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Homemade White Pizza

I just wasted an hour of my time making this white pizza recipe I got from the internet. It basically has you simmer olive oil, butter and oregano, basil, rosemary with some minced fresh garlic. So far so good. Then it says to spread riccota cheese and top with fresh tomatoes and basil. Sounds good but I thought it was horrible!! Why can't I duplicate the white pizza we get from the pizza shop? They won't give out their secret, I've tried. I don't like those recipes that call for Alfredo sauce as your base either. I am picky and sick of paying $$25 for a simple white pizza. But then I just threw my pizza in the trash after I yelled at the kids for not liking it and reminding them about the staving kids in 3rd world countries. I even used fresh dough. HELP!!

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  1. You have a few options, as I see it:
    •keep working at it, and start simply, with fewer ingredients; rather than complicated concoctions, for best results.
    •Accept that some foods are best made by professionals, with years of expertise, using speaialized equipment (ovens, for example.)

    Best of luck in your quest for a good white pizza.

    1. The only cheese you used was ricotta? That sounds to me like you are missing something. I can't imagine eating a pizza with only ricotta.

      Most of the white pizzas around here are mostly a mozz/parm blend with dabs of ricotta, although my favorite version is only mozz/parm and topped with roasted garlic.

      I'd stretch out the dough, and then drizzle all over with olive oil (or garlic infused oil), then cover lightly with your cheese of choice (a good melting cheese like mozzarella, provolone, etc). Don't lay it on too thick. Dot with ricotta. Please on a pizza stone in an oven that was pre-heated at the highest temp it could go for an hour and cook till done. In my oven, at 500-550, it takes about 8 minutes. If you want to add slices of tomato to it, make sure they are super dry or they'll make the whole pizza soggy. Also, don't add the basil until you take it out of the oven.

      2 Replies
      1. re: ESNY

        I did forget to mention that I topped it with some mozzarella. After tasting it, I didn't like the riccota-maybe I put too much on. Next time I will dot.I did use my pizza stone but only baked it at 450 like the directions said. I will heat it at 500 next time. Thanks for the tips!

        1. re: ESNY

          White pizza is good with just ricotta if you "marinate" the ricotta for 30 minutes to an hour in a little good olive oil, minced garlic, herbs of your choice, sea salt etc. A pizzeria around here used to do their white pizza this way and it was phenomenal.

        2. Mix the ricotta (and this is the time to use traditional whole milk product, well drained and pressed to extract even more water) with generous amounts of freshly grated parmigiano reggiano or another flavorful cheese like aged asiago, then some fresh, well drained mozzarella for pull. I have family who swear by adding an egg yolk to the ricotta, but I find the texture weird. It's not calzone filling.

          To finish, mince some fresh parsley and basil with garlic and lemon zest, and sprinkle over the baked pie.

          3 Replies
          1. re: amyzan

            By "traditional," do you mean traditional to white pizza or traditional whole milk ricotta?

            1. re: MacGuffin

              I mean full fat ricotta cheese, not fat free, not low fat, not part skim. Yes, I am aware that traditionally, ricotta is made from whey byproduct of mozarella cheese making, so is not "traditionally" as rich as whole milk ricotta. But, the way cheese is made and marketed today, ricotta from whole milk is often labeled "traditional". This is the best ricotta for white pie, IMHO.

              1. re: amyzan

                The stuff manufacturers get away with on labels never ceases to amaze me.

          2. why tomato on a white pizza? not so much on the basil here either.

            i'd agree with the strong cheeses rec. plus, gah-lic ga-lore!

            1 Reply
            1. re: alkapal

              I like some fresh tomato slices on top then I add fresh basil when it comes out of the oven. I guess I am mixing pizza margarita with white pizza.

            2. Go onto www.tastespotting.com and search for pizza bianca. There are some nice ideas - such as carmelized onions!

              1. I agree with everyone who said you really need another cheese...and garlic! We recently tried this one by (hold on to yourselves!) Rachel Ray and loved it...I added paper-thin slices of very ripe plum tomatoes and it worked for us...the unusual ingredient of fresh thyme is great with the lemon zest, too...just for you to consider...I'm going to try one of those tastespotting pizza biancas next!


                1. For white pizza, I brush the crust with good olive oil, add plenty of garlic, top with mozz and parm cheese and dot the whole thing with ricotta.

