Running a pizza website means that I spend lots of my free time making and eating different pizzas. While I love pizza, that does not necessarily mean that it is the healthiest food to eat all of the time. When I was considering what type of pizza I wanted to make this week, I first thought about what food group I needed to include in my diet. For me, veggies have always been the hardest thing to eat. I just flat out hate them! I find them bland and unpalatable in general. Since I was young, I always avoided them for these reasons. However, in recent years, I have learned that such views regarding vegetables are overly harsh and that they deserve better than to be immediately written off as tasteless plants.
The key to making vegetables taste good to someone who doesn’t like veggies is all about the preparation. I have found that broccoli, which was initially my most hated vegetable, has become one of my favorite foods. I made quite the 180 degree turn when I came to the realization I am about to share with you. Well-cooked, properly prepared vegetables can taste wonderful and flavorful. In my case, I believe that I had only experienced the dark side of vegetables for much of my life before coming to the light, which is how great veggies can be when prepared well.
In the case of broccoli, upon which our recipe (white pizza with broccoli) today is centered, baking it at high temperatures completely changes its flavor profile. The top of the broccoli develops a light char and the broccoli’s sugars caramelize, giving it a sweet taste with a hint of smokiness. Unfortunately, I cannot take credit for this method of cooking broccoli. I was first introduced to this idea by The Amateur Gourmet. Since my discovery of this method, I have loved broccoli ever since.
This white pizza with broccoli recipe is one for the all of the vegetable haters out there. It combines one of the most loathed vegetables with one of the most loved foods, which is pizza. After developing my own love for broccoli, I have decided that the two can live in harmony with one another and make an outstanding pizza. This recipe uses a tender foccacia-like crust seasoned with garlic and topped with mozzarella cheese, broccoli, and pepperoni. The tenderness of the crust, the spiciness of the pepperoni, the sweetness of the broccoli, and the freshness of the cheese all blend to form a delightful dance of flavor in your mouth and a satisfied fullness in your stomach. I challenge all of you broccoli haters to make this pizza and open your palette to a whole new world of flavor.
White Pizza with Broccoli
White pizza with broccoli is a wonderful combination of both fresh, sweet, and savory flavors. This recipe will satisfy even the pickiest of eaters.
- 355 g (2 3/4 cups) 00 flour
- 255 g (1 cup) warm water
- 10 g (2 tsp) sea salt (fine)
- 1.5 g (1/16 tsp) instant dry yeast
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 4 cups broccoli crowns
- 4 oz pepperoni
- 16 oz mozzarella cheese (chopped or shredded)
Measure 255 g (1 cup) of lukewarm water and place in a large mixing bowl.
Add 10 g (2 tsp) of fine sea salt and 1.5 g (1/16 tsp) of instant dry yeast. Mix until these ingredients are dissolved completely.
Add 355 g (2 3/4 cups) of 00 flour to the mixture.
Wet your hand and mix the flour and water mixture until all of the dry flour has been incorporated into a wet mass of dough.
Cover the dough and allow it to rest for approximately 20 minutes.
Lightly flour a flat work surface as well as your hands. Remove the dough from the mixing bowl and knead it until the dough forms a smooth dough ball.
Roll the dough into a tight ball and place it into a lightly oiled, airtight container.
Allow the dough to rise at room temperature for 4 hours.
Place the dough into the refrigerator overnight.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator 3 hours prior to baking and place it on a large dinner plate. Cover the dough and allow it to rest at room temperature.
One hour prior to baking place a pizza stone or steel in the middle rack of your oven and preheat your oven to 500 F (260 C).
Approximately 10 minutes prior to baking, oil a large baking sheet (13 x 18 in). Carefully stretch the dough so that it covers the entire baking sheet.
To the top of the stretched pizza dough, add 3 cloves of minced garlic. Then, add the mozzarella cheese followed by the broccoli and finally the pepperoni. Tip: Cut the broccoli crowns into smaller pieces for easier eating.
Place the pizza in the oven for about 10-15 minutes. Keep an eye on the pizza and when the crust begins to form a light brown color finish the pizza with the broiler being careful not to burn the pepperoni.
When the pizza has finished baking, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool for about 5 minutes.
Slice the pizza with scissors and then enjoy!
Prepare the dough approximately 24 hours in advance of when you would like to eat the pizza.
The dough for this recipe was inspired by the al taglio pizza dough recipe in The Elements of Pizza (affiliate).
For tips on working with pizza dough, please see my article How to Make New York Style Pizza Crust at Home