Growing up, every Saturday night we would have pizza. And not take-out or frozen, but made-from-scratch-in-the-kitchen pizza. My mom would make the dough in the afternoon, put together the pizza and bake it while we watched the Bugs Bunny and Tweety Show. At 6, when the show ended, the pizza would be fresh out of the oven, ready to burn the skin off the top of my mouth (which happened every week, without fail).
I sort of kept the tradition going while in university, making monstrously large pizzas with my roommates and friends. We would pile on whatever toppings we had in the fridge (pineapple! peppers! pickles!) and then bake it to share.
Once I got married, I stopped making it so religiously. It was nice to eat curry or barbecue or pasta even on Saturdays! And because you typically have to remain home in order to let the dough rise, it is not conducive to running errands / having fun. But every once in a while, I like to pull out the recipe and we enjoy it every time.
As part of experimenting with pizzas over the years, I have a variety of recipes, other than the traditional tomato sauce, cheese, veggie / meat combination. One of my favourites is a potato pizza. The only veggies it has are potatoes and green onions, so it’s not high on the health-meter, but is super high on the delicious-meter. The sauce is French onion dip (I suggest getting a good quality one), on top of which you place thinly sliced potatoes. Then you cover it with cheddar cheese and finish it with bacon bits and sliced green onions (or chives, if that’s what you have). The result is a soft and flavourful combination! I suggest you try it this Saturday night.
The recipe below makes enough dough for two pizzas. Apparently, you can refrigerate dough, but I prefer to make all the pizza and then have leftovers for lunches or Sunday afternoons. If you, like me, have a conventional oven, you can still bake both at the same time – if you put the pizzas on separate racks, just switch them halfway through baking.
Pizza Dough (for two pizzas)
In a large bowl, combine
1 1/3 cup hot tap water
pinch of white sugar
2 tsp yeast (or one package)
Let sit for 10 minutes or until the yeast has bubbled up a lot.
Then add and mix:
1/4 cup oil
2 cups flour (all purpose or half all purpose, half whole wheat)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 Tbsp dried herbs (any of your favourites – this is what makes this dough amazing!)
Gradually add up to 1 3/4 cup more flour and knead until a soft ball of dough forms.
Place in a covered bowl and let rise for an hour or until double.
Potato Pizza* (makes one pizza)
While you’re waiting for the dough to rise, fry
5 slices of bacon
Then break into small pieces and cool until ready to use.
Spread on the prepared dough:
half a container of French onion dip
Thinly slice and place on top of the dip:
1 or 2 white or yellow potatoes.
(I like to put mine around in concentric circles, but as long as the pizza is pretty covered in potatoes, it doesn’t really matter.)
Grate as much cheddar cheese as you want and sprinkle on top.
Slice and sprinkle on top:
2 green onions
Bake the pizza for 25 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and the crust is looking a little browned.
Cut into slices and dig in!
*Note: you can use store bought pizza dough to make this. I would not suggest premade crusts because the cooking time is not long enough to cook the potatoes, unless you roast them a bit before putting them on.