A creamy white pizza topped with sliced mushrooms, brie cheese, and fresh sage – a comforting, festive combination that’s perfect for winter!
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Have you ever had a white pizza? This version is topped with sliced mushrooms, brie cheese and fresh sage leaves for an ultra cheesy, festive tasting pizza. Quite possibly the best pizza I’ve eaten all year (and with only a few weeks to go, I’m imagining it will stay that way!).
What is a white pizza?
In case you’re unfamiliar with white pizza – imagine a normal pizza, except instead of the tomato sauce, it’s got some kind of creamy, cheesy goodness – I used a thick layer of ricotta cheese.
Yes, you heard correctly. Just when you thought pizza couldn’t get any more delicious, I added even more cheese.
Definitely a death row meal here.
Homemade pizza dough
As with any homemade pizza, this white pizza starts with the dough.
If you’ve read this blog for a while, you may know that I have three main fears in life: spiders, rollercoasters, and cooking with yeast. I don’t know why, but it always scares me – not least because I’m a lazy and disorganised cook, and having to prepare something hours and hours before I actually want to eat it is just not something that makes any sense to me.
So for this pizza dough, I used a tried-and-tested recipe I found online, rather than coming up with my own. Maybe one day I’ll feel confident enough to devise more of my own yeasted recipes, but that day is not today. I used this quick and easy recipe, but if you have a favourite that you’ve used before, go for it.
Yeasted pizza dough
The pizza dough recipe I used doesn’t need to be left to rise for hours, or kneaded for hours, or anything like that – just add a few simple ingredients to a bowl, give it all a bit of a mix, then knead it for a minute or so to bring it together into a smooth ball. It’s super quick and straightforward.
I feel like this is step 1 towards conquering my fear of yeast.
The dough can then be stretched out and topped with whatever you fancy.
What sauce does a white pizza have?
A white pizza doesn’t have any tomato sauce – otherwise it would be red, obviously.
Instead, you can use whatever kind of creamy sauce you like. You could go to the effort of making a white sauce or cheese sauce from a roux, if you like, but personally I don’t think it’s necessary. A big dollop of fresh ricotta cheese works just as well, and is actually lighter and creamier.
Is a white pizza bland?
I know not everyone loves dairy as much as I do. Honestly, if a meal is more than 80% cheese, I couldn’t be happier – but I imagine not everyone agrees. So I bet there are some of you wondering whether a pizza actually ends up a bit bland once you remove the rich tomato sauce.
But, fear not! This mushroom and brie white pizza is far from bland. The key is to sneak plenty of flavour into your pizza wherever you can, to cut through the creaminess:
- plenty of garlic purée spread on the pizza base underneath the ricotta
- a generous pinch of salt
- brie cheese, which is beautifully tangy and full of flavour
- fresh sage leaves, which crisp up as the pizza cooks and add flavour to the whole thing
- a good sprinkle of black pepper on top
- other delicious toppings like freshly torn mozzarella cheese and sliced mushrooms
- a small drizzle of good quality olive oil
The end result is wonderfully cheesy and creamy, but still with tons of flavour.
Countertop pizza oven
I cooked my pizza in the Pizza Express Napoli countertop pizza oven, which is made by a brand called Optima. My husband has always wanted to build an enormous brick pizza oven in our garden, but this is a much lower effort option! It sits right on the kitchen counter for perfect Italian-style pizza cooked at home.
The Pizza Express Napoli is the only pizza oven of its kind that’s actually manufactured in Italy, as well as being designed by a real Italian who truly knows his pizza!
Italian-style pizza ovens
The reason this kind of pizza oven makes pizza so much better than a regular oven is because it heats up to 450°C / 840°F (in just 10 minutes!) – which is much, much hotter than most standard kitchen ovens can reach. So just like a big brick pizza oven, it cooks perfect Italian-style pizzas in literally just a few minutes. And you can even use it to cook shop-bought frozen pizzas in only 4-5 minutes, straight from frozen!
This type of super hot pizza oven makes the pizza crust a little chewier than when it’s cooked in a normal oven, with a slight char around the edges that gives a beautiful flavour.
Use the code ‘ECV’ to get £10 off when you buy an Optima Pizza Express Napoli from Pizza United
Crispy homemade pizza
After preparing my pizza dough and adding my white pizza toppings, I popped my pizza in the Optima oven using the wooden spatulas provided (these things are amazing – so useful!). The bottom surface of the oven is made from stone, so it gets super hot and cooks the bottom of your pizza really evenly, drawing out moisture for a perfectly crispy base. There’s also a second heating element above the pizza, to crisp up your cheese perfectly.
Mushroom and brie pizza
The end result is truly irresistible. If you thought creamy garlic mushrooms on their own are a good idea, creamy garlic mushrooms on a pizza with brie are a million times better. Plus, the fresh sage crisps up and infuses the whole thing with that amazing rich, herby flavour.
Have you ever tried a white pizza? What are your favourite topping combinations?
Mushroom and brie white pizza
- 400 g (~ 2 1/3 cups) plain flour
- 7 g sachet (~ 2 tsp) fast action dried yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- 2 tbsp olive oil (plus a little more for drizzling over the pizza)
- 250 ml (~ 1 cup) water
- 2 tsp garlic puree (or 4 cloves garlic, finely minced)
- 2-3 tbsp ricotta cheese
- ~ 10 button mushrooms, sliced
- ~ 10 slices brie cheese
- 1 ball (~ 150g) fresh mozzarella cheese, torn into pieces
- ~ 10 fresh sage leaves
- Black pepper
- Turn the pizza oven on to begin preheating, as detailed in the instruction manual.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, yeast, salt and sugar. Make a well in the centre, pour in the olive oil and water, and gradually bring together into a wet and sticky dough. Turn the dough out onto a thoroughly floured surface, and use clean hands to knead for a minute or so, just to bring it together into a smooth ball.
- Cut the ball of dough in half (it makes enough for 2 pizzas), and gently press one of the pieces out to form the base of one pizza (approx. 30cm in diameter). If using a pizza oven, form the base on a wooden spatula to allow you to transfer it to the oven easily.
- Spread the pizza base with some garlic puree and ricotta cheese, and top with half of each of the topping ingredients – the sliced mushrooms, sliced brie, torn mozzarella cheese, and fresh sage. Sprinkle generously with black pepper, and drizzle lightly with olive oil.
- Place the pizza in the pizza oven, and bake for around 4-5 minutes, or until cooked to your liking. Repeat with the remaining ingredients to make a second pizza. Best served immediately after cooking.
Note: Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on exactly what ingredients you choose. Information above is for 1/2 a pizza (1/4 of the recipe).