Baked Potato Pizza

Baked potatoes and pizza – together at last to create the world’s most perfect food.  This is seriously my new favorite food.  I based this on a recipe by David Lebovitz that can be found here.  I had been developing a pretty big food crush on this guy, and after eating this pizza, that food crush has turned into an all out love affair.  It’s so good and so very simple.  He does a beautiful step-by-step of how to make the pizza.  It’s a no-knead dough so just stir it together in the morning and ignore it all day.  It takes a long to make this dough as to pour some milk over cereal, so no excuses in the morning.  I looked at some other very similar recipes and they said the dough could sit for up to 24 hours, so if you forget in the morning, it should be possible to make the dough in the evening for dinner the following day.  If the dough looks like it has risen too much by the next morning, just punch it down and let it rise a second time.  The genius, though, is the cooking method.  I don’t have a pizza stone, but I do have a variety of cast iron pans.  The method D.L. suggested was to heat the pans until they’re screaming hot, put the dough on the back of the pans, and then put them under the broiler for a minute or two.  It works and it cooks pizza dough in under 3 minutes.  Seriously – three minutes from dough to pizza.  You can’t get better than that.  I did have to do some experimenting.  I found that in my oven it was better to move the pizza down a level and cook one minute longer, but that will vary in each oven.  I am sold on the cast iron pizza now and intend to break this out at every possible moment.

As for the toppings, that’s where the baked potatoes come into play.  Per the suggestion, I did potatoes from my box sliced thin and drizzled with olive oil and thyme – bake for 15 minutes or so.  And I caramelized an onion from the vast stockpile of CSA onions I’ve acquired and tossed that on the pizzas as well.  Where I branched out, though, was on the other toppings.  I skipped the blue cheese and opted for a combo of mozzarella and Monterey jack.  Then there was the bacon.  About a strip of crispy bacon crumbled over each pizza.  Some were baked with the toppings over the cheese, some were baked with the cheese on top.  Cheese on top seemed to go better.  Top the pizzas with bacon, potatoes, onions, and cheese and broil for about 1-2 minutes or until they are hot and bubbly.  Biting into the pizza, all the flavors combine to taste like a loaded baked potato.  Really yummy comfort food on every level, and so fast to make!

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