Herbed potato and pancetta pizza

  • Preparation Time30 mins
  • Cooking Time25 mins
  • DifficultyMedium

For the pizza dough

125ml warm water (about 40C), divided
3/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 1/2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing the bowl
175g to 210g strong flour
1 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp salt
Polenta, as needed

For the potato and pancetta topping

6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
5g roughly chopped fresh rosemary
4g roughly chopped fresh thyme
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 tsp salt
5 cloves garlic, very thinly sliced
2 medium waxy-style potatoes (about 350g), peeled and sliced wafer thin on a mandolin
Freshly ground black pepper
85g pancetta, roughly chopped
50g ricotta
White truffle oil, as needed (optional)
Equipment: pizza peel and stone

To make the dough:
1) In a small bowl mix 2 tbsp of the water with the yeast, and set aside until foamy, about 10 minutes. Stir in the remaining water and the olive oil.

2) In a large bowl, whisk together 175g of the flour, sugar, and salt. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the yeast mixture. Using a wooden spoon or by hand, stir small amounts of the flour into the liquid, mixing until a rough shaggy dough is formed.

3) Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. (If the dough is very wet, add enough flour to prevent the dough from sticking.) Form the dough into a ball.

4) Brush a medium bowl with oil, then rotate the dough in the bowl to coat it. Set the dough seam-side down in the bowl, and cover tightly with clingfilm. Set it aside at room temperature, until the dough has doubled in size, about 1 1/2 to 2 hrs.

5) Place a rack in the center of the oven. Place a pizza stone on a rack and preheat the oven to 230C/Gas 8.

6) Using your hands, punch down the dough. Using a floured rolling pin, flatten the dough into a disc and carefully stretch or roll it into a 30 to 35cm round about 0.25cm thick. Slide the round of dough onto a pizza peel dusted generously with cornmeal. Cover with a towel and let rest for 20 minutes.

To make the potato and pancetta topping:
1) Combine the oil, rosemary, thyme, crushed pepper, salt, and garlic in a large skillet. Place the skillet over medium heat and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the potatoes, and cook, stirring, until somewhat soft, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and season with pepper, to taste. Strain the potatoes in a sieve over a bowl. Brush the top of the pizza round with some of the strained oil. Using a fork, pull the potato slices apart as best you can, and cover the dough with them in an overlapping pattern, leaving a 1cm border around the edges. Spread the pancetta over the potato mixture and spoon dollops of ricotta over the top. Slide the pizza dough off the peel onto the stone and bake until the cheese is hot and bubbly and the bottom of the crust is crisp, about 15 minutes.

2) Transfer the pizza to a serving platter and drizzle with truffle oil, if using; season with pepper, to taste. Cut the pizza into wedges and serve.

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