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Potato chips on toast

Friday, January 4, 2013

The picture of the Genzano Potato Pizza (right) in Daniel Leader's book, Local Breads, caught my eye. Look at how golden the bread is, with those charred edges and bits on top. It popped off the page and I was prompted into making my own.
Daniel Leader makes the dough for his potato pizza from the recipe for his Genzano Country Bread. I had some leftover pizza dough. The other ingredients for this pizza are potatoes, onions and fresh rosemary. I had new potatoes that were already starting to shrivel; onions, but shallots too; and dried rosemary.
The most interesting thing about Daniel Leader's recipe for me is that he slices the potatoes thinly and suggests using a mandoline for the job – thankfully, a tool I happen to have. I don't know if I could slice anything so thin that you could see through it.
So I put everything together and into the oven it went. And when it came out, well, compare his bread and mine and there's a huge difference, isn't there? It's hard to believe that for the most part, they were made the same way. Oh, how these seductive pictures mislead a person in thinking they can produce goods as beautiful to look at as the ones the experts make.
But I ate the whole thing myself so looks obviously didn't matter.
Use a mandoline to slice the potatoes and layer over the dough
I'm calling this a flat bread though, because it's "spongy", not crisp, which to me is the hallmark of a good pizza. That's my idea of pizza anyway. That's why I can't stand the stuff from chain restaurants. Even with a domestic oven, you can get a good crusty pizza using a cast-iron pan on the stove and the oven grill (broiler).
To make the topping, slice the potatoes very thin. I soaked the slices in water and then dried them on a tea towel before use. I could see the pattern of the tea towel through a slice. Slice some onions or shallots thinly as well. Daniel Leader asks for quarter-inch slices, but I went as thin as I could.
Spread the bread dough into a baking pan. It should be half an inch (1.27cm) thick, but I only had 170g of dough and used a 17cm square tin so it wasn't as thick (however, the dough did rise as it baked). Lightly brush the surface with olive oil.
Layer the potato slices over the dough, overlapping them slightly, and then sprinkle the onions and rosemary over them. A fairy dusting of salt flakes completes the assembly. Bake at 180°C until "the potatoes and onions are tinged brown and the crust is golden".
I really like those thinly-sliced potatoes and next time, I'll put more on. Because they're so thin, the dough won't be weighed down, and the extra slices will still crisp up. It'll be like eating toast with potato chips. Mmmm, carbs...

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