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Tuesday
Mar162010

Potato Pizza and the Correct Flour to Use for Pizza Dough

 

I know what you're thinking - what a carb load potato pizza must be!  Well . . . yes.  You certainly wouldn't want to eat it if you were doing Atkins, but if you're vegetarian or even vegan, it's the perfect pizza.  No meat and no cheese (the cheese is optional, but I think the pizza doesn't need it).  If you go to Italy, you will see potato pizza in most of the pizza shops.  The combination of potatoes, rosemary and onion is absolutely delicious and set on top of great pizza dough, it's so good.  Add a green salad and it's a nice dinner.  Cut it into small squares and it's a delicious, unusual appetizer.  

I made this particular pizza dough with bread flour because I wanted a more substantial crust.  I get asked all the time about what is the right flour to use when making pizzas, but that's really the wrong question.  The question you should ask yourself is what kind of pizza do you like?   Do you like thick, chewy pizza or do you like thin, crispy crust?  The flour you choose makes a big difference in the crust.   

I usually make my pizza dough with half Italian 00 flour and half all purpose flour. This makes a crisp crust, which we like, and we roll it out very thin, like a Roman style pizza.  But I make different doughs all the time. My family prefers white flour pizza crust, but I often make a small amount of dough just for me from white whole wheat flour or a combination of white whole wheat flour and some 00 flour. I also have made doughs from half all purpose flour and half bread flour.  For this potato pizza, though, I wanted a real substantial dough so I made it completely from bread flour and it was great.  The different flours contain different protein amounts, with bread flour being the highest.  It will give you a more bread like dough, with some chew.  Italian 00 flour is made from soft wheat but, unlike the soft wheat flours here in the U.S., it is high in protein.  Many people think Italian 00 flour is low in protein because it is milled so finely, but that is not true at all.   Antimo Caputo 00 flour, which is a very popular brand, is 11.5% protein, while soft wheat flour (like White Lilly) is 8% protein.   You need a higher protein flour to make pizza dough, which is why bread flour can work well.  The Italian 00 flour makes a very light crust.  Some pizzaiolos in Italy use a combination of 00 flour and bread flour but the flour they use varies from region to region.  There is no right dough, just what you like - and you may like more than one kind, like we do.

For the potatoes, you must slice these paper thin, which is not done very well by hand. You really need some kind of mandoline to do this.  This is the mandoline I have and it works incredibly well.  If you don't want such a large one or want to buy a cheaper one, there are so many now on the market like this one from OXO, which is a handheld version.  You can find these kinds of slicers at Target, Bed Bath & Beyond and Williams Sonoma.

make sure the potato slices are super thin.


So experiment a little with the pizza doughs.  Try a little bread flour blended with some all-purpose, or get some Italian 00 flour and see how you like that. It's fun. And if you haven't tried making pizza at home, it's just so easy.  Get a pizza stone and whip up a batch of dough.  You can even make the dough the night before, stick it in the fridge and then bring it out a couple of hours before dinner to come to room temperature and rise.  I do that all the time.

Potato Pizza 


serves 2 - 3

makes one large pizza 

for a printable recipe, click here

Ingredients:

for the dough:

  • 1/2 cup warm (not hot) water
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon instant (fast acting) yeast
  • 1-1/4 cup bread flour (approximate)

for the topping:

  • 1 medium Yukon Gold potato
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary 
  • 3/4 cup chopped sweet onion 
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil 
  • 1 teaspoon course kosher salt or sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper 
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese or mozzarella (optional)

Instructions:

For dough:
Add the salt, 1 tablespoon of olive oil and yeast to the 1/2 cup of warm water and stir.  Mix in 1 cup of flour.  Gradually add in 1/8 cup more flour, until the dough comes together enough for you to put in on the counter and start kneading it.  Add enough additional flour to make a nice dough that is not too sticky, but not too dry.  You want it to feel a little moist, but you don't want it to stick to your hands.  Knead for a couple of minutes and put it in a bowl with a drizzle of olive oil.  Turn the dough to coat in the olive, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set it in a warm place to rise for about an hour and a half.  (If making the night before, after the dough has risen, stick it in the fridge and then bring it out about an hour before you need to use it and put it in a warm place so it can rise a little again).

Meanwhile, with a mandoline, slice the potato as thin as you can, about 1/16th on a inch thick. Place potato slices in a bowl with the salt and cover with cold water for about an hour (or you can refrigerate it for several hours). Drain potatoes, rinse and pat dry. Toss with rosemary, onion and olive oil.  Sprinkle generously with coarse salt and freshly ground pepper.

 

Place a pizza stone on the bottom rack of your oven.  Preheat the oven to the highest temperature it will go (450 - 500 degrees F.) for 30 minutes.

