In this genius white pizza with bacon and leeks, bacon grease and heavy cream join forces to create a "sauce" that's both light and luxurious.
I first learned the heavy cream technique from Joe Beddia, fellow Philadelphian, pizza cookbook author*, and owner of the much-acclaimed Pizzeria Beddia, back in 2017. It doesn't seem like a thing that would work — drizzling some plain old whipping cream over raw dough and toppings — but trust me. This will change your pizza game forever. Here's how it works:
Basic Steps for Genius Cream Pizza
- Stretch or roll out a ball of pizza dough.
If it's your first time trying heavy cream white pizza, I suggest using a baking sheet or pizza pan. However, if you're a pro with your baking stone/steel and pizza peel, that method does produce the best, restaurant-quality results. After your oven has full preheated (see the recipe below for specifics on that), stretch or roll out the dough and place it on a baking sheet or floured pizza peel (if using a stone/steel).
- Add toppings and heavy cream.
My favorite way to top this type of pizza is with bacon and leeks, but you can use anything you like. Just remember that the cream is the sauce, so you don't need marinara. First, brush the dough with a thin coating of olive oil, bacon grease, or pesto. Next, scatter on some thinly sliced raw veggies (cherry tomatoes, leeks, scallions, bell peppers, etc.), a handful or two of shredded cheese, some salt and pepper, and chopped cured or cooked meat (optional). And finally, top it all off with a drizzle of heavy cream (about 2 tablespoons).
Transfer the topped dough to the oven and bake according to the recipe below. The pizza is done when the crust is golden around the edges and the bottom is evenly browned.
- Drizzle with more cream, then serve.
Remove the pizza from the oven and place it on a cutting board or serving platter. Then, while the pizza is still very hot, drizzle 2 tablespoons of heavy cream over top. Don't worry if it looks wet at first! After a few minutes, the cream will congeal into a delicious white "sauce." Slice it up, and enjoy your new favorite pizza.
White Pizza with Bacon FAQs
Here are the most common questions I get when I teach this recipe in pizza cooking classes:
Astonishingly, no! Just like milk is thickened with a roux of butter and flour, the cream thickens in the oven with the help of a little coating of fat on the raw pizza dough. Then, when the pizza is hot out of the oven, a finishing drizzle of fresh cream congeals to make a sauce that is somehow light and decadent at the same time. Trust me. If you follow the instructions in the recipe below, you'll get perfect results every time!
Simple: The bacon will continue cooking on the pizza, and I'm pretty sure you don't want it to burn . . . right?
I love the results when I make this pizza with bacon and cream on a preheated steel plate in my oven. However, if you're not completely comfortable shimmying the topped dough round from a pizza peel to a hot stone or steel, then you might want to use a baking sheet or pizza pan instead. It takes some finesse to get the pizza from the peel to the hot stone or steel without spilling cream over the sides.
Nope. If you slice the leeks thinly, they will become perfectly tender in the time it takes for the pizza to bake. Similarly, you can use the same technique with scallions, spring onions, tender greens, garlic scapes, etc.
White Pizza with Bacon, Leeks, and Cream
- Cutting board and knife
- Rolling pin (optional)
- Large rimmed baking sheet or baking stone/steel
- Pizza peel (optional)
- pastry brush
- ½ pound thick-cut bacon, chopped
- 1 medium leek, root and leaf ends trimmed off, white and light green part halved lengthwise and then sliced into thin half-moons
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 (14- to 16-ounce) ball pizza dough
- 4 ounces Fontina, Gruyère, aged Gouda, or sharp Cheddar cheese, finely grated
- ¼ cup heavy cream, divided
- Preheat the oven to 500°F (if using a baking sheet) or as high as it will go (if using a baking stone/steel; place the stone/steel in the bottom third of the oven before you start preheating). Let the oven preheat for at least 30 minutes. Then, if you’re using a baking stone or steel, switch the oven to Broil on high.
- Put the sliced leek in a colander and rinse it thoroughly under cold running water, using your fingertips to separate the layers. Drain well, then transfer the leek slices to a paper towel–lined plate and blot them dry.
- In a medium skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until it just begins to brown at the edges, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and transfer the bacon to a paper towel–lined plate to drain. Pour the bacon grease into a small ramekin for brushing the dough.
- Stretch or roll out your dough to a 12- to 14-inch circle, then transfer it to a baking sheet / pizza pan or a lightly floured pizza peel (if using a baking stone/steel).
- Use a pastry brush to spread a very thin layer of bacon grease all over the dough. Scatter the sliced leeks and cooked bacon on top, then sprinkle with the cheese. Drizzle the toppings with half of the heavy cream.
- Transfer the pizza to the oven and bake until the crust is golden around the edges and evenly browned on the bottom—8 to 10 minutes on the baking sheet, 6 to 8 minutes on the baking stone/steel.
- Remove the pizza from the oven and immediately drizzle the remaining heavy cream over top. Wait 3 to 5 minutes for the cream to congeal, then slice and serve.
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