An Irish-inspired pizza featuring potatoes, leeks, and Irish cheddar.
Makes 2 pizzas.
From Bridget Edwards of Bake at 350.
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- FOR THE DOUGH:
- 3 1/2 c. Unbleached All-purpose Flour
- 1/2 c. Instant Mashed Potatoes
- 2 tbsp. Softened Irish (or European) Butter
- 2 1/4 tsp. Instant Yeast
- 2 tsp. Kosher Salt
- 1 tsp. Sugar
- 1 1/2 c. Warm Water
- Olive Oil, As Needed
- FOR THE TOPPINGS:
- 6 Medium Yukon Gold Potatoes
- 8 slices Bacon, Cut Into Pieces
- 3 Leeks, Sliced
- 2 cloves Garlic, Minced
- Kosher Salt And Freshly Ground Pepper
- 2 c. Grated Irish Cheddar Cheese
- Cornmeal, As Needed
- 1/4 c. Snipped Chives, For Garnish
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine all-purpose flour, potato flakes, softened butter, yeast, salt, sugar and water. Mix until combined. Switch to a dough hook attachment and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes. Dough maybe be kneaded by hand until smooth, 5–10 minutes. Place dough in a bowl and cover with an olive-oil-covered piece of plastic wrap. Let dough rise for about 1 hour.
Place a pizza steel or pizza stone on an oven rack on the lowest setting in the oven. Preheat oven to 500ºF.
Meanwhile, peel potatoes. Use a mandoline or a sharp knife to slice the potatoes very thinly, about 1/16 inch thick. Place slices in a bowl of warm, salted water. Set aside.
Place sliced leeks in another bowl of water. Swish to dislodge any dirt or grit and let it fall to the bottom of the bowl. Remove leeks and dry well.
Cook bacon pieces in a pan until crispy. Remove from pan and blot on paper towels. Discard all but 2 tablespoons bacon grease. Add washed and dried leek slices to pan and sauté until soft, seasoning with a few pinches of salt and pepper. Add minced garlic and cook about 1 minute more. Remove from pan.
Once dough has risen, turn out onto a floured surface. Cover with oiled plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes.
Remove potato slices from water and dry well.
Liberally coat a pizza peel with cornmeal. Stretch one dough half into a crust to cover the peel. Top with half of the cheese, then layer on half of the potato slices in a single layer, or just barely overlapping. Top with half of the leek mixture, then bacon.
Slide pizza onto heated pizza steel or stone and bake for about 10 minutes, or until golden. Use pizza peel to remove from oven onto a cutting board. Sprinkle on half of the snipped chives.
Let pizza rest for 5 minutes before slicing. Meanwhile, re-coat pizza peel with more cornmeal and repeat for second pizza.
Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.
Talking about Irish flavors and an Irish fusion recipe brings back all sorts of childhood memories for me. No, I’m not from Ireland, but I grew up in a family very proud of its Irish heritage. I’d be willing to bet there was some sort of shamrock décor or nod to Ireland in every room of our house. There was frequently Irish music playing on our stereo. On St. Patrick’s Day each year, my sister and I would wake up to find one small green gift for each of us. One year when I was a teenager, it was a green bikini!
My parents and I visited Ireland a little over 20 years ago. Mind you, this was back in the day when people didn’t take pictures of every meal they were served, so most of my food memories of Ireland involve brown bread, thick toast with butter, tea with sugar, and beer. My fondest memories of Ireland don’t necessarily involve food (which is unusual for me), but vibrant green grass everywhere, the crashing sea, the wind, the beer (did I say that already?), pretty lace curtains, live music in the pubs, and the friendliest people, all of whom looked as though they might be a distant relative.
I say that to say this: my take on Irish cuisine might not be totally authentic, but it comes from a place of great love.
As I said earlier, I remember a lot of toast and bread in Ireland. This is a little bit of the chicken and the egg quandary—which came first: the hearty breads, or the incredible Irish dairy products? Cows are happy in Ireland, and you’ll taste that happiness in Irish butter and cheeses. Oh my. Have your bread ready for slathering.
Leeks, chives, and onions. I have a few Irish cookbooks, of course, and while you won’t find copious amounts of red pepper or cilantro, you will find dishes getting lots of flavor from alliums, such as leeks, onions, and chives.
Potatoes. I don’t think we can talk about Irish food without potatoes.
There are many more staples and flavors of Irish cuisine, seafood being just one example, but these are the ones we’ll focus on today as we make our Irish-inspired pizza! Yes, pizza!
This pizza features a double-dose of potato, both as a topping and in the crust. No sauce here. Instead, the crust is topped with a big handful or two of Irish cheddar. Topping the pizza are thin slices of potato, along with leeks and garlic that have been sautéed in bacon grease, crunchy bits of bacon, and snips of chives.
You’ll start by making the crust. The secret ingredients? Mashed potato flakes and Irish butter!
Mix the dough together and knead until it’s smooth. Then, let it rise.
Meanwhile, you’ll slice the potatoes extra thin and place in a bowl of salted water to soften.
The leeks go into another bowl. Slice and fill the bowl with water. Swish the leeks around, letting any dirt fall to the bottom of the bowl.
Cook the bacon, remove from the pan, then sauté the leeks and garlic in the bacon grease. Mmmm, bacon. Set aside.
Don’t forget the Irish cheddar! Grate it and set aside for topping the pizza. Go ahead and grate some extra. There’s no resisting it while you work.
Once the dough has risen, you’ll divide it in two to make two crusts. Let it rest again and you’re ready to assemble and cook.
This recipe makes TWO pizzas, which is perfect for either entertaining or leftovers. We can’t decide if we like this pizza best hot from the oven or at room temperature, so having two lets us have it both ways!
Be sure to serve with an Irish beer.