Homemade pizza dough is something I typically shy away from, simply because it’s so much easier to bypass the finicky process of dough making and just pick some up from the local pizza shop. There’s a great little Italian place near my apartment that has excellent dough made fresh daily, so it’s just that much more enticing. That being said, this past weekend I had a stroke of DIY ambition and decided to take on the challenge of making it from scratch.
Pizza dough isn’t fancy but it does require patience. Normally, I’m all about finding shortcuts in recipes, but when making dough from scratch you’ll end up with a dry, hardened mess if you skip steps. It takes 2-3 hours for the dough to rise, so kick back, pour yourself a glass of wine (or two) and unwind from your day. There’s no rush here.
I don’t have a stand mixer so I kneaded the dough by hand, which made me feel like one of those Italian nonnas that knows all her recipes by heart. Besides being delicious, there’s something incredibly satisfying about making something from scratch. If you haven’t tried before, I strongly recommend you do. When that perfectly golden crust comes out of the oven, you’ll know exactly what I mean.
The original recipe called for Broccoli rabe and Yukon gold potatoes, but I chose to substitute for broccolini (because I like the crunch) and purple potatoes (because I like the color). Feel free to modify/swap/enhance as you see fit.
Broccolini and Purple Potato Pizza
Adapted from Food52
teaspoons dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water
3- ¾ cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cups cold water
1/4 cup olive oil
large purple potato, cut into 8” slices
Extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 pound broccolini, cut into bite size pieces
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 large garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced into ¼” pieces
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves
1/2 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese
½ tbs. rosemary sprigs, roughly chopped
To make the pizza dough, stir the yeast and lukewarm water together in a bowl. Add a ½ cup flour, mix well and let sit until bubbles form on the top of the mixture, about 30 minutes.
Add the rest of the flour and 1 teaspoon of salt in another bowl and add it to your bowl with the flour and water. Add the olive oil and mix well to form a ball. This should be scraggly looking with pieces falling off the sides. Place the ball on a floured surfaced and knead for 5-10 minutes. The ball will harden and become smoother.
Place the ball in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a kitchen towel. Let the dough rise until double in size, about 1-2 hours. Punch down and let it rise again, about 45 minutes. Let it rest for 20 minutes before stretching. The dough can be divided into two, each making a 10” pizza.
When stretching out your pizza, either place the dough on a surface and knead into a circular shape or place the it above two fists and let the dough stretch itself out.
To make the toppings, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly coat the potatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper and bake for 20-25 minutes. The edges should appear crispy. When finished, increase the temperature to 475 degrees.
Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, red pepper and then the broccolini and sauté for 10 minutes.
To assemble the pizza, place your pizza dough on a baking sheet or pizza stone and lightly brush it with olive oil and the crushed garlic. Layer the mozzarella slices about 2″ apart over the crust, then add the potatoes and broccolini. Finish with a light dusting of the grated Parmesan cheese.
Bake on the lowest rack in the oven for 15-20 minutes. When crust is golden brown and cheese is oozing, remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle two pinches of the rosemary over the top.