On Friday evenings in Villa Eddarella, Carla teaches out guests how to make this country style pizza, we have a pizza party and dance all night in the cabana under the tuscan stars.
Boil the potatoes and let cool. Peel them and mash them.
Pour half of the flour in a large bowl.
Add the mashed potatoes.
Take a small bowl and pour some warm water in it (about 1 cup). The water is supposed to be very warm but not uncomfortable to the touch.
Using your hand break the yeast in the water. Melt it completely.
Gradually add the yeast and water mixture to the flour, mixing with one hand in a circular motion
Add more flour and then more yeast. Leave about ½ cup of flour on the side.
When all the yeast is gone add the salt and the olive oil. Make sure the dough is not too wet or too dry. (try to remember the appearance of the dough in your class). If it’s too wet, add a little more of flour. If it’s too dry add some lukewarm milk and water or just more water.
Now take a little bit of the flour you had left on the side and sprinkle a wooden surface. Take the dough from the bowl and start working it.
When it is nice and smooth, place it in the same bowl you used (sprinkle the bottom with flour). Cover it with saran wrap and one or two blankets. Place it on a surface to rest for about 1 hour
Cut the mozzarella cheese
Open a couple of cans of a good quality tomato sauce or chopped tomatoes, season with salt, pepper, basil and garlic (or oregano if you prefer)
Sauté’ your mushrooms with olive oil, garlic salt and pepper
Sauté’ the onions with olive oil salt and pepper
After about 1 hour check the dough. If it has risen all the way to the top of the bowl and it looks like it’s about to spill over and if it’s warm to the touch, it’s ready. If not, let it rest a little more. If it’s not rising, you can try to put the large pot of boiling water on the stove and place the bowl near it. Turn the bowl with the dough around often so that the warmth is even. The heat of the boiling water near the dough should help.
Take cookie sheets that are about 1 inch deep, spread some olive oil in it.
Take the dough from the bowl and start stretching it on to the cookie sheet. Make the crust thinner than what you would like because by the time you are ready to put the sauce the dough will have risen again.
Preheat the oven at 500F. The perfect temperature for pizza is actually 800 F. Since American ovens don’t get that high, start at 500.
When all the cookie sheets have the dough in it, start spreading the sauce, or the toppings. Remember if it’s white pizza (with just veggies or just sugar) you need to sprinkle some olive oil before adding the veggies or the sugar otherwise the dough will be dry
When the oven reaches 500 F place one cookie sheet in the middle. (Don’t try to cook too many at the same time). After a few minutes (you need to stand by the oven and check), lift the dough with a spatula and if it’s golden, change the oven to broil. This will allow the top of the pizza to cook since the bottom is done but the top is still uncooked. Stand by the oven. Don’t get distracted. Broil is very quick and it could burn
When the top is cooked, remove from the oven, place the mozzarella and return to the oven but not broil. Just set the oven to 400. You just want to melt the cheese.
Remove when melted. Cut with scissors and serve immediately. If you put a lot of cheese you may want to wait 5 minutes before cutting. Now start cooking the other pizza in the same way. If it’s a white pizza and no mozzarella cheese needs to be added, simply skip the last process of broil.