                  1. The whole idea, I think, of the ricotta cheese or the Alfredo sauce is to give you a mechanism for spreading the garlic, oregano, basil, allspice, even a little sugar, etc., throughout the pizza. In a regular tomato sauce pizza, the tomato sauce, in addition to adding flavor, performs this function. With a white pizza, there is no liquid to help the spices perfuse (is that a word?) the pizza. That is why I think that most white pizzas call for an unusually high amount of garlic. My suggestion is to make your pizza as you normally would and then mix all the spices into melted butter and sprinkle over the top when the pizza is about halfway through cooking.

                    Ricotta cheese mystifies me. So many people like it and, to me, if just makes whatever it is put upon bland and weirdly textured. I hope my suggestion helps--or, at least, you can teach me how to stop worrying and love the ricotta (with apologies to "Dr. Strangelove" fans).

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: gfr1111

                      Ricotta is best appreciated in the presence of other, complementary flavors, IMO. It's great with good olive oil, crunchy sea salt, garlic, etc. but also with an intense raspberry puree or other acidic mildly sweet fruit like passionfruit, ripe peaches, etc. There are also a lot of mediocre ricottas being made. Search out one made with good milk, as it really makes all the difference with fresh cheeses. There are several good ones from California, but the brand names escape me right now. Organic Valley's is entirely decent, if a little wet.

                    2. Pro Chef here and big pizza aficionado. First, the best white pizza in the US = El Ritrivo in Sheboygan, Wisconsin (believe it or not).

                      Secondly - I'd recommend an Alfredo-type base but it has to be made right and it has to be applied sparingly, maybe even applied with a pastry brush. A little goes a long way. Try this - Saute sliced or diced shallots lightly, deglaze with a hint of white wine (just a little as garlic and WW are mostly a bad a combo), enter heavy cream but not "whipping cream" let reduce then add DRIED garlic to your preference and finish with a bit of Fresh thyme and Parmesan. NO SUGAR!!! Remember - a little goes a long way. I'd also recommend an American style pizza dough with lots of yeast and at least a double rising. don't work the dough much. I have an easy dough recipe I've used for years. contact me if you want it. I usually like to add pine nuts to my toppings list and I actually prefer a low fat mozz. because it doesn't melt as quickly. a Fresh Mozz is nice here and I like to also top w/ thinly sliced fresh garlic pieces.

                      good luck!

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: HamburgerToday

                        HamburgerToday, I would love your dough recipe. I know this post is old, but if you are still willing to give it. I'm trying to make white pizza. Thanks!

                        1. re: kassy13

                          kassy13, i know you didn't ask me, but this is THE BEST pizza dough recipe. i use it almost weekly!
                          4 1/2 cups flour
                          1 3/4 tsp salt
                          1 tsp instant yeast
                          1/4 cup olive oil
                          1 3/4 cups cold water

                          mix everything together to get a really sticky dough (in a kitchen aid or by hand, about 5 mins. divide into 6 pieces and roll into a ball (you'll need to flour your hands well, and the surface you're rolling on). line a baking sheet with parchment, coat with olive oil. put your dough balls onto the pan and coat them with oil (lightly). cover with plastic wrap and refridgerate over night. take out of the fridge 2 hours before you're going to bake your pizzas, flour your surface well, flour your hands, and press the balls into disks. Rest 2 hours. Preheat your oven 1 hour at 500 or as hot as it goes! have fun and if you try this let me know how you liked it. **keep in mind this is a very wet dough, use a dough scraper as much as possible.**

                          1. re: kassy13

                            Sorry, I'm just checking this thread. I wished Chow would inform me of reply's. Anyway. the recipe below looks great although it is distinctly different from my dough. My dough is more of an American style with lots of yeast and not as wet. I use all of the same ingredients listed below but different ratio's. Let me know if you still need mine. hamburgertoday@gmail.com

                        2. I hope you'll see this a year and a half later, ccc! A server at a local pizza place with a fantastic white pie finally gave up the secret the last time we were there. They mix their ricotta with not only parm and mozz, but also a generous complement of locally produced heavy cream of high butterfat content. Makes total sense, and I'm surprised it never occurred to me, because cream or butter is generally the go to restaurant food secret ingredient. The aforementioned flavor enhancers of fresh chopped parsley/arugula and lemon zest are still called for as well. Their white pie is phenomenal, and now I know why! Dairy fat!

