I was resistent to trying this crust, but I have to say, Baking Illustrated via Annie comes through again. It's light, and even gets those appealing pizza crust bubbbles!
And don't get me started on this cream sauce. It is so wrong, but so right. I adore it. This pizza would be great with spinach, broccoli, grilled chicken, anything really!
Broccoli Pizza with White Sauce
Adapted from Annie's Eats
For the white sauce:
1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. flour
¾ cup heavy cream or half-and-half
1 clove garlic, smashed
Salt and pepper, to taste
6 tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
For the pizza:
Olive oil, for brushing
1 cup very small broccoli florets
4 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
For the dough:
½ cup warm water
2¼ tsp. instant yeast
4 cups (22 oz.) bread flour, plus more for dusting
1½ tsp. salt
1¼ cup water, at room temperature
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Directions for the dough:
Measure the warm water into a 2-cup liquid measuring cup. Sprinkle the yeast over the top. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the bread flour and salt, mixing briefly to blend. Measure the room temperature water into the measuring cup with the yeast-water mixture. With the mixer on low speed, pour in the yeast-water mixture as well as the olive oil. Mix until a dough is formed. Switch to the dough hook. Knead on low speed until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, 1½-2 hours depending on the heat of the room.
To bake, preheat the oven and pizza stone to 500˚ F for at least 30 minutes.
Press down the dough to deflate it. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough into two equal pieces. Form each piece of dough into a smooth, round ball. Wrap one of the balls in plastic, stick it in a freezer bag, then that one in another freezer bag (to make sure it doesn't pop out) for another day. Cover with a damp cloth. Let the dough relax for about 10 minutes but not longer than 30 minutes.
Transfer the dough to your shaping surface, lightly sprinkled with cornmeal. Shape the dough with lightly floured hands. Brush the outer edge lightly with olive oil. Top as directed below with white sauce, cheese, broocoli. Bake until the crust is golden brown, and cheese is bubbling, 8-12 minutes.
To make the white sauce, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking constantly, until bubbling and light golden, about 1 minute. Whisk in the heavy cream or half and half and garlic, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens and bubbles. Remove from the heat and whisk in the grated Parmesan until completely melted and smooth. Toss out the garlic clove.
Now, assemble the pizza. Spread a thin layer of the white sauce over the crust, leaving a border clear around the edge for the crust. Distribute the broccoli florets over the dough. Layer evenly with the shredded cheddar cheese. Finish with additional grated Parmesan, if desired. Transfer the pizza to the preheated pizza stone and bake until the cheese is melted and bubbling and the crust is lightly browned, about 8-12 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before slicing and serving.