Confession Time: I don´t like Pizza!
Okay, there I said it! Now before you think I am completely crazy, it is not like I don´t like or eat Pizza at all. I am the biggest fan of Pizza dough and I love love love a good Pizza Bianca. But without exaggerating I can say that Pizza covered in thick tomato sauce (regardless if homemade or not) and salty ,crispy cheese crust is the stuff that my foodie nightmares are made of. No kidding.
I tried, really I did. I had Pizza in Italy ,in the USA , I even had Pizza in Paris. You see, I didn´t want to give up easily. The majority of the world seems to love Pizza, so I was sure that I could too, if only I would find a good one.I had friends dragging me to famous Pizza places in order to convince me ,that there is this one certain Pizza that would be sure to change my life.Long Story short. It didn´t . But I guess we can all agree that there are worse things in life than an aversion to Pizza with tomato Sauce, right?
Over the years though, I have found my own way of enjoying Tomato Pizza and it goes like this :
Creamy Ricotta spread on airy yet slightly crunchy ,golden crust, topped with thinly sliced garlic and cherry tomato slices , crispy sage leafs ,red onion and olive salt are melting together and creating an intense yet and elegant mediteranean flavor. Easy peasy Pizza dream come true.
For those of you who haven´t made Pizza Bianca before, it´s basically just a standard Pizza crust with a white base instead of tomato Sauce. You can use Ricotta , Mascarpone, Creme Fraiche , Sour Cream or even a Vegan Creme Cheese , all of them work equally good . As these spreads are all very mild in taste feel free to use toppings that you would usally consider as rather dominant; the more aromatic and intense your toppings are the better your pizza will be in taste.
Herbs like Thyme and Rosemary work perfectly with Pizza Bianca, just like caramelized onions, chilli, fruity pears , thinly sliced pumpkin, aromatic tomatoes or a strong cheese like Camambert or Roquefort.I also like to add walnuts or pine nuts for an extra crunch but that´s optional.
If you want to top your Pizza with Mozarella, I recommend that you add it after baking. Especially if you are using a high-quality Mozarella it would be a shame to bake it and miss out on its creamy and soft texture.
Now the secret ingredient , which takes this Pizza from good to almost too good is Olive Salt from a tiny little salt manufacture , based in Germany, called Salzgarten.
Salzgarten is offering a wide range of high quality sea salt infused with many different ingredients like lemon peel, tomato , garlic , black olives or spices like chilli.
The salt, harvested in Spain gets transported to Germany where it gets infused and refined by hand. Their products are incredibly aromatic and amazing in quality and I absolutely love the elegant simplicity of their packaging.
Pizza Bianca with roasted Tomatoes, Sage and Olive Salt
For the Pizza Crust :
- 220 ml water , lukewarm
- 20 gr.. fresh yeast
- 1 tsp sugar
- 400 gr flour
- 30 ml olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp dried herbs ( optional)
Add water in a little stove , crumble in yeast and add sugar, and carefully heat it on slow to medium heat for about 5 Minutes
Carefully stir the mixture with a spoon ,yeast should be roughly dissolved , and set aside.
In a large bowl add the flour, salt , herbs ,olive oil and yeast mix and knead for at least 5 minutes. The dough should be elastic but not sticky ,so make sure to add some more flour if you feel like it is to wet.
Transfer your dough into a large, lightly oiled bowl ,cover it with a wet Cloth and let it rise at a warm place for about an hour. The dough will double in size.
Divide the dough in two parts, sprinkle some flour on a wooden board and roll it out thinly with a rolling pin.
Transfer your dough to a baking tray lined with parchement paper.
Preheat your oven to 220 Degrees Celsius and start preparing your toppings.
For the topping :
- 300gr (vegan) cream cheese / Mascarpone/ Ricotta
- 250 grams ripe cherry tomatoes
- about 20 sage leafs
- 2-3 large cloves of garlic
- 1 small red onion
- black pepper
- 1 tsp honey or maple syrup
- olive salt from Salzgarten
- Optional: 80 grams Mozarella, Taleggio or Parmesan Shaves
Thinly slice cherry tomatoes , garlic and red onion and remove the sage leafs from their stems.
Soften your preferred white base with 1 TBS of water or milk of your choice and evenly spread it on your prepared dough.
Top with tomatoes, garlic, sage and onions , drizzle with a bit of honey and season with olive salt and pepper.
Bake for about 20-22 Minutes and top with some fresh cheese and a drizzle of extra virgine olive oil if you like.