White Pizza with Ramps

April 27, 2010
1 Ratings
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

The idea of ramp pizza is certainly not new; Otto in New York is known for their take, a classic margarita pizza with plenty of charred ramps and (sometimes) a poached egg on top. This is a more pared-down version, a white pizza boasting three cheeses: stretchy mozzarella, tender ricotta, and nutty parmesan. The crust is adapted from Peter Reinhart's Artisan Breads Every Day. While you can use any dough for this recipe, I like the contrast between the savory cheese and the slightly sweet crust. The ramps play a supporting role, giving the pizza a savory, smokey flavor. I'm slightly addicted to it. The best part? You don't even need a pizza stone. Which is a good thing, 'cause I don't have one. —Rivka

What You'll Need
  • 5 1/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 pound fresh ramps
  • 1/2 pound fresh mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup coarsely grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup fresh ricotta
  • flaky salt
  1. Combine flour, salt, yeast, honey, water, and 2 tablespoons olive oil in stand mixer or large bowl and mix, using wooden spoon or paddle attachment, for 1 minute or until blended. Let rest 5 minutes.
  2. Switch to dough hook and mix on medium-low speed 2-3 minutes (or continue mixing by hand) until dough is soft, and somewhere between tacky and sticky.
  3. Spread 1 tablespoon olive oil on kneading surface and turn dough out onto surface. Stretch dough out and fold over itself. Do the same from the opposite end, then from side to side, for a total of four stretch-and-folds. Divide dough into the number of pies you plan to make: I divided into 5, as Reinhart recommends, but the dough also divides nicely into 3, for bigger pies. Form each piece into a ball and either put each into an oil-sprayed plastic bag, or set them atop parchment-lined baking sheets and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight or up to 4 days, or freeze up to several months.
  4. 90 minutes before making the pizzas, remove dough balls from refrigerator. With oiled hands, stretch and fold each piece into a tight ball, then let rest on lightly oiled baking pan loosely covered with plastic wrap.
  5. 1 hour before baking, set a rack in the lowest rung of the oven and turn heat as high as it will go.
  6. Meanwhile, prepare ramps: rinse in several changes of water, pat dry, and remove bulbs from leaves. Slice bulbs into thin disks, and slice leaves lengthwise into 2 or 3 slices. Heat a small pan with a couple inches of water over medium heat until water boils. Blanch bulb slices for 45 seconds, then leaves for 30 seconds, removing each immediately with slotted spoon and setting aside.
  7. Coat your hands with flour. Choose one dough ball, sprinkle a bit of flour on top, then flip over onto baking sheet and use your thumbs to slowly coax the edges of the dough into a larger circle. Work from the edges, not from the middle; the middle will spread as the edges are drawn out. Keep turning and stretching, turning and stretching, about 13 times (according to my pizza hero Jim Lahey), until dough is quite thin. If dough resists or shrinks back, let it rest a few minutes, then return. Do your best to preserve the little gas bubbles in the dough as you stretch it; they'll make lovely charred lumps in your pizza.
  8. At this point, you're ready to top your pizzas. Start with mozzarella slices. Then grate parmesan onto pies. Top with ramp bulbs and leaves, and dot fresh ricotta overtop. Finish each pizza with a swirl of olive oil and a light sprinkle of flaky salt.
  9. Bake on the lowest rack of the oven for about 8-10 minutes, rotating pans halfway through. Pies are done when the crusts are very charred and the cheese is bubbling (oh yes, it will bubble). Remove pies, and try to wait a couple minutes before taking a bite, or the roof of your mouth will not be happy!

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