When asked to make a potato recipe, pizza was the first thing that came to mind. I’ve been making potato pizzas quite a lot through lockdown, for one, I've really been enjoying different uses for sourdough starter, secondly, it’s a consistent crop that appears on my door step every week in my seasonal veg box. Maris peer potatoes are a waxy kind, they hold there shape well so are good for salads, roasting and perfect for this recipe.
Before I continue with the recipe I have decided to not fully elaborate on the process of making sourdough and the techniques that go along with shaping and stretching pizza dough. It’s a complex subject which I feel I can’t convey without writing an essay (and this recipe is all ready getting lengthy). At the bottom of this blog, I have left links to references on the subject if you would like to learn how to make sourdough bases, otherwise these toppings will work on a regular pizza crust, pre-made bases or puff pastry.
One thing I will say about my home cooking method is to use a ‘pizza peel’ to get your pie in the oven. We want the oven to be as hot as possible to ensure oven spring. I used floured cardboard as my peel. Firstly preheat your oven on its highest setting with a thick baking tray inside, this will act as a pizza stone. Once your dough is stretched, Place on the peel and top the dough. With confidence, slide it in. Alternatively you can lightly oil a cold baking tray, stretch the dough and place it on. Build away and pop it in the oven. This method will work but you wont achieve as nice a crust, but hey it's still tasty!
Here I want to focus on the potatoes and accompaniments. In this recipe we will learn some key cookery techniques, salting to remove moisture, season and partly cook the potatoes, making a roux and making pesto.
Finally one thing I forgot to do when making these pizzas, mainly due to the excitement of taking photographs and eating pizza, is to add chilli flakes. Chilli flakes, sauce or oil over the finished pizza, to me, will really make it complete.
Dough (makes 3 balls and a little one)
500g White flour
100g Active Sourdough starter
300g Water + 25g
- Mix starter with 300g of warm water
- Add the flour and make a rough dough, rest for 40 minuets
- Add the 25g of water and salt and incorporate into the dough.
- Bulk ferment for about 4 hours, stretching and folding the dough every 30-40 minutes.
- Divide dough into 230g pieces and shape into balls
- Place in the fridge, I use a floured, walled baking tray with cling film over the top.
- Leave dough balls overnight in the fridge
- Remove the next day 4 hours before use
- When ready to use you can use a dough scraper to help you move the balls and to reshape if they have spread to much
Potatoes (makes enough for 4 pizzas)
350g Maris peer potatoes (about 4)
2 springs of rosemary
1/2 tsp salt
- Slice the potatoes as thinly as possible or use a mandolin. You're looking for a near translucent slice.
- Add the salt and mix, leave sit for an hour. In this time the potatoes will release water.
- Once the potatoes have rested, rinse with cold water in a colander and try push out as much water as you can. Pat the potatoes down to dry with a kitchen towel.
- Chop the rosemary and mix with the potatoes
- Add the olive oil and mix.
Roast garlic sauce
1 head of garlic
- Pre heat the oven at 160C
- Cut the bottom from the head of garlic enough to reveal the cloves.
- Mix the garlic with a little olive oil and wrap in foil
- Cook for 30-40 mins in the oven
- To check its ready carefully unwrap the foil and poke the cloves, they should be soft and smelling amazing
- When cooked, allow to cool and remove the cloves, I use the handle end of a teaspoon to scoop them out.
- Mash the roasted garlic with a fork into a paste.
- Soak cashews in enough water to cover for 4 hours or overnight. You can use hot water to speed this up, they just need to be soft enough to blend
- When ready, drain and add with 100ml of fresh water
- Blend until really smooth using a high powered blender
- We are hoping for the consistency of single cream.
For the sauce :
150ml soy milk or almond milk
25g vegan butter
20g plain flour
1 bay leaf
100ml cashew cream
120 ml water or light stock
1/2 tsp salt
- To make the sauce, begin by melting the butter in a wide saucepan on low heat
- When bubbling incorporate the flour gradually whisking whilst you add.
- You now have what’s called a roux, you can start gradually adding the milk once the flour is cooked, when it smells a bit like cookie dough, it's ready.
- Chuck in the bay leaf
- Gradually start adding the milk, still whisking.
- You can turn the heat up slightly here.
- Keep whisking, it should be thickening, add the cashew cream.
- Still whisking add the water/stock and salt
- Finally add the roast garlic, keep whisking!
- Bring to the boil, give it a whisk, it's done.
- Allow to cool.
25g sunflower seeds
1 clove of garlic
A pinch of salt
20g herbs (I used a mix of basil, parsley and rocket)
5 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp lemon
Probably another pinch of salt
- Toast seeds in a dry pan or in the oven on 160 C until golden. For the oven it took about 20 minutes
- In a pestle and mortar smash the garlic and salt into a paste
- Add the seeds and smash them up into a corse crumb
- Shred up the herbs with a knife, gradually add to the pestle and mortar whilst grinding.
- Slowly, whilst grinding, incorporate the oil
- Add the lemon, taste and then probably add a pinch of salt
- If you like your pesto looser add more oil.
50g Kale, stalks removed
1 tsp lemon
- Prepare an ice bath water in a bowl.
- Bring a saucepan to boil with seasoned water and add the kale
- Cook for like 10 seconds and remove with tongs
- Plunge the kale into the ice bath
- Once properly chilled, wrap in kitchen towel and squeeze out the water.
- Add lemon and a pinch of salt.
Pizza assembly and cooking
- Firstly if using the sourdough base, crank up the oven temperature as high as it will go.
- Place a thick baking tray in the oven to heat up, this is your pizza stone.
- Stretch out a base from your dough ball, place on a floured peel.
- With all your ingredients prepared and pizza base good to go, brush the outer crust with olive oil gently being carful not to put pressure on the dough.
- Gently spread the roast garlic sauce on the base using a spoon
- Working from the middle, lay down a little of the kale, as much to your liking
- Again from the middle, lay down a potato slice. Working in circles layer the slices, going round and round until you reach the crust
- Give the peel a little shake to make sure the dough hasn’t stuck, then confidently open the oven door and slide it in. If you mess it up, bake it anyway, you have 3 more tries.
- Bake for 12 minuets
- Remove from the oven and spoon on some pesto
- Season with a little flaked sea salt and some chilli flakes
- Slice it up and enjoy.
Tartine Bread by Chad Robinson
Instagram accounts with sourdough tutorials :
In the past Manuel past been involved with several vegetarian and vegan eateries, working for Milgi, Riverside sourdough and collaborating with Herbivore for supper clubs and events. He is currently just cooking at home, purely for the joy of it, and steadily working on new food ventures for the future. Follow him on Instagram @cashmanners