A fresh, summery pizza with fingerling potatoes. The golden, delicious crust is the star, and it is topped with creamy, roasted fingerling potatoes, fresh cherry tomatoes and a delicate parsley pesto. Vegan and soy-free.
I won’t beat about the bush today because, guys, this pizza with fingerling potatoes. It’s the ultimate. And you need to know about it, like, NOW.
I can’t take all the credit for it because the star of this pizza is it’s really gorgeous crust. It’s golden and thin and crispy and chewy around the edges. And it’s so flavorful, you might want to eat it on its own. I’ve made many crusts over the year, but I have to say, this one beats them all. And it’s not really about the ingredients because the ingredients are no different than any other pizza crust recipe: it’s the technique that makes it a winner.
I found the recipe for this crust in Chris Bianco’s new book, Bianco. It’s not yet out, but a friend got an advance copy and shared it with lucky me. Bianco, if you don’t already know, is the owner of Pizza Bianco in Phoenix, Arizona, and is known by many different titles — the most revered pizza maker in the United States, the superstar of pizza, the best pizzaiolo in the country. One thing is for sure: this man knows his pziza.
The recipe for this unparalleled pizza crust is already out there for the world to see, thanks to the Martha Stewart website, but I have to say that the book itself is mesmerizing: I haven’t seen food writing so evocative in ages. It’s always a delicious experience to read the words of someone who really knows and loves food, and this book gives a window into the heart and technique of a master at his art. The takeaway is this: cooking is really not about following a recipe, it’s about using a recipe as a guideline to do with it what your imagination and expertise will let you.
I followed Bianco’s crust recipe to a tee, but I did unleash my imagination with the toppings, while still not going overboard. I wanted this crust to be the star. So I popped on some roasted fingerling potatoes, a fresh, green, cheesy pesto of parsley and cashew nuts, and a ton of cherry tomatoes. They were perfect with this incredible crust.
For those of you with kids, my boy couldn’t have enough of it. Neither could Desi, who tends to lean indifferent when it comes to pizza (really, what’s wrong with him?)
Hope everyone’s had a great start to Mother’s Day. If you make this recipe for the perfect Pizza with Fingerling Potatoes, please leave a review and rating below with your feedback, and if you post it on Instagram, be sure to include #holycowvegan.
Ciao! And Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there.
- 2 1/4 tsp (1 packet) active dry yeast
- 2 cups warm water
- 5 to 5 1/2 cups bread flour
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 20-30 fingerling potatoes, halved lengthwise
- 1 tsp olive oil
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 20-30 cherry tomatoes, halved
- A few leaves of parsley
Place the yeast and the warm water in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Let the yeast "flower" so you know it's alive.
Add three cups of the flour and mix gently until everything is combined. Add two more cups and salt knead gently until you have a slightly tacky but not very sticky dough. If needed, add the extra half cup of flour. I didn't need it. Bianco does the kneading by hand, but I did it in my stand mixer. If you use a stand mixer, mix on your lowest speed setting.
After the dough comes together, remove it to a floured surface and knead it by hand. To do this, slap the dough down and stretch the dough in opposite directions with both hands and then fold over. Do this approximately 15 times. Use a dough scraper to make it easier to gather the dough.
Finish by kneading by hand for about 10 minutes until you have a smooth ball of dough.
Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat the top with oil. Cover with cling wrap and place in a warm spot to double, about two hours.
After the dough has risen, remove it to a floured surface and divide it into four equal pieces. Shape each into a ball and cover lightly with flour. Cover with a kitchen towel and let the balls stand for another hour. I found that this makes it really easy to handle the pizza dough, and develops lots of flavor.
About an hour before making your pizza, heat your oven to the highest setting -- it's 500 degrees F in my oven. Place a pizza stone or unglazed ceramic tiles in the middle rack, if you have them.
While the oven is heating and the pizza dough is resting, make the fingerling potatoes. Toss the potatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper in a bowl, and spread in a single layer on a baking sheet, cut side down. Your oven is already heating, so use it to roast the potatoes. Put them in for 15 minutes and remove when fork-tender and golden.
Make the pesto by placing all the ingredients in a food processor and processing into a coarse paste. It will seem a little dryer than pesto because we aren't using much olive oil, but that's okay.
Before you start shaping your pizza, wrap two of the balls of dough in cling wrap and place them in ziploc bags and refrigerate for another day.
Shape the remaining two balls of pizza dough into round or rectangular pizzas using your hands. Here's how Bianco describes it, and I tried to follow directions pretty closely: Holding top edge of 1 dough ball in both hands, let bottom edge touch work surface. Carefully move hands around edge to form a circle, as if turning a wheel. Hold dough on back of your hand, letting its weight stretch it into a 12-inch round.
I baked my pizza on a baking sheet. Place the shaped crust on the sheet and add the toppings. I smear on half the pesto on each pizza, then lightly press in the fingerlings. Bake in the hot oven for 10 minutes or until crisp and golden. If you have a pizza peel, you could bake directly on the pizza stone.
Remove the pizza from the oven and add the cherry tomatoes and parsley. Slice and serve hot.
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