Potato Pizza

serves 2 -3, makes one large pizza

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)

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)

For dough:
Add the salt, 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 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 for an hour or so before you need to use it and put it in a warm place so it can rise a little again).

For Potato Topping:

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 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 course polenta (corn grits) or flour.  I think course polenta works best to keep the dough from sticking to the 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.

The Italian Dish