Monday, 1 December 2014

The perfectly preposterous practice of putting potatoes on pizza which is actually pretty tasty

Ever since I got my new vegan pizza cookbook by Julie Hasson I have endeavoured to make us pizza every Saturday night. This has been no hardship, let me tell you.

I decided to give her easy to make yeast crust a try after years of avoiding making yeasty bread products. Ever since I gave up eating wheat a few years ago because it caused me terrible tummy pain and bloating I have managed very well on a diet of some gluten free products and some lower in gluten bread products like rye and barley in moderation. The new cookbook had a recipe for spelt pizza crust so I thought I would give a whirl. Spelt is an ancient grain that is similar to wheat but hasn’t been GM’d to death to increase the gluten like modern wheat. Previously, I used quite a lot of spelt flour when I was deleting wheat but fell out of the habit of it when I learned to bake gluten free.

I had not had much success with yeast and gluten free. You need some amount of gluten (no matter how little) to help it rise. Gluten free yeast baking involves watching your bread rise a millimetre after 4 hours of sitting in a warm spot only to have it fall in the oven and come out rock hard. So I quit baking with yeast. But spelt was different. Considerably less gluten than wheat but enough to rise and do its thing.

I did not get any photos of the dough rising, but let me just say it did and all who saw it were amazed. Well, I was amazed. Spiderman occasionally glanced over and went “Um hum.” Did   I  also mention that you can freeze pizza dough for up to a month? 3 cups of flour makes enough for 2 pizzas so when the rise is done you just half the dough, wrap it in cling film and pop it into a ziplock bag with room for expansion and freeze. Then the next time you want pizza just defrost overnight. I was amazed that it expanded in the fridge on the defrost. Easy peasy, right?

I used wholemeal spelt flour for my two favourite reasons:

1) Wholemeal is better for you.

2) A 1kg bag of wholemeal spelt costs £2.05 at Tesco whereas a 1kg bag of white spelt at the health food shop costs anywhere between £3.50 and £3.75 depending on the shop. That settled it. Cheap and healthy it is.

Last week I made the pizza with a smoky cheesy cream sauce (made from cashews, vegan pixie dust a.k.a. nutritional yeast and liquid smoke) and thinly sliced white potatoes and mushrooms.


It did not disappoint. The sauce made two cups so I used some on this pizza, froze some for a future pizza and used the rest as a sauce over mushrooms and pasta the following day. Yum.

Then Friday I defrosted the white sauce and the crust in the fridge overnight and we had the pizza with smoky cream sauce, kale and thinly sliced sweet potato.

Again, this did not disappoint.

Up close and personal:

Because you cook these pizzas in a super hot oven (250C/500F) they cook in 10-15 minutes. I love to sit on the floor and watch it through the oven door as the dough actually rises before your eyes in the oven like some sort of time lapse photography on a nature programme and the sauce bubbles away.


The trick with these potato pizzas is to slice the raw potato as thin as you can so it will cook. Paper thin. Wafer thin (if you are Mister Creosote). Mine were not quite that thin but as thin as you can get it. Then toss the potatoes slices in a bit of oil and they get all tender and crispy around the edges and delicious.

Now that I know how easy it is I suspect we will have pizza more often, especially if the dough is already made. I am planning on maybe doing a double batch of dough so that I have a months worth of pizza ready and waiting in the freezer. Because honestly, with the dough already made, I got the dough rolled out and toppings on the pizza by the time the oven preheated and then 12 minutes in the oven and POW. Dinner on the table.

Anyone fancy coming over for dinner?



  1. yummy looking indeed. I would love to be your guest, but then you'd have to cook 2 at a time, as I would eat quite a lot! bwahahahaha