16 February 2011

Pizza Bianco

Think of pizza and the mind conjures up a circle of red and cream. Surprise your mind with this suitable autumnal take on the pizza. And, by the way, properly made fresh pizza is not an unhealthy dish at all, being high in complex carbohydrates and, baked in the oven, low in fat. To make a largish one or two smaller ones, mix together in a big bowl 10oz (250g) strong white bread flour with 2oz (50g) fine polenta or semolina plus a big pinch of salt. Use easy blend yeast for simplicity - you will need a sachet or two tsps, mix it in to the dry mixture thoroughly. Stir in enough warm water to make a soft dough, with a splash of olive oil to help unstick the dough from the sides of the bowl. Tip out onto a floured surface and knead for a few minutes until it looks smooth and bouncy. I don’t have an airing cupboard, so I balance the bowl on one of the children’s teddy hot water bottles, draped in a cloth. Let it double in size. Knock it back, and let it rise again (optional but desirable). While it is rising, cook sliced onions in olive oil in a non stick pan until soft but not brown. Add either thin slices of raw, scraped new potato or waxy potato, or slices of steamed left over potato. Add also lots of finely chopped garlic and fresh thyme leaves. Cook all together until potato slices are hot or cooked through. Keep heat low. Season with salt, pepper and a tiny bit of nutmeg. Preheat the oven to 220C’Gas 7. Grease and flour baking sheet or sheets. Roll out however you wish - small ones for parties, one big oblong one, or two round ones. Allow to rise again for 10 or so minutes at room temperature, then arrange pan contents on top. Cut up firm, derinded goats cheese and scatter over the top. Add more thyme, pepper, olive oil etc, if you like. Bake for 20 minutes or more, until the whole thing has taken colour and the dough is firm.
Serve with a bright green salad dressed with salt, pepper, olive oil and lemon juice.

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