This pizza is the result of a Sunday night fridge clean-out. I had a few items that only had a few good days left and I didn’t want to let them go bad only to throw them away while shaking my head and wishing I could get my life together.
I had assorted mushrooms, an ear of corn and a little package of diced pancetta sitting in my fridge. I also had milk and gruyere cheese.
I threw them all on the counter and waited for something to hit me.
Who doesn’t like pizza?
People that shouldn’t be trusted, that’s who.
So I decided to make a “white pizza” (i.e. no red sauce) and use Mornay sauce instead. Mornay sauce is a basically a béchamel sauce with gruyere cheese. It’s insanely good.
To make a béchamel you make roux (50/50 fat/flour mix), add milk and cook until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and hold a line made with your finger.
Add some salt and nutmeg and you have a standard béchamel sauce.
Add gruyere cheese and you have Mornay sauce.
This should be the consistency of your sauce:
So. Fucking. Good.
Now set the sauce aside and make the dough (full instructions at end of post) and let it rise for about 30mins.
(Side note: I used a Williams-Sonoma pizza dough crust mix that had sundried tomato and basil in the crust (very delicious, if you are wondering), which is why those specks are in the dough. I have included a recipe for a plain pizza dough at the end of this post.)
Boil the ear of corn until the color changes and they look swollen then allow the corn to cool before cutting off the kernels.
Then cook off the pancetta and reserve the rendered pancetta fat to cook the shrooms in.
Now gather all the ingredients, roll the dough out, form into pizza pan, add toppings and bake.
For Mornay Sauce:
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
about a cup of milk
1 cup grated gruyere cheese
pinch of nutmeg
S+P, to taste
For Pizza Dough:
1 packet dry active yeast
3 cups flour + more for dusting (all-purpose flour for chewier crust, bread flour for crisper crust)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 cup warm water (105F-115F)
1 Tbsp oil
4 oz pancetta, diced
1 pint mushrooms, sliced if particularly large
1 ear of corn, boil and cut off kernels when cool
1 green onion/scallion, cut into little rings
For Mornay Sauce:
- Melt the butter in a pot and then add the flour and whisk together until a paste forms (a.k.a roux).
- Once paste has formed cook for about a minute to remove the raw flour taste but not too long that you brown the roux.
- At this point add the milk while whisking until you have the consistency of a stew.
- Bring the sauce to a boil and reduce it to simmer and whisk to prevent any lumps from forming.
- Continue to cook the sauce until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and hold a line made with your finger.
- Now add a pinch of nutmeg (freshly grated, if possible) and S+P, to taste.
- You have a béchamel sauce! You can use this to make lasagna or an insanely good mac + cheese, etc. etc.
- To make this a mornay sauce, add the grated gruyere, turn off the heat and stir until melted. Ta dah! That easy.
- Now set the sauce aside and move on to the next phase, the pizza dough.
For Pizza Dough:
- Combine the flour, salt, sugar and yeast in a mixing bowl with the dough hook attachment,
- While it is on medium/low speed, pour in the warm water and oil and knead until a ball forms. It should be slightly tacky and elastic.
- Cover the mixing bowl and place it somewhere warm for about 20mins to rise.
- Once risen, divide dough in half for two regular 12inch pizzas, in thirds for 3 thin crust 12inch pizzas or use it all for a deep dish 12inch pizza (which is what I did, carbs are life).
- Roll dough out on a floured surface and then transfer to pizza pan and add toppings as desired and bake in a 500F oven that has preheated for 30minutes for about 12-15 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.
- Cook the pancetta until crisp but not too crisp as it will cook further in the oven.
- Transfer the cooked pancetta onto a paper towel to drain, while still reserving the rendered pancetta fat in the pan. Cook the mushrooms in the same pan with the rendered pancetta fat until golden brown.
- Gather all the pizza toppings: mornay sauce, mushrooms, corn, pancetta and green onions.
- Form the dough into a pizza pan and top with a spoonful of mornay sauce at a time, you have the desired amount. Make sure to leave the edge of the pizza unsauced.
- Top the sauced portion of the pizza with the mushrooms, pancetta, corn and scallions. Add more sauce/grated gruyere on top, if desired.
- Bake in a 500F oven that has preheated for 30minutes for about 12-15 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.