Greetings fellow Gastronomes!
Last weekend the wife and I got back on track and prepared a menu for the coming week. Tuesday found us with Potato-Bacon-Rosemary Pizza on deck. I knew Laurie was going to be busy all day so I took it upon myself to prepare the pie (she usually does this one).
This is a recipe that we found years ago in an issue of Gourmet Magazine, I believe we were first married and living in Maryland at the time. The first thing I wondered at was the fact that there is no sauce used per se. The other oddity was the use of potato on a pizza- I assumed it would make for a very dry pizza. After many years of making this pizza and never ever tossing out a scrap of the leftovers I assure you, this is a tasty one you’ll want for your own.
If you have spent any time at all making pizza from scratch you know that 80% of the enjoyment comes from the crust. Soggy? Too Crisp? Unevenly baked? No amount of phenomenal toppings will save a crappy crust. To make it great you absolutely must keep two things in mind. The bread recipe (yes, pizza is essentially a bread) and a really hot oven.
My current go-to recipe for pizza crust is from the Williams-Sonoma Essentials Of Baking cookbook. I can happily recommend this book to you, check your local library if you don’t want to purchase it- but definitely seek this one out for breads. The recipe in the book is for Pizza Margherita, but I simply used the dough recipe and moved on. –OR– use your own favorite pizza dough recipe.
OK, you need 6-8 strips of bacon, cooked. Do not over-brown the bacon, it will spend a little more time cooking on top of the pizza*. You’ll also need 2 medium size potatoes sliced very thin. If you have a mandoline in the kitchen it will make very even slices for you. Some food processors come with a blade for thin slices as well. Be sure to rinse the slices in cool water twice to remove most of the starch. Finally you’ll want 2-3 sprigs of fresh rosemary. I suppose you could use dried rosemary for this, but the results will not be nearly as aromatic or flavorful. I placed my rosemary sprigs into a small bowl with some olive oil and a bit of kosher salt mixed in- that way the rosemary will perfume the oil while you work on prepping the dough and the toppings. You’ll also need some shredded mozzarella cheese. We usually cheat and get the pre shredded in the package – but I will tell you, if you buy a nice ball of mozzarella and shred it yourself it’s crazy good.
It may seem like a lot of work, but everything you’ll do to make this pizza is easy, and you can do everything ahead if that helps. Just cover and refrigerate the rinsed potato slices and the cooked bacon, leave the infused oil on the counter. If you want to slow the rising dough you can cover that and put it in the fridge too.
This is quick and easy. Move the oven rack to the lower third of the oven. Preheat your oven to 500 degrees F and allow the risen dough to come to room temperature. Yep, 500 degrees- a hot oven! Stretch the dough a bit and then lay it onto an oiled pie pan, baking stone or baking sheet. Push out the edges with your knuckles and fingertips until you have the size, shape and thickness you want. Remember, the dough will rise a little more in the oven as it cooks.
Drizzle your infused oil over the pie shell and spread evenly. Tear the small leaves from the rosemary twigs and chop them a bit- lay these evenly over the oiled pizza dough.
Now lay on the potato slices starting at the outer edge. Slightly overlap the potatoes as you go around the outside of the shell, then spiral them all the way into the center. I like to add a little of the cheese over this layer.
Finally- sprinkle the bacon* and remaining cheese on top.
Place the pie in the lower third of the oven, close the door and back off the temperature to 450 degrees. The pizza will take 10-15 minutes. Remove when it’s golden brown. Allow the pizza to rest for 5-10 minutes, then slice and serve. Enjoy!
*Skip the bacon and this is a really tasty vegetarian pizza.