The first time I tasted this white pizza was on a visit to Siena. I remember the pure joy as I took my first bites. The combination of potatoes and rosemary along with the crispiness of the crust was fantastic. It was the perfect street food to enjoy as I was walking with my friend Cathy along with winding Siena streets.
When I returned home, I tried a few times to recreate the pizza. I learned early on that it was important to cook the potatoes first as raw potatoes didn't have enough time to get tender and cooked on the pizza. It's also important to make sure you drain and dry the potatoes so that they don't get the pizza dough too wet. Fresh rosemary is also best, but dried will work as well.
For this white pizza, I use my focaccia dough recipe on page 329 of the book. It's so easy and versatile and works well for one large pizza or two smaller ones.
This recipe is a keeper. Once you try it, you'll be making it again and again. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have over the years!
White Pizza with Potatoes and Rosemary
3 cups all-purpose (unbleached) or bread flour
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 packet active dry yeast (about 2 tablespoons)
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tablespoon sugar or honey
2 tablespoons olive oil
In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flour and salt. Next place the warm (not too hot) water in a small bowl and sprinkle the yeast, followed by the sugar or honey. Let this sit for 5-7 minutes (or longer if needed) to allow the yeast to bloom. Add the olive oil to the water, yeast, sugar mixture and then mix into the flour with a spoon. You can also use a mixer with a hook attachment, but I keep it simple and stir for 5 minutes with a spoon.
The dough should be a bit wet, so keep adding water if the dough has too much flour. Cover the bowl with a cover or plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place for 2-3 hours or longer (up to 7 hours is usually okay).
I like to use this covered container as it works really well and also provides a square shape to the dough when it’s ready to go into the pan.
Preheat oven to 425-450 degrees. The oven should be really hot to bake this pizza.
Next, place the dough in a large oiled round or rectangular baking pan. This is enough dough for 2 smaller square pans as well. Sprinkle the top with a light coating of flour so that the dough does not stick to your hands. Form into the shape and size you want with your fingers. Let sit for another 30 minutes.
3-4 medium potatoes (sliced thin)
10-12 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
4-5 sprigs of fresh rosemary (chopped)
Extra-virgin olive oil
Cut and rinse the potatoes before placing them in a medium saucepan. Boil them in salted water until tender to a fork (about 10 minutes). Drain the potatoes and place on a paper towel to cool and dry.
Sprinkle the cheese over the top of the dough and then place a thin layer of the potatoes over the top of the cheese. Next, sprinkle the rosemary over the potatoes and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
Bake in oven at 425-450 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until bottom crust is crisp and top is golden brown.
Cut into squares and enjoy!