Monday 24 April 2017

Creamy Spinach Garlic White Pizza.

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

It's my favourite pizza for Spring!
And round here, Spring is well and truly in full swing.
The pink and white cherry blossom trees are in full bloom. When even a light wind blows, they shed their petals like confetti. It's really pretty except for the next day when it rains and the petals on the ground go all soggy and muddy. We had a really beautiful, sunshine filled weekend these past two days. Our garden and area where we live is looking greener than ever which I love.
We love pizza all year round but come the warmer months, I like to lighten things up. And, what better way this year than with a white pizza? It's named white pizza because the pizza sauce is white unlike the traditional red tomato one.
My creamy white sauce is jam-packed with lots of fresh garlic. It gives the pizza a garlic bread vibe which is never a bad thing. I am a big fan of veggie pizzas and so kept this one vegetarian too. The main topping is spinach. I put loads on and it wilts down and crisps up in the oven. Paired with the garlic sauce, it's delicious.
And finally, a word about fresh herbs. I like to put plenty onto my pizza. This time, I picked the chives and rosemary from the garden and bought the thyme and basil. You can use any combination of fresh herbs that you like or not use any at all. I hope this white pizza makes it into your Spring menu plan soon!

A Simple List of Ingredients:

For the Pizza Dough:
1. Warm Water
2. Dried Yeast
3. Plain Flour
4. Sugar
5. Salt
6. Olive Oil

For the Creamy Garlic Sauce:
1. Butter
2. Plain Flour
3. Milk
4. Double Cream
5. Garlic
6. Salt and Black Pepper

For the Toppings:
1. Fresh Basil
2. Fresh Thyme
3. Fresh Chives
4. Fresh Rosemary
5. Baby Spinach
6. Cheddar Cheese

Bismillah, let's begin!

We start by making the pizza dough. You can use a ready-made base if you want but I love this homemade recipe. Into a jug, place 145ml Warm Water and 1 teaspoon Dried Yeast.

Mix the two together.

Cover with clingfilm and set the mixture aside for 10 minutes until the top is bubbly.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, place 260g Plain Flour. You can also use wholemeal flour, if you prefer.

Add in 1/2 teaspoon Salt.

And, 1/2 teaspoon Sugar.

Finally, drizzle in 1 tablespoon Olive Oil.

Mix together until well combined.

I used my stand mixer with the dough hook but you may do it by hand too.

Once the yeast mixture is bubbly, it's ready to use!

With the machine running, gradually add in the liquid mixture.

Keep mixing until you have a rough ball of dough. You may not need all the liquid.

Knead the rough ball of dough for a few minutes ...

... until smooth.

Pop the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and set aside in a warm place to rise for 1 hour or until double in size. Brush the top of the dough with a little oil to stop a skin forming.

Next, make the creamy garlic sauce. I like to prep the 6 Garlic Cloves first so that they're ready when needed. Six may seem like a lot but I promise, it's not too overpowering.

Peel the garlic.

Then, finely chop it and set aside until needed.

The sauce is a thicker version of a basic white sauce. It needs to be a little thicker because it will be spread onto our pizza base. So, into a deep saucepan, place 55g Butter.

Let the butter melt completely over a low heat.

Add in 55g Plain Flour.

Stir the two together really well over a medium heat for 2 minutes.

For the liquid, measure out 250ml Milk and 110ml Double Cream. You can use all milk or all cream, if you want.

Slowly, pour in the liquid.

It will sputter and hiss.

But, keep stirring.

Until the mixture is thick and well combined.

Finally, add in the chopped garlic.

Along with 1/2 teaspoon Salt.

And, 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper.

Stir well and remove from the heat. Set aside until needed. It will thicken even more as it sits.

Once the pizza dough has risen, we can assemble our pizza.

Get the oven on to 220C and gather together all your toppings.

