Wednesday, March 24, 2010
The very first time I used yeast was to make a pizza dough back in 2006. Up to that point I had cooked pretty frequently but had never endeavored to bake anything requiring yeast/kneading/waiting. I didn't know that dough sometimes needed to rest a while to keep the gluten from causing the dough to seize up when you tried to work with it. The first time I made a pizza dough I nearly quit in frustration when the harder I tried to form the dough into a perfect round, the harder it fought to remain in a ball. Though I've certainly gotten back on the horse and made many a yeast dough since that first disastrous pizza dough, I haven't made many pizzas.
Pizza is one of those things that can be made as many different ways as their are people who make it. I tend to like a thin and crispy crust with a moderate amount of spicy tomato sauce, a light layer of fresh mozzarella, and some combination of mushrooms, onions and pepperoni.
A few weeks back the man of the house and I caught an episode of "The Best Thing I Ever Ate" in which the guests described the most delicious pizzas they had ever eaten. Alex Guarnaschelli cited the Yukon Gold Potato Pizza from Five Points as her number one pick. When we decided to have pizza for dinner last night I left the pepperoni and fresh mozzarella in my fridge and decided to put together a potato pizza of my own. I topped my pizza with olive oil, thyme, russet potato slices and garlic. The flavor was very delicate and I could easily see how a drizzle of truffle oil just before serving would be an excellent topper. When I make this again I think I'll add a little goat cheese and Parmesan to the top of the pizza in the last few minutes of baking.
1 pizza crust suitable for a 12-14" pizza*
1 large russet potato
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp fresh thyme
*I used the recipe for a standard pizza crust from The New Best Recipe cookbook.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Slice potato into 1/8" rounds using a mandoline slicer or sharp knife.
Slice garlic into thin slices.
Now You're Cookin':
Oil a pizza pan or baking sheet and press pizza dough into a thin round (or rectangle). If the dough springs back when you try to shape it let the dough rest a few minutes and come back to it.
Brush a thin coating of olive oil onto the crust and evenly distribute the garlic slices.
Place potato slices in an overlapping layer on the pizza crust.
Sprinkle pizza with thyme, salt and pepper.
Drizzle pizza with olive oil.
Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes. The crust should be golden brown and the potatoes should be cooked through and browned on the edges.