Deep Dish Pizza
1 medium baking potato (about 9 ounces), peeled and quartered
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 3/4 teaspoons table salt
tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and whatever toppings you desire
1. Heat 1 quart of water to boiling. Add the potato, and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until tender.
When potato is cool, grate on the large holes of a box grater. Measure 1 cup of lightly packed potato(save any extra for another purpose).
2. Combine 3 cups of flour, yeast, and salt in a mixer bowl. Add warm water and two tablespoons oil(the other four tablespoons are for oiling the pans), and beat for 1 minute. Add grated potato, and beat for another 2-3 minutes. Add enough remaining flour to make a manageable dough.
Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 2-3 minutes, or until smooth and elastic, adding more flour as necessary to keep the dough from sticking. Place dough in a bowl, cover with a wet tea towel, and let rise in a warm place for one hour.
3. Pour two tablespoon of oil into each of two round 9 inch cake pans. Tilt the pans to ensure even oil coverage.
Punch dough down and divide in half. Press each half into a 9 inch round, and gently place into the oiled pans. Cook’s says to let the dough rest for 10 minutes and then pat the dough up the sides of the pan. I have never been able to do this successfully(the oil makes the dough slide right back down!), but the pizzas have been fine.
4. Cover the dough with a wet tea towel, and let it rise for 30 minutes, or until soft and puffy. Meanwhile, place a pizza stone on the lower rack of the oven and heat the oven to 425 degrees. If you don’t have a pizza stone, you can instead place a rimless baking sheet on the lower rack of the oven.
5. When the crusts have risen, poke them all over with a fork, and place them in the oven on top of the pizza stone or inverted baking sheet, and bake for 5-10 minutes(I usually do 10 minutes), or until lightly browned. This will help the dough to develop some structure so that the toppings won’t make it fall and go flat.
6. Take the pizzas out of the oven and add tomato sauce, cheese, and desired toppings. Bake on pizza stone or baking sheet for another 10-15 minutes or until cheese melts. I sometimes move the pizza stone to the middle rack of the oven for this, because I have problems with my crust getting too brown if I leave it near the bottom of the oven(my oven tends to be hotter at the bottom than at the top).
7. Move the pizzas to the top rack of the oven and bake for 5 minutes, or until cheese turns spotty brown. Use a knife to loosen the pizzas from the pans, and turn out onto a cutting board. Cut into wedges and serve.