What is it about pizza that is so ridiculously good? It's like an explosion of tastes and textures, and I love it. The soft crust, crunchy edge pieces, melty cheesiness, bitter olives, and spicy pepperoni. Yum! I could eat this stuff once a week, but I try to pace myself.
For Christmas, I got the amazing America's Test Kitchen Cookbook. As I was flipping through the pages ot find new recipes to try, I found this recipe. The fact that the dough called for grated cooked potatoes called my attention to it. Without hesitation, I added it to my list of things to make. I'm so glad I did! We couldn't get enough of it over here. The crust was amazing. It is baked in a 9 inch cake pan with 2 T of olive oil in the bottom, so the crust gets that toasted, crunchy texture. You've just got to try it to see what I mean. It's really not that much work once the crust is ready.
source: The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook
1 russet potato (8 ounces), peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
3 3/4 c flour
1 3/4 t salt
1 1/2 t rapid rise yeast
6 T olive oil
1 c water, warm
source- my head
14 oz can diced tomatoes
1 T olive oil
1 T minced garlic
1 t Italian Seasoning
1/2 t sugar
1/2 t lemon juice
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 t onion powder
1/4 t salt
1/4 t pepper
any of the following-
cooked Italian sausage
Peel and dice the potato. Cook the chunks in boiling water for 10-15 minutes or until you can easily pierce them with a fork. Let them cool until you can handle them. Hold a few of them in your hands and grate them using a cheese grater. I used the biggest side. Please be careful and don't grate your knuckles. No bueno.
You'll get about 1 1/4 c out of the potato. Put the flour, salt, rapid-rise yeast, 2 T olive oil, and warm water in a bread maker. Put it on the dough setting and let it combine for a minute or two. Add the shredded potato. Let it run until it is doubled in size.
When it is almost done, prepare the pans. Use 2 9-inch round cake pans. Put 2 T of olive oil in each. If you have a 14-inch deep dish pizza pan, you can use that and fill the bottom with 1/4 c olive oil. Move the pan from side to side until the oil is evenly dispersed across the bottom.
When your dough is done, it will look like this. I think this must have been the softest dough I have ever felt. It was pretty amazing. I kind of wanted to just play with it all night, but I could see what would happen.
Husband, coming home from work: Uuh... Where's dinner?
Me: I'm playing with it.
Husband: Hmm.. not amused.
Divide the dough in half.
Before you plop the dough into the oil-filled pans, let me remind you that they are oil-filled. That darn dough was slipping and a-sliding all over the place. Next time I make it, I will stretch it out a bit, so I don't have to try to press it into place only to have it slide right back to where it started. It's like trying to build a sculpture out of Jell-o.
Pat the dough down and build it up the sides for the crust. I found that when I jabbed my fingers into the corner where the crust meets the the bottom, it stayed a little better. I'm not making any promises though! Repeat with the other pan (if you're using two of them.)
Once your pans are prepared, cover them with plastic wrap and let them rise in a warm place. I always put things with that description in the microwave with a bowl of boiling water. Works like a charm...
While they are rising, you need to prepare the oven. Place one rack on the bottom slot. Place another rack on the second to top slot. If you have a pizza stone, place it on the bottom rack. If you're like me, and you're not quite cool like that, flip a cookie sheet over and put it on the bottom rack. It will have a similar effect. Preheat the oven to 500. The stone or cookie sheet needs to be nice and warm.
Just a side note- If you have sensitive smoke detectors, beware! I had my brother disconnect mine downstairs, but that tiniest bit of smoke weaseled its way upstairs and got those! I ran upstairs with a pillow and fanned those things 'til the alarm went off. I'm sure the neighbors thought our house was about to burn to the ground.
For the sauce, put the diced tomatoes in a food processor and pulse until it's not so chunky. Add that into a small saucepan and add the other ingredients. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Lower the heat and let it simmer until it's time to top off the pizza.
Let the dough rise in the microwave (or wherever) until it is doubled in size. Lower the oven temperature to 425.
Use a fork to poke holes all over the crust. If you forget this step, you are going to have a globby, bloated hunk of dough in your oven after it's cooked.
Here's a picture of how many times I stabbed it. Nice death.
Put the pans on the pizza stone or inverted cookie sheet. Cook it for 15 minutes. Take them out and add toppings. I would have taken more pictures of the process, but I think if my daughter didn't get to "decorate" the pizza, she would have exploded. That's the last thing I need. :)
Once they are all decorated, put them on the top rack in the oven for 5-10 minutes or until the cheese is golden brown. Take out the pizza. Use a spatula to check the bottom of the pizza. It should be nice and golden brown.
Put it onto a cutting board and cut it into slices. I used a bread knife because when they say, "deep-dish," they mean it! This stuff is thick! Here is a cross section for you. The crust is not doughy at all. It's soft on the inside, crunchy on the outside, and glorious in every aspect.
Here's the other one- still whole, but not for long.
I'm telling you- this pizza was amazing. I think next time, I will add a bit of garlic powder and Italian seasoning to the dough before it is mixed. When it comes out of the oven, I'm going to brush the crust with parsley-butter and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. That's just me. :)
Oh- I was snapping pictures, and my husband said, "Are you done taking pictures now so we can eat? I'm starving." See why playing with dinner dough is unacceptable? Luckily, the numerous compliments he gave the pizza made up for the lack of good pictures.
This would be great with Mozzarella sticks and salad. We ate it all by itself, and we were quite content with that.