I’m dreaming of a white pizza, cause it already seems like it will probably be a white Christmas here. And pizza tastes better than snow. Unless maybe you’re at Bahama Bucks for some shaved ice.
Anyways, while working on the post for how to caramelize onions, I remembered this pizza. I was coming up with recipes that would use the caramelized onions and had the eureka moment. And it had been a very long time since I had made the pizza. Which is unacceptable with how delicious it is. So now I bring you this delicious combination of dough, sauce, and toppings.
The first incarnation of this recipe comes from my mom many years ago. While on a trip to Utah to see family she had a white pizza at The Pizza Factory. She loved it. But once she was back home, she wanted to recreate it. So she got to work and made her own version from how it was in her head.
And then it got interpreted again. Because this here is not exactly her recipe. It is my take on what she did. I loved the white pizza and hadn’t really had a non-red sauce pizza before she made it at home. It was a whole new world that I decided to dive into.
White Pizza Toppings
You can really customize this however you’d like. A lot of things taste great on a white pizza. This can make it really great for having people over because you can have everything ready to go and just let people choose their own toppings. But this combination below goes extremely well together.
- Cheese – The cheese obviously makes the pizza. This one uses a combination of fresh mozzarella, a block of mozzarella, and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Using too much of the thick slices of fresh mozzarella seems to overload the pizza. But I like cheese everywhere so I shred a block of mozzarella to sprinkle over top and in between. Then the shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano is a finishing touch on top.
- White Garlic sauce – For this, you essentially make a garlic béchamel sauce using a roux with some garlic and parmesan added for flavor.
- Chicken – Cooked and chopped beforehand, I prefer to use some marinated and grilled chicken but had to improvise for this one since I didn’t want to go out and grill in below freezing temps. So I used a grill pan on the stovetop. You can use whatever chicken you’d like – rotisserie chicken or leftover chicken from another recipe could work here.
- Bacon – Salty. Fatty. Cooked crisp and crunchy. I crumble the slices of bacon once they are cooked to sprinkle over the pizza.
- Caramelized onion – The inspiration for posting this recipe came when I was making caramelized onions. These lend a complex mix of savory and pop of sweetness to the recipe that helps balance some of the other toppings.
- Spinach – Wilted in a bit of olive oil, this lends some greens to the pizza and another texture to the mix.
- Pine nuts – These take on a toasted quality that brings out their crunch and buttery flavor when cooked on the pizza
Assembly and Baking
To put the pizza together, I find it helpful to set all the toppings out in bowls around where I will roll out the pizza dough. You can kind of see this in the photo above. Then after rolling and pre-baking, it is easy to grab a little of each and sprinkle it around to top it just how you like.
Below is a little before and after photo comparison slider for what the pizza looks like before and after baking.
To bake, you want your oven as hot as it will go. With my last oven, it was only 500°F, and I don’t think that it actually got that hot inside. While testing this recipe in the new house, I realized this oven went to 550°F (290°C) and it seems to actually reach those temperatures. The new one is also gas which likely affected how it cooked for me. But the dough came out perfectly crispy with a nice crunch as I rolled my pizza wheel through to cut slices.
For this recipe, I tried flipping the pizza crust after the initial 2 to 3-minute pre-bake and then putting the toppings on the side that was originally the bottom. This really helped the crust fully cook and crisp, even with the fresh mozzarella that tends to put out a lot of moisture while cooking.
Things will tend to get messy and you may feel like a flour monster attacked you and your kitchen, but it is fairly easy to clean up. Maybe you are neater than my sous chef and I are when in the kitchen. A damp rag or paper towel is usually enough to wipe things down. And, of course, it is much easier to clean up after having eaten some delicious homemade pizza.
Chicken Bacon White PizzaCourse: EntreesDifficulty: Intermediate
Chicken, bacon, caramelized onions, and a deeply garlic sauce make this pizza stand out from the norm.
Pizza dough for three 12-inch pizzas (this Serious Eats recipe is my go-to and gets the perfect amount, but it takes 24 hours to rest in the fridge, so prepare ahead)
- Garlic Béchamel Pizza Sauce
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
- Pizza Toppings
24 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced about 1/4″ thick
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped (or about two cups chopped rotisseries chicken)
4 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup caramelized onions
2 handfuls of spinach, sautéed in 1 tablespoon olive oil for 5 minutes
1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shredded
1/4 cup pine nuts
6 large basil leaves, cut in a chiffonade or long, thin strips
- Garlic Béchamel Pizza Sauce
- Add garlic, butter, and olive oil to a sauce pan over medium heat
- Stir to melt the butter and sauté the garlic for 2 to 4 minutes until garlic is fragrant
- Mix in the flour to combine and stir while cooking for 3 minutes
- Whisk in milk, heavy whipping cream, and 2 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano until fully combined
- Heat the sauce until thickened, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes
- Remove from heat
- Pizza Assembly
- Preheat the oven to 550°F (290°C)
- Prepare all pizza toppings and have them easily accessible for putting on the pizzas
- Take a portion of dough for one pizza and roll it out on a floured surface to 12 inches in diameter
- Place the dough on a pan or pizza stone in the oven and cook 2 to 3 minutes until no longer doughy
- Remove from oven and flip the pizza crust over
- Top with fresh mozzarella, shredded mozzarella, chicken, bacon, caramelized onions, spinach, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and pine nuts – but do not overload the crust
- Put the topped pizza back in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes until cheese is melted and edges are golden brown
- Remove from the oven, sprinkle with sliced basil, and let cool
- Repeat steps 3-8 for remaining dough and toppings
- Slice and enjoy
- To reheat any leftovers (if that ever were to happen), just preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) and put the slices in for 5 to 7 minutes until the bottom is hot and you hear everything sizzling