                          1. I love a good white pie. No caramelized onions here, just plenty of minced garlic, olive oil, mutz, rigot, shaved parm, and I have been known to add torn up fresh basil to my slice.
                            I'm sure it was meant with the nicest intentions but that 'some foods are best made by professionals' comment is a load of crap. You can do it girl, it's only pizza!!

                            1. I realize this is probably 2 years too late, but I used to work at an AWESOME restaurant/pizza place called Valozzi's in PA that Harrison Ford goes to when he is in town. (no joke) . They charge 25 bucks for a pizza there, so I'll let u in on their secret. The crust they use is super thin and already precooked about halfway. Then you put shredded provolone (not mozzarella) and sliced roma tomatoes on. Sprinkle with garlic powder, salt, pepper and some thinly sliced garlic and basil (fresh) if you like and that's it. Bake at a temp of at least 500 degrees till the cheese is melted well and just beginning to turn brown. I know this sounds too easy, but if you have a good crust to start with and good provolone, all you need is some garlic.

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: ladibug

                                Thanks everyone for the secrets! I will give them a try, when I have time! (Work/kids have put chowhound on backburner) I love Provolone and I do believe that fresh garlic is the key! And Amyzan, that fresh cream trick makes sense to me! My mouth is watering already!

                                1. re: chocchipcookie

                                  A simple change to the olive oil you're simmering--add salt and pepper. Be generous w/ salt and pepper (and garlic for me). Don't simmer but just heat to 100 degrees. I just had the best white pizza at a little shop that used dollops of fresh ricotta which is another key. They added roasted broccoli and shaved parmigiana on it. It's amazing in its simplicity. Also, I like to roast tomatoes in the oven on low (about 200-250)--cut in half, sprinkle w/ olive oil, salt, garlic, whatever herbs you're using in the olive oil. I like it on the dry side and leave it for hours. It intensifies the flavor but you can do it less if you want it wetter.

                                2. re: ladibug

                                  Ladibug, I found this threat while searching online for a copy-cat recipe of Valozzi's white pizza! I'm from California and just moved to Greensburg and am in love with Valozzi's! Any tips on how to make the pizza crust so flaky and pastry-like?

                                  1. re: Jax99143

                                    For a good crust (similar to Valozzi's) try the Brown Eyed Baker's blog (here www.browneyedbaker.com/2010/09/22/whi... ) I made the crust the other evening and divided it into thirds rather than in half. Par-cooked it (on my cast iron skillet that had been preheated in a 500 oven) for a couple of minutes, then topped it with the topping she gives in the recipe (but I added fontina cheese) . . . froze one of the left over balls and let the other "age" in the fridge for a couple of days, then divided it in half and used it to make flat bread (again using cast-iron griddle, but on top of the stove).

                                3. Well, after seeing this thread revived, I got the nerve? or just the desire to make a white pizza again from scratch. And I DID IT!! After many of your helpful hints and suggestions, I followed the tastespotting website link and typed in white pizza. I followed a recipe that used heavy cream. (I only had whipping-what is the real difference anyway?-but none the less, I went and got "heavy". It was fantastic and better than my local pizza shop! I'll share the recipe here becuase I have no idea how to link it.

                                  White Pizza Sauce-so simple yet so divine.

                                  2 T olive oil 1 small onion diced 2 cloves (or more) of garlic 1/2 cup heavy cream (thank you Amyzan for the hint) 1 T fresh Thyme Salt and pepper.

                                  In small saucepan, heat oil with onions and garlic over medium heat (I only had a scallion so I used that-still great) for about 5 minutes until soft. Lower the heat to low and add cream. Stir another 3-5 minutes until sauce thickens . Take off heat and add thyme, salt and pepper. Cool completely before using.(I just stuck it in the fridge).

                                  I also had some frozen pizza dough in the freezer, it was labled NewYork Pizza dough and I have no idea who makes because I got it out last night to defrost and threw out the box. But it was fantastic as well. I then proceded to top my yummy sauce with both mozz and provolone cheeses, fresh rosemary and a dusting of chopped tomato.

                                  So there you go, I did it and it was easy! Now onto a great red sauce recipe, I 've tried a few but I still go back to Chef-boy-r-dee's pizza kit-I buy the kit just for the sauce and throw out the crust mix! It that sad or what?

