Potato Topped Pizza and a Walk Up the Mountain

If, like me, you don’t fear the carbs (although realy I should), this is a tasty and economical pizza to feed a crowd. And then you take the crowd out for a walk to burn off the carbs!

Potato & Spring Onion Pizza (1)

Ingredients

  • One Quanity of Pizza Dough
  • About 2 cups of chopped tomatoes or your favourite pasta sauce
  • 1 large potato, boiled in its skin then peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 ball of mozzarella, chopped into bite sized chunks
  • 1 clove of crushed garlic
  • Half a cup of grated cheese (I used a mix of parmesan and emmental)
  • 3 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tin anchovies in olive oil (optional) omit for a vegetarian version

Turn the oven onto the highest setting while you prepare the pizza.  Put the tin or tray you will be using into the oven to heat up

Roll out your dough to fit the tin and place it on some greaseproof or baking paper. Cover with the tomato sauce. Mix the potato, cheeses, spring onion and garlic together in a bowl and spread this mixture over the pizza. Lay the anchovies over the top and pour over any oil from the tin.

Slide the pizza onto the hot tray (with or without the baking paper) and bake for about 12-15 minutes until the cheese starts to brown and the pizza is crispy.

Hope you enjoy the walk, click on the photos to see them in more detail.

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Sourdough Pizza Base

I confess, I have been gripped by sourdough fever, and am now searching the internet for ways to use my starter.

A logical place for me to veer off to was a pizza base. We do enjoy homemade pizza here Up the Mountain on a fairly regular basis, and toppings usually involve a fridge clear out with half the pizza (I always make a big rectangular one, the same size as my oven tray) topped with meat and the other half vegetables. You all know I’m not a veggie, but one of my little quirks is that I’m not crazy about meat or fish on my pizza. So there!

When are the other 8 guests arriving?!
When are the other 8 guests arriving?!

Ingredients (dough)

  • 1 ½ cups of starter
  • 1 ½ cups of plain flour
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of salt

Mix all ingredients together and knead for a few minutes (I used my mixer with the dough hook). No need to leave to rise but if you don’t want to use it immediately, put into an oiled bowl and cover with oiled cling film. When you are ready to make the pizza, knock back the dough and roll out as thinly or thickly as you like.

This amount would make 2 large pizzas, I think I could have made less (using a cup each of flour and starter) as my pizza was thicker than I normally make it. Instead of being sensible (and healthy) and using less of the dough, I just left it more thickly rolled out than usual and made it fit my oven tray (heated) before spreading with home made tomato sauce, peppers and mushrooms on one side and jamon on the other and sprinkling with cheese before backing for about 25 minutes in a very hot oven.

Garden Vegetable Pizza with Blue Cheese

The vegetable garden is now delivering well and we are trying to make the most of it before we have to walk away from it for at least a month. We´re both really sad about this, and I don´t imagine I´ll get too much bottled or frozen this year.

However, some lovely neighbours will be coming in and keeping an eye on things and looking after our chickies. They don´t have a veggie patch of their own, so they are going to enjoy what we´ve planted, so we´re very happy that it won´t go to waste.

In the meantime though, we´re enjoying what we have and last night we enjoyed a pizza with a difference. No tomato sauce!

It´s a sort of Pizza Bianca, in that it´s white, with some lovely fresh vegetables and herbs from the garden – red onion, courgette and rosemary.  I seem finally to have cracked making a thinner, crispier dough, so if you fancy a change, give this one a go. It serves two hungry people or 3-4 regular folk if you have a salad with it.

For the dough

  • 250g strong white flour
  • 1 teaspoon of easy blend yeast
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 125ml of water

For the topping

  • 125g cream cheese blended with 3 tablespoons of milk to make a thick paste
  • 75g blue cheese (I used gorgonzola) crumbled or chopped
  • 1 medium red onion halved and finely sliced
  • Half a large courgette very thinly sliced
  • About 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary (pull the leaves from the centre stems)
  • Freshly ground black pepper

To make the dough mix all the ingredients together either in a bread maker or by hand and knead for about 10 minutes then set aside to rest for about 45 minutes. Roll out thinly and place onto a sheet of greaseproof paper placed on a baking tray or flat board. Leave for about 30 minutes.

When you are ready to make the pizza, turn the oven to high and leave to warm for at least 10 minutes and make sure you place the baking tray you will use for the pizza (not the one it´s sitting on right now) in there to heat up. If you have a pizza stone, all the better!

Spread the cream cheese over the dough, then add the courgettes and onions and sprinkle over the blue cheese and rosemary. Finish with a good grind of black pepper and then remove the hot baking tray from the oven.

Slide the pizza (you can leave it on the greaseproof paper) onto the hot baking tray and pop it back into the oven for about 10 minutes or until the dough is starting to brown.

Cut yourself a big slice of pizza and enjoy…

PS. If you fancy a thicker based pizza, take a look at this recipe.

Up The Mountain Pizza Dough

Definitely not thin and crispy, but still delicious!

I adore pizza, and I drool with the memory of childhood pizzas in Rome with my family.  All thin and crispy, not too much topping and hot from the wood burning oven.  I make pizza up my mountain, but for some reason I can never get the dough to stay thin and crispy.  It just wants to keep on rising, no matter how much I knock it back!  Some people have suggested that the combination of heat and altitude are probably affecting the yeast, I think they´re right.

It does mean that I generally don´t have problems getting my bread dough to rise beautifully though.  I have learned to accept that unless I go back to Rome, I will have to wait for the perfect pizza, but in the meantime enjoy my puffier, slightly saucier ones!

For the dough I use my bread maker to knead, but it can also be done by hand by mixing the dry ingredients together then adding the oil and finally gradually adding the water until the dough gets to the right consistency.  Knead for 10 minutes, knock it back then cover in cling film and leave in the fridge until needed.

Ingredients (in this order) for the bread maker

  • 280ml water
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3 cups of strong flour
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 packet of easy blend yeast

When I´m ready to make the pizza, I heat the oven and a large, wide baking tray at maximum temperature. Then I get my toppings ready to use.

I usually roll the rough into one large rectangle (the pizza is enough for four) and put it onto my large flexible chopping board which I have floured. This is so that I can slide the pizza, when it has been assembled straight onto the hot baking tray which gives it a nice crispy base – but if you can´t do this, just take the tray out, lay your dough on it and then work as quickly as you can with the toppings.

This weekend we had tomato sauce, white asparagus tips, hard boiled egg, bacon and crumbled mature goats cheese.  Yes, not very “Plan Bikini” I know, but we were off to a fiesta and had a long night of dancing ahead of us to burn off the calories!