I love this pizza in winter. The addition of potato gives it a heartier appeal. If you really wanted to go overboard, the toppings can include paper thin sliced potatoes and sliced garlic.
2 Tablespoons active dry yeast
1-1/4 cups warm water (115ºF)
1-1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon salt
1-1/2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 medium potato (about 1/3 pound)
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
First peel the potato then cut into cubes. Boil the potatoes in water until a fork goes through easily (about 20-30 minutes)
Drain for 5-10 minutes in a colander.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl dissolve the yeast in 1-1/4 cups of warm water and set aside to rise until there is about 1" foam on top.
In a large bowl stir together the 2 1/2 cups flour, the garlic powder and the salt.
Using a potato ricer, rice the potatoes directly into the bowl with the flour mixture. Make a well in the flour and potato and pour in the olive oil and the yeast/water mixture.
Using a wooden spoon, gradually incorporate the ingredients together into a dough ball. The dough shouldn't be sticky. If it is, dust with a bit more flour. If it's too dry, try spraying with water from a spray bottle, then reform.
Place your ball of dough onto a floured work surface and knead by hand at least 5 minutes. The dough should be a bit elastic with a smooth texture. It should not be sticky. Dust with a bit of flour as needed.
Place the dough into an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot to rise for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, oil a half sheet pan with olive oil and preheat the oven to 425 F.
After the dough has risen, gently punch it down, then roll it out with a rolling pin or using your hands flatten and enlarge it to roughly the size of your pan. Place it carefully into the pan and use your fingers to bring it out to the edges. You can form a raised edge if you wish.
You can let the dough rise a second time or make your pizza right away. Either way, before topping your pizza, poke a series of holes in the center of the dough to prevent bubbles from forming. You can use a tool called a docker for this.
Top the pizza with sauce and toppings of your choice and bake for 15-20 minutes. After 15 minutes, check the bottom of the crust to ensure browning using a small spatula to lift and edge to take a peek. If it's browned enough, and your toppings are cooked, your pizza is ready. If the bottom needs more time, bake for an additional 2-5 minutes. If your toppings need a bit of extra browning or melting, turn your oven to broil for a minute or two.
When done, slice the pizza with a pizza wheel cutter and use a kitchen shears to cut the edges of the crust free.
You can replace the potato with 1-1/2 cups of a good quality instant potato, and you might think about adding some sliced and lightly sautéed garlic cloves (about 4-5) in place of the garlic powder. You might also use paper thin slices of potatoes (gourmet fingerlings would ne great) on top of the pizza as well.
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