Pizza bianco

Pizza bianco

By
From
Mark Hix On Baking
Makes
2
Photographer
Jason Lowe

Pizzas are fun to make at home as they are so versatile. You can make the toppings as simple or as sophisticated as you wish. To vary this pizza bianco, try adding a little freshly chopped oregano over it before cooking or even shaving a bit of truffle over the top to make it more luxurious.

For the base

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
500g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
7g fast-action yeast, mixed with about 150 ml warm water
1 tablespoon clear honey
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons salt

For the topping

Quantity Ingredient
1 medium red or white onion, thinly sliced
150g taleggio, sliced
a handful rosemary needles

Method

  1. To make the pizza base, mix all of the ingredients together in a mixer set with the dough hook attachment for 2–3 minutes to form a stiff dough, adding a little more water during mixing if the dough is not coming together. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave to prove in a warm place for a few hours, until the dough has doubled in volume.
  2. Remove the dough from the bowl and knead it back to its original size on a lightly floured table. Using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough out to form two circles roughly 25–30 cm in diameter. Transfer the pizza bases to a piece of lightly floured greaseproof paper. Leave the dough to rise a little under a tea towel in a warm place for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat your oven to its maximum heat and place a circular pizza stone or baking tray inside to heat up for 20 minutes. Take one pizza base, arrange the topping ingredients over it evenly and slide it onto your stone or tray. Bake in the oven for 12–15 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the crust is golden brown. Repeat for the second pizza.

Variations

  • Pizza margherita: The stepping stone for all non-white variations on the pizza. Use a reasonable buffalo mozzarella (not the cheap, plastic stuff) and a good-quality passata for the tomato base. From here you can start adding any of your favourite ingredients. Try mixing up the cheeses – scattering over some gorgonzola, say, or other soft Italian cheese.

    Wild mushroom pizza: Throw a handful or two of mushrooms into a food processor and whiz to a rough paste. Add to a pan with a little olive oil and butter and cook for a few minutes. Mix in a little grated Parmesan and spread over the pizza bianco base before covering with a few more sliced mushrooms and Taleggio.

    Fennel sausage pizza: Skin a couple of traditional Italian fennel sausages and mould the sausagemeat into small meatball-sized pieces using your hands. Add these to either a tomato-based pizza or to a pizza bianco for a delicious, meaty version.
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