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“Dynamite Pizza”, or The Best Pizza You’ll Ever Eat

February 17, 2011

I put off writing about this for a while because I know pizza is simple and it’s been done.  A lot.  True, anyone can throw some toppings and cheese on a crust and bake it.  But I promise you haven’t lived until you’ve tried this one.

I came across this crust recipe a few years ago in Cooking Light magazine, and I haven’t strayed since.  The truly amazing thing about this recipe is that it makes four crusts from one recipe, and you can have them ready to go in your fridge or freezer – making for a really fast and delicious weeknight meal. Plus, there’s just so much potential for creativity here!

In the past Erik and I have done everything from Greek Pizza, to Tomato Basil Mozzarella Pizza, to a Barbecue Pizza (a personal favorite which always receives rave reviews).  But the one I want to share here now is one of our latest and more delicious creations:  a Spinach, Artichoke, and Asparagus White Pizza; inspired by spinach artichoke dip.  It’s a great combination of fresh, green vegetables and rich, delicious cheesiness.  It’s certainly a nice break from the monotony of pepperoni pizza with tomato sauce, and well worth the extra effort (though it doesn’t take much).

The White Pizza, before baking.

Dynamite Pizza Dough

  • 1  package active dry yeast (or 2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1  cup  warm water
  • 1 1/4  cups  cold water
  • 2  tablespoons  olive oil
  • 1  teaspoon  sugar
  • 1  teaspoon  salt
  • 5 cups unbleached bread flour
  • Additional flour, for kneading

*For Wheat Crust, use 4 cups all purpose flour and 1 cup whole wheat flour.

Dissolve yeast in 1 cup warm water in a small bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Combine 1 1/4 cups cold water, oil, sugar, and salt in a small bowl; stir with a whisk.

Measure flour into bowl of stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.  Add yeast mixture, and cold water mixture to the flour.  Mix on low 8 minutes or until dough begins to form. Let rest 2 minutes.  Mix on low 6 more minutes. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 2 minutes); add additional flour if needed, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel sticky).

Divide the dough in half (for thicker crust) or quarters (for thinner crust), and place each portion in a large zip-top bag. Seal and chill several hours or overnight. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before rolling out.  Roll and stretch dough to desired size and shape.

Pizza bakes at 500° for 12 minutes.

Note: You can freeze the dough in heavy-duty, freezer-safe zip-top plastic bags for up to 2 months; thaw dough overnight in the refrigerator.

The dough can also be divided into smaller portions for personal pizzas or calzone.

Baked White Pizza, SO delicious!

Spinach Artichoke Asparagus White Pizza

White Sauce:

  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter or margarine
  • 4 ounces (1/2 brick) cream cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 cups milk or soymilk
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon basil

In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.  Add the onion and garlic powder, stirring frequently.  Melt in cream cheese.  Stir in arrowroot powder to milk.  Add milk mixture, parmesan cheese, oregano, and basil to saucepan.  Stir until sauce begins to thicken.

Toppings:

  • 1 can artichoke hearts, chopped (kitchen shears work well for this)
  • 15-20 blanched asparagus spears (about 3 cups, cut in 2-inch pieces)
  • 1 cup cooked spinach (frozen spinach thawed and drained well is the easiest)
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese

Assembly:

Makes 2 large pizzas.  If you only want to make one, reduce everything by half.

Place each prepared dough on a pizza pan.  Brush lightly with olive oil and spread on half of white sauce (it may look like there is too much sauce, but it soaks in quite a bit while it bakes).  Sprinkle spinach and mozzarella over sauce.  Top with artichokes and asparagus.  Scoop tablespoon sized balls of ricotta over the top of the pizza.  Bake at 500° for 12 minutes.  Indulge.

One last look at the finished pizza.

~Josie

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7 comments

  1. Yummmo! Once again, cooked looks better than uncooked. I’m definitely going to try this one. I keep forgetting what an easy meal that is to do! Can I use the yeast you left in the fridge at my house?


    • Absolutely! Use it! Let me know what you think of the pizza!


  2. This looks great! And I love the play on spinach asparagus dip! I’ve never worked with arrowroot before but I know about it from school – I’m going to try and use flour for my sauce and let you know how it turns out 😀


    • Oh, good! I’m curious how it will be with flour. I thought about using it, but I was worried about it getting too thick too fast, especially since it was already a little thicker from the cream cheese. Probably a little would be fine, though. And more accessible than the arrowroot (which I’m totally obsessed with using, thanks to Erik). Definitely let me know!


  3. why does this look so much better than when we tried at Josies?! Why is the crust not square?!


  4. Even though the pizza we made was square, Josie, it still tasted heavenly… 😀


    • Haha! Sorry our pizza was square and not round like this one. Erik’s parents have a set of nice round pizza pans, and I’m ghetto and have to resort to my rectangle cookie sheets…



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