Roasted Garlic White Pizza with Cheese-Stuffed Crust
- Basic Pizza Dough for 1 large crust, recipe follows
- 2 teaspoons cornmeal
- 2 1/4 cups grated mozzarella cheese
- 2 heads roasted garlic, recipe follows
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese, drained
- 1 (10-ounce) package frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
- Roasted Garlic:
- 2 heads garlic
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Basic Pizza Dough:
- 1 cup warm (110 degrees F) water
- 1 (1/4-ounce) envelope active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 3 cups bleached all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
Place a baking stone on the lower rack of the oven and preheat to 475 degrees F.
Remove the dough from the bowl and briefly knead. Place on a lightly floured work surface and let rest for 10 minutes. Shape into a 16-inch round. Lightly dust a baker's peel with the cornmeal. Transfer the dough to the peel. (Alternately, the dough can rest and then be cooked on a lightly oiled baking sheet.)
Working 1 1/2 inches in from the outer edge, sprinkle 1 cup of the cheese in an even border around the crust. Fold the outer 1-inch of crust over the cheese and press to seal.
Over a small bowl, squeeze each head of garlic gently with your fingers to expel the cloves. Add the olive oil and stir with a rubber spatula to blend thoroughly. Spread the mixture over the pizza crust. Using a small scoop or tablespoon, spoon dollops of ricotta over the crust. Spread the spinach evenly over the crust and top with the remaining 1 1/4 cups mozzarella cheese. Transfer to the baking stone and cook until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing. Serve hot.Roasted Garlic:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a small baking dish with aluminum foil.
Cut the top quarter from each head of garlic and place, cut side up, on the prepared dish. Drizzle with oil and season lightly with salt and pepper. Turn the garlic cut side down, and roast until the cloves are soft and golden brown, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let sit until cool enough to handle. Squeeze the cloves into an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to be used.
Yield: Each head yields about 1 1/2 tablespoons, 2 heads about 3 tablespoonsBasic Pizza Dough:
In a large bowl, combine the water, yeast, and sugar and stir to combine. Let sit until the mixture is foamy, about 5 minutes.
Add 1 1/2 cups of the flour and the salt, mixing by hand until it is all incorporated and the mixture is smooth. Continue adding the flour, 1/4 cup at a time, working the dough after each addition, until all the flour is incorporated but the dough is still slightly sticky. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth but still slightly tacky, 3 to 5 minutes.
Oil a large mixing bowl with the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil. Place the dough in the bowl and turn to oil all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set in a warm, draft-free place until nearly doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Use as directed.
Yield: 1 large pizza crust, or 2 medium pizza crusts
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