Roasted Garlic White Pizza With Cheese-Stuffed Crust
- BASIC PIZZA DOUGH:
- Basic Pizza Dough for 1 large crust (listed below)
- 2 teaspoons cornmeal
- 2 1/4 cups grated mozzarella cheese
- 2 heads Roasted Garlic (listed below)
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese drained
- 1 package frozen spinach - (10 oz) thawed, squeezed dry
- 1 cup warm water (110 degrees)
- 1 envelope active dry yeast - (1/4 oz)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 3 cups bleached all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil plus
- 1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ROASTED GARLIC:
- 2 heads garlic
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt to taste
- Freshly-ground black pepper to taste
Place a baking stone on the lower rack of the oven and preheat to 475 degrees.
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.
For the Basic 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.
For the Roasted Garlic: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. 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. (Each head yields about 1 1/2 tablespoons, 2 heads about 3 tablespoons)
This recipe yields 1 (16-inch) pizza.