Sunday, May 15, 2011

Baked Potato Pizza

In my quest for fun and wholesome meals, I have also been looking for shortcuts as I juggle home and work life.  Recipes that are not strict with ingredients, that welcome what I have on hand and the little hands that want to help. 

I start with a dough made from scratch--a no knead dough--that works in my refrigerator overnight.  It was inspired by Martha Stewart's Basic Grilled Pizza Dough from Everyday Food July/August 2010.  I like to experiment with various flours and I store my flours (with the exception of all purpose) in the freezer.  I also buy my yeast in bulk and store it in the freezer.  Be sure to have all of your ingredients at room temperature as yeast likes warm environments.  Here is my spin on the recipe:

1 cup warm water
1 1/2 teaspoons local honey
2 1/4 teaspoons (or 1 quarter ounce packet) active dry yeast
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for bowl
Sea salt and black pepper
1 cup (5 ounces) white whole wheat flour
1 cup (4 1/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
Penzeys Pizza Seasoning (or your own combination of dry spices which may include ground fennel seed, Greek oregano, garlic, basil, crushed red pepper, and cayenne red pepper)

1.  In a medium bowl (I like this one), whisk the warm water and honey together.  Sprinkle the yeast onto the water mixture and let stand until foamy, approximately 5 minutes.

2.  Whisk oil and 1 teaspoon salt into the yeast mixture.  Add flours and stir with a wooden spoon.  Your dough should not look dry, if so, add a tablespoon of water.  I actually like a somewhat wet dough.

3.  Drizzle oil over the top of the dough (which has not left the bowl) and turn to coat, making sure that oil is also covering the sides of the bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap or if you're using the bowl that I like, place the lid on.

4.  Refrigerate dough overnight.  The next morning, punch down the down and replace cover.  Return dough to the refrigerator for a second rise.

5.  One hour before baking, take the bowl out of the refrigerator and remove the lid.  Punch the dough down and allow to come to room temperature.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees and oil a jelly roll pan.

6.  Press the dough into the jellyroll pan.  If it is stubborn, let it rest while you gather your toppings.  When you have pressed the dough out, sprinkle it with the Penzeys Pizza seasoning.  This is the base of your pizza.

Toppings (to be baked):
Cheese of your choice.  I have used mozzarella, farmer's cheese, and sharp cheddar for this recipe.
1 medium potato, peeled and thinly sliced (have you tried this tool?).  Again, experiment with various kinds or just use your favorite potato.
Bacon, thinly sliced and sauteed crisp.
Spicy Smokey Kale Chips from this inspiring couple.

Arrange these on your pizza crust and drizzle with olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden.

Toppings (to add after baking):
Garlic chives.  Snip the chives with your kitchen shears over the hot pizza.  Inhale.  Do you smell their garlic loveliness as they hit the heat of the pizza?
Sour cream
A lightly dressed salad has often found itself on top of my baked potato pizza.

What ingredients are you inspired to use on your next homemade pizza?

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