idea to try to imitate that Klondike white pizza of my childhood.
 
The primary ingredient of a white pizza is a good white sauce. I started off with my normal alfredo sauce recipe (down­load the PDF) except that I skipped the salt, and then pressed three large cloves of garlic into the sauce.

Next, I added half a teaspoon of each of these dried herbs: parsley, thyme, basil, oregano, summer savory, marjoram and rosemary.
 
You gotta have someplace to put all that sauce. As with some of my previous piz­zas, I made half a batch of focaccia dough using the White Bread With Pool­ish recipe in Flour Water Salt Yeast: The Fundamentals of Artisan Bread and Piz­za by Ken Forkish.

After applying a light coating of olive oil to my 14 inch cast iron pizza pan, I spread the dough out to cover the entire pan. Because I was making a pizza crust and not a regular focaccia, I didn’t put extra-​virgin olive oil, rosemary and salt on the top like I normally would.
 
I preheated the oven to 450°F with my NerdChef Steel Stone high-​performance baking surface for pizza (.375-inch thick Pro) on the upper rack.

Once the oven and the stone were nice and hot I set the pizza pan on the stone and baked the focaccia dough for about 15 minutes. Then I spread my enhanced alfredo sauce over the cooked crust.
 
In addition to the white sauce I had five other gourmet toppings:
 
With the top rack of the oven about eight inches from the top heating element, I set the oven to high broil. While the metal pizza stone was soaking up the heat I distributed the five toppings over the crust and sauce.

I put the completed pizza in the pizza pan back into the oven on the pizza stone for a second round of baking.
 
About 10 minutes or so later the crust had a beautiful golden color. Taking the pizza pan out of the oven, I transferred the pizza to a cutting board. Then I used my 14 inch heavy duty pizza chopper to divide it into slices.

The best 12 shots of this pizza and its in­gre­di­ents have been added to the Bread, Pizza & Pretzels 2016 album.
 
As the saying goes, the proof of the piz­za is in the eating. And my first home­made artisan white pizza did not dis­ap­point. My notes from that day read:

It turned out really, really killer!!!! This is probably the best artisan pizza I have ever made, after six months (at least) of trying!

What more is there to say?
 
Brian's Photo Blog — Article 687
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Brian's Photo Blog — Article 687
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