                                  14 Replies
                                  1. re: chocchipcookie

                                    Good to hear! That's funny because I also made white pizza tonight because this thread got me thinking. I made an herbed garlic oil of thyme, basil, garlic, salt and pepper. Brushed it on, added shrimp and parmigiana. It was a great combination. I also did a red sauce w/ Trader Joe's marinara, fresh mozarella and basil. It's so funny that you both make your own and use Chef Boy R Dee!

                                    1. re: chowser

                                      In a pinch, it's pretty good. It may also be the fact that my mom made us this pizza growing up USING the horrid crust and dried parm included in the package-I am only nostalgic to a certain point.

                                      1. re: chocchipcookie

                                        I remember when it first came out and how excited we were, as kids, to be making pizza, as like they did in the old country, or so the commercials said.

                                    2. re: chocchipcookie

                                      So glad you enjoyed your pizza! Thanks for the feedback, as I have cream and pizza dough in the freezer at present, so see a white pizza in my near future.

                                      1. re: chocchipcookie

                                        Whipping cream tends to have stabilizers in it so that it will remain whipped longer whereas heavy cream would not. Depending on the brand you may see a difference in fat content with a whipping cream potentially having slightly less fat.

                                        They are really quite interchangeable if you are OK with a stabilizer in your pizza sauce.

                                        1. re: chocchipcookie

                                          choc, here is some basic info on the differences in cream -- butterfat percentages: http://www.natrel.ca/english/ourbrand...

                                          hamburger, i didn't realize whipping cream had stabilizer in it. guar gum? carageenan?

                                          are you sure?

                                          1. re: alkapal

                                            @alkapal. It doesn't have to have stabilizers but most manufacturers here in the US will add them (aka emulsifiers). Makes sense - since a customer buys the whipping cream that holds the best and food companies want customers to come back. The emulsifier/stabilizer can be one of a few diff. ingredients including sweeteners. Check the label first. I try to avoid whipping cream when I can.

                                            1. re: HamburgerToday

                                              >>>""most manufacturers here in the US will add them (aka emulsifiers)."""""<<

                                              i don't think you are right, nor have you presented any evidence for your claim. i think stabilizers may be added by home cooks, and there are lots of sites that tell one how to do it. emulsifiers are not needed in plain whipping cream.

                                              if you give me some facts and specifics, i may change my opinion.

                                                1. re: Infomaniac

                                                  that book reference is not apropos.

                                                2. re: alkapal


                                                  I didn't know I was debating anything here but if you really need facts just go to your local grocery store and pick up a pint of "whipping cream" and a pint of "heavy cream" and then compare the labels.

                                                  and just to be clear I said stabilizers not emulsifiers.

                                                  1. re: HamburgerToday

                                                    you said: "" It doesn't have to have stabilizers but most manufacturers here in the US will add them (aka emulsifiers)"""

                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                      Stabilizers and emulsifiers are two diff things. Why am I even having this conversation?

                                                3. re: HamburgerToday

                                                  hey man just wanted to add to this, a bit late at almost 2 years later..

                                                  if you are into organic/certified humane dairy products, which you should be :) , Clover-Stornetta (labelled simply as Clover Organic) they have a heavy cream that they call whipping cream with nothing else added, no sugar or stabilizers! just giving the heads up :) have a good one then :)

                                            2. My favorite white pizza has the dough brushed with a mix of olive oil, garlic, shallots and dried herbs (basil, oregano, thyme, maybe others) topped with good stinky fontina cheese. I've got the recipe somewhere, haven't made it in years but have been thinking about it lately. In my mind this is the classic pizza bianco. Can't imagine using ricotta cheese except for dessert pizza with fruit. I hope this strikes a chord with you.

                                              1. Glad your white pizza was a success. If you want to try another variation, Slice (blog) recently ran a recipe for a white pizza with black kale, chile oil, and spicy salami. It's really terrific. Here's the link (I hope I've got the right one): http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives... .

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: LNG212

                                                  Just wanted to update that I made this white pizza using the greens from all the ramps I pickled last week (in place of the kale). It was wonderful. DH and I both loved it.

                                                2. just had a great white "neapolitan-style-crust" pizza at orso in falls church virginia: provola, ricotta, garlic, ramps, with an egg on top.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                    to clarify here: i'm talking about the flavor and ingredient combination. the restaurant is still working on getting the crust to be not soggy under the toppings.