One of the main toppings on this pizza are fresh herbs and so I picked a few from the garden. You can use any fresh herbs you like or leave them off, if you prefer.

Our thyme bush was a little dry so I bought some fresh thyme.

This rosemary was grown in the garden though.

Strip the rosemary leaves and thyme leaves from their tough stems.

I picked lots of fresh chives from the garden. You may also use spring onions, if you want.

Chop up the chives.

Our basil plant died so I bought a new one.

Strip the leaves from the stems.

Now, roll the pizza dough into a thin, rough rectangle. You can also make a round pizza too.

Fit the dough onto a lightly greased and lined baking tray.

Spoon all the garlic sauce onto the base.

Spread evenly onto the base. It will loosen up once baked.

For the cheese, I used 200g Cheddar which I grated myself.

Sprinkle a little cheese onto the pizza.

Crack on some Black Pepper.

Next, the spinach!

Put on 2 large handfuls of Baby Spinach.

It may seem a lot but it really cooks down when baked and gets really crispy. So good!

Season with Salt and Black Pepper, to taste.

More grated cheese!

Then fresh chives, to taste.

Fresh basil, to taste.

Fresh rosemary, to taste.

And, fresh thyme, to taste.

Once all the herbs are on ...

... more grated cheese!

Bake the pizza at 220C for 15-20 minutes until the cheese has melted and the base is golden.

Like this!

Sprinkle with more fresh herbs and serve!

The base is really crispy and so is the spinach. It really cooks down and crisps up in the oven.

But, the middle is still really gooey and soft.

So good!

Slice up!

This pizza is so good! It's creamy and full of garlic flavour. The fresh herbs and spinach are a nice change from the usual chicken - perfect for Spring!

Creamy Spinach Garlic White Pizza.

Prep Time: About 1 hour and 30 minutes - includes dough rising time.
Bake Time: About 15-20 minutes.
Serves: About 4 people.


For the Pizza Dough
145ml Warm Water
1 teaspoon Dried Yeast
260g Plain Flour
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Sugar
1 tablespoon Olive Oil

For the Creamy Garlic Sauce
55g Butter
55g Plain Flour
250ml Milk
110ml Double Cream
6 Garlic Cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper

For the Pizza
200g Cheddar, grated
Salt and Black Pepper, to taste
2 large handfuls Baby Spinach
Fresh Chives, to taste
Fresh Basil, to taste
Fresh Rosemary, to taste
Fresh Thyme, to taste

Make the pizza dough:
Mix the warm water and yeast together in a jug. Cover with clingfilm for 10 minutes until the mixture is bubbly. In a large bowl, mix together the plain flour, salt, sugar and olive oil. Add the yeast mixture in stages, kneading with a dough hook or by hand, until a dough forms. You may not need all the liquid.

Knead the dough for a few minutes. Then, place in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with clingfilm. Leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until double in size.

Make the creamy garlic sauce:
In a deep saucepan, melt the butter over a low heat. Then, over a medium heat, stir in the flour for a few minutes. Slowly add in the milk and double cream, stirring as you go until the mixture is thick. It will be thicker than your usual white sauce. Stir in the chopped garlic, salt and pepper. Set aside until needed. It will thicken even more as it cools.

Assemble the pizza:
Pre-heat the oven to 220C. Roll the pizza dough into a thin, rough rectangle. Place on a lined and lightly greased baking tray. Spread on the creamy garlic sauce. It will be thick. Top with the grated Cheddar, baby spinach, fresh thyme, fresh basil, fresh rosemary, salt and black pepper.

Bake the pizza:
Bake the pizza at 220C for 15-20 minutes or until the base is golden and the cheese has melted. Sprinkle with more fresh basil and fresh chives. Slice and serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

  • You can also roll the pizza dough into a 13 inch (34cm) round to fit the same sized circle pizza tray.
{adapted from how sweet eats}

Keep me in your duas please, and enjoy your white pizza!

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

Spice Enthusiast
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