Sprinkle a pizza peel with some coarse polenta (corn grits) or flour.  (update:  I believe a sheet of parchment paper works even better than the polenta in keeping the pizza dough from sticking on the pizza peel.)  If you don't have a pizza peel, just use a rimless cookie sheet or an upside down baking pan.  Roll out the pizza dough, using flour so it doesn't stick to the rolling pin. If the dough snaps back as you roll it, let it sit for just a couple of minutes and it will roll out effortlessly. Roll out the dough until it is the size/thickness you like.  Place on the pizza peel.  Brush the dough with the 1/4 cup olive oil (or however much you like), top the pizza with the potato slices.  Make sure you get all the onion and rosemary out of the bowl and place on top.  If using the cheese, sprinkle on top.  

Slide the pizza onto the baking stone and bake for about 8-10 minutes, until the crust is crisp and golden. Sprinkle with additional salt, if you like.  

For a discussion of yeast, click here

Another idea for pizza:  Pizza Quattro Stagioni

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Reader Comments (36)

This kind of pizza is my favorite! thanks for the lovely recipe.

March 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJulie

This looks scrumptious! Thanks for your tips on what kind of flour to use!

March 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKacey

Wow, you are right! I miss pizza sometimes being a vegan, but this would be a great substitute. Thank you for a wonderfu;l recipe!!

March 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNoelle

Looks like a great dish. I'm enjoying your blog. Thanks for the recipe and read.

I love potato pizza. I just made a potato lasagna so I'm game. This is interesting about the flours. We like a white pizza dough also, and I generally use King Arthur all purpose flour. I do use a pizza stone and we end up with a crisp thin chewy crust. I've been meaning to order the 00 flour so some time now to experiment. I like that it has the higher protein.

March 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAngela@Spinachtiger

When I saw the first photo, carbs were the furthest thing from my mind haha. I just thought, "O-M-G! I want a slice or four!"

I like how the pizzaioli make the dough. I'm going to try to combine 00 flour with bread flour. I usually make my pizza with only bread flour. I like it that way, too.

March 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMemoria

Beautiful and I bet delicious pizza... thanks for the info on the flour...

March 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCooking Foodie

O.M.G I made this for dinner tonight and it was to die for! Thanks for this wonderful recipe, so easy to make and absolutely delicious!

March 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

this post is wonderful and useful and beautiful and highly informative. the only thing this post doesn't do is make me a damn pizza...

March 18, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterclaudia @ ceF

potato pizza is an all-time favorite of mine. Love the thin thin slices you got.

March 18, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterciaochowlinda

Elaine, I can't wait to make this! I've started making pizza dough and bread due to your blog - thank you! What I am not sure about is what is "bread flour"? Is it King Arthurs? So far I have only used all purpose and want to venture on to other flours but I am not sure what to look for.

March 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEllen S.

Yummy! My mother used to work ith a Italian woman long ago, and she bought us a potato pizza, delicious! Yours looks lovely.

~Kurious Kitteh

March 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKurious Kitteh

Elaine, you're awesome! The first time I had this style pizza was in a tiny 'pizza al taglio' shop while I was visiting Italy almost three years ago. I was hesitant at first because I had never heard of potato on a pizza before, but the owner promised me I would like it. Well, at least that's what I think he said -- my Italian wasn't so great back then. Once I had the first bite, the owner immediately knew from my glowing eyes and huge smile that his prediction was spot on. He was so right, in fact, that I ended up ordering a second slice; then I asked if I could take a picture of him and his amazing pizzas. He chuckled and said yes:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/antoniotahhan/2248166188
Thanks for bringing back those memories -- I need to make this pizza again soon :D

March 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTony

Elaine, I'll second that, you're awesome!

March 19, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermarie

Ohh, a potato-pizza-post!
I learned to love potato pizza when I lived 6 months in Rome. It's impossible to get a hold of it here in Sweden so I have been meaning to make my own. I'm saving this recipe. Thanks!

March 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDavid

This is a wonderful post. And very helpful, too. I've been a terrific failure at making pizza dough (http://thismanskitchen.wordpress.com/2009/08/24/pizza-failure/), and hopefully this will remedy that! I love the idea of cheese in the dough, too- reminds me of Sal & Carmine's pizza in NYC.

March 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHal B.

From The Italian Dish:

Hal: Sorry about your pizza dough failures! Hope my post can help. By the way, there is no cheese IN the dough - it goes on top of the potatoes before you bake it! Hope I didn't give the impression that the cheese goes into the dough somehow.

March 22, 2010 | Registered Commenter[Elaine]

Thanks for the recipe. Great pizza post.

