Recipe:

Pizza Bianca

by Chef Daniel Morduchowicz

I have led hundreds of pizza workshops and this recipe is very often one of the favorites. It has 4 kinds of cheese, but we introduce a heavily dressed arugula salad at the end of cooking as a counterbalance to all the fat

- Chef Daniel Morduchowicz

Recipe

Course
Main Course
Cuisine
Italian, American
Total Servings
8 slices (approximately)
Calories Per Serving
385
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
4 minutes
Resting time
No resting time (except for dough)
Total Time
19 minutes (excluding dough)

Ingredients

  • 250 grams pizza dough.
  • 0.50 cup olive oil
  • 2 cup arugula
  • 1 tbsp champagne or rice vinegar (other vinegars can work also)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt and pepper
  • 1 cup Ricotta
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • parmesan cheese shredded
  • 4 slices low moisture mozzarella
  • 4 slices gruyere

Instructions

  1. Place a pizza stone or a pizza steel in the oven and preheat to 525 degrees, for at least an hour to an hour and a half. It is very important that the stone or steel absorb as much heat as possible
  2. Prepare the bechamel: melt 2 tbsp butter and add flour and whisk to remove any lumps. Add milk and heat up, stirring often until the sauce thickens. Add parmesan, allow it to melt, and taste for salt. Adjust if needed. Add nutmeg to taste and set aside.
  3. Prep your work table with the bechamel and the other cheeses..This is an important step, as it will enable you to work quickly. Once the dough is on the pizza peel you need to be swift while laying the toppings, as the pizza might stick as it hydrates and gets moist again in the bottom.
  4. Flour a pizza peel lightly using a little bit of the semolina.
  5. Pour a large amount of the semolina on the dough while still inside your bowl.
  6. Invert the bowl and place the dough on the table. Create the border of the pizza by gently pressing on the edge of the pizza repeatedly until you have a ring all around the dough.
  7. Deflate the center of the dough gently making sure not to degass it completely.
  8. Stretch the dough allowing it to hang from your fingers. The dough will stretch with its own weight.
  9. Place on the peel.
  10. Spread the bechamel, then cheeses in this order.
  11. Make sure the pizza slides easily on the peel using a jerking motion. Lower yourself to the level of your oven rack and making sure the peel is totally horizontal, slide it directly on the stone or steel by making short but purposeful jerky movements.
  12. Bake until the crust browns and the cheese is bubbly.
  13. While the pizza is in the oven, dress your arugula with a healthy dose of champagne vinegar, plus oil and salt.
  14. As soon as the pizza is out of the oven place it on your cutting board and while still hot spread the arugula salad evenly.
  15. Sprinkle ricotta here and there making sure that when you cut it every slice will get at least a little bit.
  16. Place a pizza stone or a pizza steel in the oven and preheat to 525 degrees, for at least an hour to an hour and a half. It is very important that the stone or steel absorb as much heat as possible
  17. Prepare the bechamel: melt 2 tbsp butter and add flour and whisk to remove any lumps. Add milk and heat up, stirring often until the sauce thickens. Add parmesan, allow it to melt, and taste for salt. Adjust if needed. Add nutmeg to taste and set aside.
  18. Prep your work table with the bechamel and the other cheeses..This is an important step, as it will enable you to work quickly. Once the dough is on the pizza peel you need to be swift while laying the toppings, as the pizza might stick as it hydrates and gets moist again in the bottom.
  19. Flour a pizza peel lightly. Stretch the dough and place on the peel.
  20. Spread the bechamel, then cheeses in this order.
  21. Make sure the pizza slides easily on the peel using a jerking motion. Lower yourself to the level of your oven rack and making sure the peel is totally horizontal, slide it directly on the stone or steel by making short but purposeful jerky movements.
  22. Bake until the crust browns and the cheese is bubbly.
  23. While the pizza is in the oven, dress your arugula with a healthy dose of champagne vinegar, plus oil and salt.
  24. As soon as the pizza is out of the oven place it on your cutting board and while still hot spread the arugula salad evenly.
  25. Sprinkle ricotta here and there, making sure that when you cut the pizza, every slice will get at least a little bit.

Notes

  • Making your own pizza is really fun, an almost magical process. No matter how many times I do it I am always fascinated by the process: starting with ingredients and transforming them into a dough that is alive, learning  each time the nuances and details that will lead to success. Once you learn the basics you can play with the ingredients to your heart’s content.
  • Pizza Bianca translates literally to White Pizza. Variations on this theme are endless, and can include even using no cheese at all!
  • This version includes a bechamel, which is a heavier, more gooey sauce than the traditional tomatoes, or even pesto. For this reason, it is very, very important that you do not overload your thin NY style pizza with too much sauce. Using a spatula to spread, and a spoon to lay the sauce on the raw dough, you can help in this regard.
  • Any time you use a peel it is important to move swiftly. I often use the analogy of a basketball player, at the end of a game, the shot clock running down, making sure to take  all the necessary time to make the shot but aware that time is dwindling. In other words, you want to spread the sauce well, but be aware that if you take too much time your sauce will make the dough wet and it will stick to the peel.

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