Exploring global food and food culture

Basil Rosemary Potato Pizza

Basil Rosemary Potato Pizza

I know what you’re thinking.  Potato?  On a pizza?  Yes.  Potato.  On a pizza.  Seriously.  Basil rosemary potato pizza with a sourdough crust, to be exact.  I’ve made other pizzas before, but this time I wanted to do something a little different.

I recently was given some sourdough culture made by a friend and her son.  They had taken some locally grown grapes, placed them in a slurry of flour and water, and left them out at room temperature for several days until the natural yeasts and bacteria on the grapes had colonized the slurry.  This stuff is magic.  It bubbles and has the most amazing smell.  Also, it’s remarkably easy to keep alive.  You just have to keep feeding it water and flour.

The technique:

First, make the sourdough pizza dough.

pizza dough

Water, flour, sourdough starter, salt, baker’s yeast and olive oil are formed into a dough and allowed to rise for several hours. The longer you let it rise, the more fully developed the sourdough flavor will be.

Next, make the pizza sauce. It’s very minimal, simply a can of diced tomatoes, some olive oil, salt, pepper and basil and rosemary, blended until a smooth sauce.

Next, slice a small potato into very thin slices. Assemble the pizza by first flattening a small ball of dough (the thinner the better) and laying it on a corn meal covered pizza peel. Be a little liberal with the corn meal so that the pizza dough doesn’t stick to the peel when you slide it onto your pizza stone.

Apply a thin schmear of your homemade pizza sauce, then a thin sprinkling of mozzarella cheese. I used shredded, but chunks of the real stuff is probably better. I used what I had.

Finally, add the potato slices, and scatter some rosemary and basil on the pizza. It should look something like this:

uncooked pizza

Add a small drizzle of olive oil over the top, then slide that pizza onto a pizza stone in an preheated oven.  This is the key:  get that oven as hot as you can go.  I cooked mine at 500 degrees, but that was probably not quite hot enough.  Obviously you know your oven and its safety limits, but the hotter you cook it, the better the texture and flavor of the pizza.  Also, it will cook faster that way.

The ingredients:

The dough:

  • 3 cups flour  (you might need to adjust the amount of flour)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup sourdough starter culture
  • 2 tsp baker’s yeast
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground pepper

The sauce:

  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 tsp fresh rosemary
  • 2 tsp fresh basil
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground pepper

The pizza toppings:

  • 1 small potato, sliced thin
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons shredded mozarella
  • small bunch of basil
  • 1 small sprig of rosemary, broken up into pieces
  • 2 tsp olive oil drizzled over the top

Obviously the basil got a little overdone being on top of the pizza.  You might consider adding it on the sauce before the cheese layer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *