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Spinach, caramelized onion & roasted garlic white pizza.

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Ingredients

Instructions

  1. For the dough: In a small bowl, combine water and honey, if using, and stir to dissolve. Sprinkle the yeast overtop the water and let proof for a few minutes. In a large bowl, sift together flour and salt, then add the yeast mixture and stir until it forms a sticky dough. (Proofing the yeast isn’t required in Lahey’s recipe or most adaptations of it — you can really just combine all the dough ingredients in a large bowl and mix.)
  2. Cover bowl with plastic and keep at room temperature for approximately 18 hours, or until the dough has more than doubled. ( Note: If you’re like me and you tend to forget to do this the night before, just double the yeast and the dough will rise in 6-8 hours instead, but with a flavor that is still comparable, in my opinion.)
  3. For the garlic paste: About an hour before the dough is ready, start by roasting the garlic. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice off the top of the garlic bulb so that each clove is exposed. Drizzle a bit of olive oil over top, rubbing each clove to make sure the oil is well-distributed, then wrap in foil and bake for 30 minutes. The garlic should be soft when pressed when it’s done.
  4. Take the roasted garlic and pop out the cloves by squeezing, or with a fork. Combine with one teaspoon olive oil, two teaspoons of milk, and a sprinkle of crushed red pepper (optional), and mash with a potato masher or whiz in a food processor until it becomes a paste.
  5. For the toppings: While the garlic is baking (or after, if you’re bad at multitasking like I am), caramelize the onions. I do this by heating a few teaspoons of oil over medium-low heat in a large cast-iron skillet or saucepan, and spreading the onions in a single layer evenly across the pan. Stir until onions are evenly coated with oil, then let the onions sizzle gently in the pan for at least 30 minutes and up to 45-50, stirring no more than once every 5-10 minutes. Once onions are very soft, jammy, and smell deeply sweet, they’re done. In the last five minutes, season with salt and pepper to taste; I also like to drizzle a little bit of balsamic vinegar in the last five minutes to loosen the fond and to add a bit of extra flavor, but you can feel free to use water, chicken stock, or a bit of wine for the same effect. When done, set aside.
  6. Heat a bit of oil in a saucepan and sauté the spinach until just wilted, seasoning with salt and pepper as desired, drain any liquid, and set aside.
  7. To bake: When the dough is ready, prepare your baking surface by sprinkling it liberally with cornmeal. I used a cast-iron skillet and found it to work wonderfully, though you can also use a baking sheet or, of course, a pizza stone. Preheat your oven to its hottest setting, about 500-550 degrees F. You can preheat the skillet or pizza stone if you like, but I didn’t and found my pizza to be just fine.
  8. Scrape the dough out of your bowl onto a well-floured surface. It should be quite sticky and soft. Flour the top of the dough, then divide the dough in half and form them into ball shapes by tucking the edges underneath itself. If you’re baking these one at a time, cover one ball of dough with a damp towel while you prepare the other.
  9. Gently press, shape, and stretch the dough into a flat circle or rectangle however you like (I’m no pizza shaping expert!) Again, I used a 10-inch cast-iron skillet for this, so I shaped the dough into two 10-inch rounds.
  10. Brush a small amount of olive oil over the dough, then spread the garlic paste in an even layer across it. Sprinkle desired amount of cheese over that (I like a mixture of mozzarella and provolone if I’m feeling spendy), then your caramelized onions and spinach. I’ve also added turkey bacon (or you could use regular bacon).
  11. Bake at 500 for 10-12 minutes, or until the pizza reaches your desired brownness. Slice and stuff face.

Notes

If you’re looking for a shorter rise time, double the yeast to 1/4 tsp and all you need will be 6-8 hours before the dough is ready to bake.

Finally, I know this white pizza is a bit untraditional in that it doesn’t contain ricotta — feel free to whisk it into the garlic paste or add a layer on your pizza if that’s your jam.