I've never tried potato on pizza. This looks good! My problem with high gluten flours is getting it to roll out!

March 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterValen

From The Italian Dish:

Valen: All you need to do is roll it out a little, wait two minutes, then it will roll out very nicely. Try it! The gluten just needs to relax.

March 25, 2010 | Registered Commenter[Elaine]

nice articles. keep writing......

March 28, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermanxnick

I can only envy.I cannot do it by myself.

March 29, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterchina sim card

This pizza looks fabulous! You have a gorgeous site--beautiful photos!

March 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKath

Made this last night, and it was AWESOME!! Thanks for the recipe! It's now in weekly rotation. :)

April 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJessicaT

I just made and blogged a very similar pizza (from Tyler Florence) and loved it! I'm liking the semolina and unbleached flour combo for a crust, but I'm still trying different ways. I'm glad that I found your blog-- it's terrific!

May 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFoodiewife

How have I never seen your blog before, it's everything I've ever needed! I clicked over from The Kitchn. I spent 5 months in Rome and have spent the 4 years since trying to replicate dishes I loved. Mainly I would close my eyes, wrack my brain and try to recreate...and after much trial and error, I'd have a plate of Rome in front of me! But your blog is clearly the answer to many dishes I couldn't work out in my mind. It's also made me VERY proud - I got the Suppli al Telefono and the potato pizza just right! Seriously, I'm beaming with pride right now. And printing out your posts so that one day when my memory fails me...I'll have backup!!

Sincerely,
A new loyal reader!

September 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMiMee

Am so glad Eatocracy highlighted your blog! I've enjoyed browsing the recipes and getting ideas. We moved to Argentina a couple years ago which has a huge Italian influence (I'd guess at least 50% of the populace can trace their lineage back to Italy) so we enjoy fresh pasta any time we want without having to make it; our favorite is a mom and two sons in a good size storefront with a glass partition so you can see them making the pasta in the back. I usually make my own sauce but if we're in a hurry or whatever, we can buy sauce from them. They always have three or four kinds on hand and my favorite is a rich mushroom cream sauce.

Anyway, I'm not a fan of the pizza in most pizzerias here because it's more dough and skimpy on the toppings. I, too, prefer a thin crust. So I've been working on perfecting my pizza making skills. Have gone through a lot of dough recipes and found one I really like but am now experimenting with flours so was happy to find this post. Thanks for the great information that should help in my quest for that perfect pizza :)

September 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKim

From The Italian Dish:

Kim: I did not know that, about Argentina having such a strong Italian lineage in their population. Interesting! It sounds like you are really having fun with the pizza making - great!

September 16, 2010 | Registered Commenter[Elaine]

Post very nicely written, and it contains useful facts. I am happy to find your distinguished way of writing the post. Now you make it Thanks for taking the time to talk about this, I feel fervently about this and I take pleasure in learning about this topic. Please, as you gain information, please update this blog with more information. I have found it very useful

December 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAllen

I'm thrilled to be able to put pizza back on the menu. Used to make it at least every other week, but since my husband developed pulmonary fibrosis his taste buds changed completely, so much so that he can't stand the taste of any dish containing cooked tomatoes. I still make homemade pasta, but now we always have it with oil and garlic. Now, guess what's for dinner tomorrow thanks to you.....potato pizza of course!

July 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterColleen

I spent 5 months in Rome and have spent the 4 years since trying to replicate dishes I loved.
club penguin cheats

July 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMary

I just discovered your blog, and I am in heaven. I have been baking for years, particularly bread, and have been very successful, but pizza, not so much... I am going to try this tonight, because it looks like a slice of carb heaven. Screw the diet, forget the upcoming New Year's resolution to lose weight, I'm going to be fat and happy!!!

December 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRobin

I can no longer knead by hand due a) to L & R torn rotator cuffs and, b) advancing years (86). Would like to use my mixer but not sure how to proceed. Would the following steps work?

Put salt, oil, yeast and water and pulse in mixer with dough hook
Add one cup flour and mix with dough hook
Add 1/8 cup flour and continue kneading with dough hook (approx how long?)
If mixture is still too sticky, add more flour and pulse till consistency feels right
Turn mixture into oiled bowl and proceed as in your recipe

Hope you can help.

January 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterColleen

Great recipe. i made it for the kids and they loved it and to be honest so did I!

March 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPepperoni Pizza

To create more depth of flavor try crisping the tissue thin potatoes in an iron pan. Top the finished pizza with tissue thin onions that are caramelize in an iron pan and Kalamata olives!

June 30, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermichelle

Yummy nice articles. keep writing......

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteryumfranchise

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