“My idea of heaven is a great big baked
potato and someone to share it with” -Oprah Winfrey
Summer is quickly winding down for us. School started this last week, and it seems that we are quickly realizing that the warm, summer, lazy days are coming to an end. We have had a busy summer, but one thing that we have not done a lot of is ride the jet ski. David really loves it, I don’t so much, but we haven’t gone much so we went out yesterday.
Unfortunately, it did not go very well as we were leisurely cruising along, we did not realize that the water was shallow. We ran aground and cut our ride short until we can get it fixed. David spent a couple hours digging rocks out of the jet drive, and we decided to head to Alum Creek to drop it back into the water. Unfortunately, it did not solve the issue of no power. We had it in the lake about 5 minutes, then pulled it out and went back home. This drive time, however, gave us an opportunity to flesh out our ideas for the pizza pi this week. David had thought of the idea of a baked potato pizza, and I did some research on Pinterest while riding home.
I found several recipes for potato pizza, but none were quite like we had envisioned. We wanted a sauce (white) and thin potatoes (think more of an a gratin type). So I cobbled together a conglomeration of what we thought would be yummy.
The first step was to make the crust. Truthfully, I had considered the old go to, Walmart crust mix, but decided that I didn’t want to do it. I am so very pleased that I did not! I think I found THE recipe for crust! I modified it slightly. as it needed more flour than it called for, and I added a half a teaspoon of baking powder. I am not sure why it needed so much more flour other than that it was really humid today and that sometimes makes a difference.
I want to talk about making the dough a little more. I have not really spoke of the technique of making a yeast dough. Typically you need to proof your yeast first. Then you can add the rest of the ingredients in. Proofing is basically the soak of dry yeast in warm water to ‘wake it up’. Yeast is what makes bread rise, and makes dough poofy.
This recipe was fairly straight forward:
2 1/4 teaspoons of yeast
1 cup of warm water *NOT HOT…it will kill the yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
*mix together and let sit for about 5 minutes. Then add:
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 1/2 cups flour
Once the dry ingredients have been mixed in, you need to knead it. Kneading helps to activate the gluten and makes the bread become more stretchy. You can do this with a stand mixer, like a Kitchen Aide, or by hand. This dough, even with more flour, is very soft and somewhat sticky, so I did it by hand. This also let me feel if I had to add more flour to it.
While the dough was resting, I decided to tackle the rest of the ingredients. I cut up some bacon and fried it. A good tip, use your kitchen shears if you have any, to cut the bacon easily.
Then I diced up green onions, and sliced potatoes with the mandolin.
The potatoes were tossed with a bit of oil, salt and pepper and garlic powder. The crust was then stretched and topped with a white sauce. Aldi brand came to the rescue again. The base of cheese was placed.
It had cheddar, gouda and mozzarella. The pepperoni snuck into the photo, but it was not on the potato pizza. I sprinkled more garlic powder on it rather liberally. Do NOT use garlic salt, it will be too salty.
Next, I layered on the potatoes. It reminded me of making a-gratin potatoes. I slightly over lapped them. Remember that potatoes were sliced very thinly. Bacon, and green onions went on last.
The next pizza was more straightforward. It was pepperoni and veggies. I used the same crust, and then left over tomato sauce from last week. (“Salagadoola mechicka boola Bibbidi-bobbidi-boo” – Cinderella ). I loaded up on the pepperoni on one side, and then mushrooms, red onions, green peppers and the left over green onions on the other half.
This pizza was stretched more thin, and in a square. I think that we really need another pizza stone, as we have been making two a week. This poor old jelly roll pan isn’t quite up to snuff.
The pies baked for about a half an hour at 450 degrees. The potato pizza browned up much nicer on the cast iron stone. The other pizza baked at the same time.
As you can see, the potato pizza worked nicely. The potatoes cooked perfectly and the edges of the crust got nice and crisp. The bottom browned up as well.
Once we had taken the potato pizza off the stone, I did top it with dollops of sour cream and some finely diced cilantro. Cilantro is one of those things you love or hate, and both David and I LOVE it. It added a nice earthy touch to the pizza.
Seriously, this pizza stroked all of the right spots for me this week. David was not quite as convinced. Maybe it is because I am trying to diet again, and this was a treat. I really, REALLY liked the potato pizza. It was slightly garlicy and the green onions were almost sweet once they were baked. The other pie was quite good. I LOVED the crust. This is THE CRUST, I think. We will have to make it again, and be sure that holds up to the test. The crust on the stone was crisper. The one on the jelly roll pan, while it looked brown, did not stay as crisp.
So, we made it home from our day of adventuring and the culinary escapade keeps us guessing. We don’t have any real direction as to what is next in the journey, so please feel free to make suggestions! Cheers until next week!