Okay, so I have been cooking up a storm here in my apartment in San Diego, and half the time I am trying to recreate some of my favorite flavors from Italy….mostly in the form of pizza! I finally made a pizza that I am proud of, and would love to share the recipe with anyone who would like it! It is a recipe for Potato Pizza…one of my favorite things to eat in Rome, because you can’t get it at your average pizza place in the States….I have heard of only a couple places (not in California though) that serve it. But in Rome, almost every pizzeria would have it for sale. The pizzas were rectangular shaped and they would ask you how much you wanted, and you would show them. Then they would use scissors to cut it out and determine how much you pay by weighing it. So you could get a little of each kind of pizza you wanted without paying a ton of money! This was one of my favorite aspects of the pizzerias! Anyways, I would almost always try their potato pizza! It was always on a thin crust (but not too thin), with a layer of mozzarella, a hint of garlic, thinly sliced potatoes, a little bit of salt and pepper and olive oil, and a couple leaves of rosemary. Really simple flavors that come together beautifully! After making it homemade about three times, I finally found a recipe I really like! The dough isn’t exactly like the kind I had in Rome, but still very good! It’s the kind where you eat the crust just because the dough is tasty too! So the recipe isn’t too hard to follow but it can take a little bit of time! Give yourself about an 1hr and a half for the dough to rise once, and another 40 minutes to prepare the toppings while the dough rises again! Enjoy!
- 2 1/4 teaspoons of active dry yeast (or one package)
- 1 1/3 cups of warm water (about 105-111 degrees…just above body temperature which is 98)
(Mix the above first in a large bowl and let it sit for five minutes…I mixed mine right in the bread machine I used…this dough can be made by hand too though!)
- 3 1/2 cups of all purpose flour (I used 2 1/4 cups of bread flour, 1 cup of AP flour, and 1/4 cup of Semolina flour…this gives it good texture and a good amount of elasticity)
- 2 tbs of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbs of salt ( I used only about 3/4 of the tablespoon thought, because I didn’t want the dough to be too salty)
- 1 tbs honey (this is optional if you don’t like any sweetness in the dough, but I like a little, so I used a couple good squeezes straight into the bread machine on top of the dry ingredients)
After yeast and water have sat for about 5 minutes, mix the flour with the salt and pour into bowl or bread machine, and then add the olive oil and honey. For bread machine, turn it on the dough cycle and let it do all of the work! (If doing it by hand, mix until the ingredients are all incorporated and then transfer the dough to a floured surface and kneed for about 10 minutes. Then form into a ball and cover with tea towel and let it rise until doubled in size, about an hour.) After risen, divide into two balls (unless you can make a humongous pizza!) I put one in the fridge for later, but do what you want! Then kneed the dough for just about a minute and then form into in a log shape, placed it on a well oiled baking sheet (I used my olive oil…better flavor!). Let it rise for another 40 minutes to an hour while you prepare the toppings! Then using your hands, stretch the dough across the baking sheet…getting it as thin as possible! One portion of the dough should be enough to almost cover a 12″ baking sheet.
Potato Pizza Toppings
- 1 medium potato (for one pizza, 2 potatos for two pizzas). You can use red or gold…all taste great!
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- about 1-2 tsp minced garlic
- shredded mozzarella cheese (enough for a thin layer…about a cup and a half for one pizza, I think)
- fresh sprig of rosemary (optional, but oh so good!)
- Also optional: 1 Italian Sausage, removed from it’s skin, and browned in small chunks. Placed on the very top before baking pizza….some pizzerias had this and it’s very good! but not necessary)
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Peel the potatoes and using a very sharp knife, cut rounds as thin as possible! (see-through, like potato chips). This is probably the hardest part, but not too hard. It helps to cut a small sliver off one side of the potato, so the potato is easier to hold down on the cutting board (like giving it a base to rest on). Place the potato slices in a bowl and give them a couple baths of ice cold water to remove any excess starch. Drain in a colander and place back in the bowl. Mix in about a teaspoon of salt (2 for two potatoes) and let sit for 10 minutes. After that, drain any more water in the bowl (the salt helps to remove the excess water). Then toss with about a tablespoon of olive oil (2 tsp if using two potatoes), and let sit while you spread the cheese over the dough. After the cheese, spread the minced garlic over it…use as much or little as you like. I like a nice hint of it, so I use about 1 tsp per pizza. Then finally place the potatoes on. One layer of the potato slices is perfect…you want them to be able to get softer in the oven, so don’t stack them. Then a pinch of salt and pepper on top of the pizza, and then the leaves from a small to medium sprig of rosemary. I also brushed a little olive oil on the edges to get the crust to have a nice color and taste. Bake on top rack (placed about 1/3 of the way down from the top) for about 10-15 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.
Zucchini Pizza Toppings
- 1 medium to large zuchinni
- same other ingredients as above, except minus the potatoes and rosemary
Using a cheese grater, shred up the whole zucchini, place in bowl and mix in about a teaspoon of olive oil. Follow the directions above for topping the pizza, but instead of the potatoes, spread the zucchini across the pizza, then top with a pinch of salt and pepper, and bake for same amount of time. This kind of pizza was also very popular in Rome at the pizzerias!
I made my pizza half and half! Also, experiment with other similar veggies and toppings! This is a great dough and I’m sure it would work great for any kind of pizza! It is thin though, so careful not to overload it with too many toppings, because it won’t hold up like a thicker crust would! Anyways, hope you can use this recipe and enjoy it! Let me know if you do! Buon Appetito!
(The recipe has parts borrowed from SmittenKitchen.com (http://smittenkitchen.com/2008/06/jim-laheys-potato-pizza/) and SavoryReviews.com (http://www.savoryreviews.com/2009/05/19/basic-pizza-dough/) but with my own tweaks and twists!