One of my favorite casual restaurants is Roman Candle Baking Company. They serve a couple of things I never seem to tire of, including their Potato Pizza. It is pizza bianca (think flatbread pizza) topped with riced yukon golds, Provolone Piccante, and slices of lightly caramelized onion. It's carb on carb heaven! I've been trying to make a reasonable facsimile for months, and am finally happy with the results. It is not an exact replica, but it's similar enough in taste and texture to satisfy my craving.
I made a bit of a hybrid between the Overnight Straight Dough from Flour Water Salt Yeast and the pizza dough from Roberta's Cookbook. I've used both smoked and regular salt in the dough, and think the smoked salt has just a hint more flavor (but I fully accept this perception could be in my head). I use the dough techniques I learned from Ken Forkish via his book and videos. If you're a visual learner videos on mixing, folding, and shaping dough can be found here: http://kensartisan.com/#/videos
Test Kitchen Notes
This pizza is perhaps the ultimate comfort food. The crunchy, oil-slicked bottom of the crust is a nice foil to the tender potatoes on top, and the sharp, zingy cheese cuts through the richness. Perfect for the next time you're in need of a bear hug in food form. —The Editors
- Serves 4 to 8
- Pizza Bianca Dough
all-purpose flour, plus additional
water at 90-95º F
(scant) rapid-rise yeast
smoked salt (or fine sea salt)
1 1/2 teaspoons
(½ tablespoon) extra virgin olive oil, with extra
- Potato Pizza Bianca
Pizza Bianca Dough
large-ish Yukon gold potatoes (about 1.75 lbs, or 800 grams)
medium to large red onion
extra virgin olive oil, divided
chopped fresh rosemary
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
smoked salt or flaked sea salt, to taste
shredded Italian Provolone Piccante*
- Pizza Bianca Dough
- Place flour into a large bowl (or 6-quart Cambro). Add all but a tablespoon or two of water to the flour and mix to combine. Pour the remaining water into a small bowl and stir in the yeast. Allow flour and yeast to hydrate for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Stir the yeast mixture and sprinkle it over the flour mixture (which will become the dough). Tear off a chunk of the dough and use it to wipe out any residual yeast and water, then add it back to the bowl. Sprinkle the salt and oil onto the dough. Moisten your dominant hand. Hold the rim of your bowl with your other hand, then reach under the dough and grab about a quarter of it. Stretch the dough (but don't tear it), and fold it over the top of the dough. Rotate the bowl and repeat to encase the salt, yeast, and oil in the dough (don't worry if a bit of the water or oil escapes in the process). Use your thumb and index finger like a lobster claw to pinch through the dough creating 5 or 6 sections. Fold the dough as before until it becomes a cohesive mass. Wet your hand as needed to keep the dough from sticking to it. Repeat the pinching and folding 6 or 7 more times to fully mix the dough. Cover the dough and let it rest for 30 or so minutes.
- After 30 minutes, repeat the folding process (but not the pinching). After the final fold, lightly coat the dough and bottom of the bowl with olive oil. Place the dough in the bowl, seam side down. Cover and let rise until it's 2 1/2 to 3 times its original volume, which should take 11 hours or so.
- Lightly flour a counter top and gently transfer the dough onto it. Use your fingers (and a bit of flour if needed) to loosen the dough out of the bowl, trying not to tear the dough in the process. Repeat the folding technique to create a ball, then flip the dough, seam-side down, onto a flour-free area of the counter, about a foot from the edge. Cup your hands together behind the dough, and pull the ball toward you about 8 inches (you need a flour-free surface for traction). Rotate the dough a quarter turn and repeat until you've gone around the dough 2 to 3 times creating a somewhat tight ball.
- Place the dough on a moderately-floured plate, then lightly dust it with more flour and cover with plastic wrap. Place in refrigerator for at least 6 hours (and up to 48 hours) to proof. Bring dough to room temperature 2 to 2 1/2 hours before you're ready to bake.
- Potato Pizza Bianca
- Preheat oven to 500° F with pizza stone or steel on lower middle rack for at least 45 minutes. (Either place the other rack at the lowest position, or remove it from the oven.)
- Peel then cut potatoes into quarters. Place potato quarters into a 3 to 4 quart pot. Remove root and stem ends from onion. Score the 3 outer rings so they can easily be removed, and add them to the pot with the potatoes (reserve the inner parts of the onion for later in the recipe). Fill pot with water to cover potatoes by an inch (about 1 ½ to 2 quarts). Add salt and bay leaf. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Cook until a paring knife easily slips through the potatoes, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain potatoes in colander until ready to top pizza. Discard cooking onion and bay leaves.
- While the potatoes are cooking, dice the remaining onion and measure out 1/2 cup. Set aside for the pizza topping stage.
- Oil a rimmed half-sheet pan with about 1 tablespoon olive oil. Moderately flour a counter top and put the dough on the flour. Flip the dough over so each side is lightly coated. Flatten and stretch the dough using your hands until it is 2/3 to 3/4 the size of the sheet pan. Transfer the dough to the sheet pan. With lightly floured hands, press and stretch the dough to fill the pan. Once it's close, drizzle on about 1 tablespoon olive oil, and use your fingers to spread it evenly over the surface, as you continue to press the dough into the edges and corners. If the corners want to shrink back, let the gluten relax by waiting 10 minutes, and then press and stretch again. Once the dough is completely covering the pan, sprinkle with the rosemary leaves and a bit of salt.
- Using a potato ricer, rice the potatoes directly onto the dough in a fairly even blanket, avoiding the outer half-inch of the dough (a little will land there, just avoid a heavy amount). Scatter the diced onion over the potatoes. Drizzle on the remaining olive oil, then sprinkle with black pepper and a couple of pinches salt.
- Place pan directly onto pizza stone or steel, and bake until the potatoes are starting to get golden brown spots, 14 to 15 minutes. Transfer the pizza onto a peel (or flat sheet pan). Top with shredded cheese, then thyme leaves. Transfer the pizza onto the pizza stone/steel. Bake just until the cheese is nicely melted, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. (NOTE: You can leave the pizza in the pan the whole time, but the bottom won't crisp up as well.) Transfer pizza onto a cutting board and serve in generous rectangles.
- *the domestic versions of Provolone Piccante I've found are no where near as flavorful as the Italian, which is fairly sharp and a little nutty. It is worth tracking down and spending the $20/lb. If you absolutely can't find it, top the pizza with a mix of Provolone and Parmesan.