Trawling through the dusty archives in the Fanny Craddock Wing of the Great Library here at Yumblog Towers, it seems that in all our years as honoured custodians of this esteemed and venerable blog, we have never written up a recipe for pizza. A possible explanation for this (should your legal department require one) is that maybe in the past we have considered pizza so ‘simple’ that to post a recipe would be an insult to you, dear reader. Perhaps we were wrong, or perhaps you have gone down in our estimation, but here now, historically, unprecedentedly, for the first time, ever, is a Yumblog posting for pizza. And ironically (like rain on a wedding day), this is the simplest of all … no olives, mozzarella, tomato sauce or even pineapple … just a spud and a few sprigs of rosemary.
Preparation time: 25 minutes plus 2.5 hours rising time
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Skill level: easy
For the dough
- dried yeast – sachet
- strong white flour – 500g
- warm water – 310ml
- salt – 2tsp
For the topping
- 1 medium potato
- fresh rosemary – a few sprigs
- extra virgin olive oil – slug
- sea salt and black pepper
First make your dough … we usually make a larger quantity, portion it out and freeze the remainder for future Friday night pizzas.
Pour the water into a small bowl and sprinkle over the yeast. Stir and let stand for a minute or until the a froth has formed on the top.
In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt and then add the yeast mixture.
Stir until a dough forms and turn out onto a lightly floured surface.
Knead (adding more flour if necessary) for 10 minutes by which time the dough should be smooth, glossy and elastic.
Lightly oil a large bowl and add the ball of dough – spin the dough around so it is completely covered with a film of oil.
Cover with cling film and set aside somewhere warm for 1.5 hours or until it has doubled in size.
(If you are making larger quantities, then once the dough has risen you can now divide it and freeze the remainder for another ocassion)
Oil your pizza tray and place the dough in the centre. Roll the dough out so it covers the tray and then cover with oiled cling film and set aside somewhere warm for an hour. The dough should now be fluffy and doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 220C (gas mark 7)
Peel the potato and cut (using a potato peeler) into very thin (0.5mm) slices.
Drop the pototo slices in a bowl of water and leave for half an hour to remove some of the starch.
Drain the pototo slices and pat dry with a tea towel.
Return to the (dried) bowl and add the rosemary leaves and a good slug of olive oil.
Season generously and mix everything together.
Lay the potato slices on the pizza base in whatever arrangement/pattern/algorithmic configeration pleases you. Scrape over any rosemary/olive oil remaining in the bowl.
Place in the oven and cook for 10 minutes, or until the base is cooked and the potato just beginning to crisp.
Serve immediately with a hearty salad and several units of booze.
Verdict: This is now our Friday evening treat of choice which, along with some amusing bottles of beer and an equally agreeable bottle of wine, mark the beginning of the long-anticipated weekend. The base is always thin and chewy with a pleasant crisp to the edge and the potato and rosemary topping clean, earthy and sweet. Superb.
Drink: As already mentioned, a variety of British ales, German lagers and French wine carefully sourced from the Clerkenwell Wa’ro.
Entertainment: Last night’s missed ‘Rick Stein’s Spain’ on the iPlayer. This is by far the best cookery/travelogue series for a very long time and is a series which stands out as one of very few to not have sold out to lazy formatting, gimmickry and celebrity. You see BBC, you can do it when you try.