Potato Pizza; Ham Pizza; The rewards of being a Bad Example

Potato Pizza

There is a very popular little cafe in my hometown.

Everyone loves it; raves about the food; composes odes to the pies.Bbb2blogo2bapril2b2008_3

Whenever I visit and we go out to lunch, I know where my mother will want to go.

And my mother knows I’ll suggest some place, any place, else.

It’s not that the food isn’t good; it is.

It’s just not put together carefully.  It’s presented in a slapdash fashion; rather haphazardly, as it were.

If I have a cheeseburger, all the cheese will be on one side.

If my sis and I both have a bowl of chili: hers will have all the meat and mine will have all the beans.

There simply appears to be no care paid to presentation.

After, once again, taking up the challenge from the Bread Baking Babes to wrestle a wet dough into submission… and failing miserably, I would like to humbly apologize for all the unkind words and thoughts I have directed at this small-town cafe.

I now proudly proclaim to the world that I am a convert to the taste over appearance school of cooking… Or at least, the school of baking.
Dough

It seemed simple enough to start:  a pizza.  I’ve made pizzas.

But that phrase “pour the dough into the pan” really should have set the alarm bells off a bit sooner.

Doughpotato

Being the ever-obedient Baking Bitch Babe I poured.

I was meant to “very generously coat” two pans with olive oil first.

Hamdough

I did that.  It occurred to me, too late as it happens, that my idea of ‘very generous’ might differ slightly from the author’s….

Oh well….

As it turns out, I was so generous with the oil that the dough just kept slipping back to the center, regardless of how diligently I tried to coax it to cover the bottom of the pan.

I considered several options:  using duct tape to fasten it to the sides of the pan;  stapling it to the bottom of the pan (no food-grade staples);  putting stones around the edges to weigh it down….

In the end, I decided on the ‘zen’ approach: let it be what it was meant to be, a flowing, free-form pizza.

Potato

Once the dough and I had come to terms with each other’s ‘state of being’ I turned my attention to the topping:  4 lbs of potatoes (and a big onion).

I started piling the potatoes on my little scale.

Surely I had read that wrong.

I DO try to follow the instructions (sort of) but I only had 2 lbs and I couldn’t possibly imagine how I could pile up more on my little free-form pizza.

Ham

Mon mari, being the omnivore that he is, was a little concerned about the potatoes as well.

He was concerned that there didn’t appear to be any room for the meat.

That’s where the other crust comes into the picture…Smart Babes!

A few olives, a bit of Bayonne ham and a sprinkling of cheese  kept him happy.

Potatofin

They both got popped into a hot oven.

Hamfin2

For some reason (could be that ‘very generous’ oil) the ham pizza turned out almost like fried dough, very crispy around the edges and it didn’t raise much in the oven at all.

The potato pizza was very, very good.

But the ham version, with it’s crispy, olive oil fried edges…. Now that rated the DO Award (Digestive Orgasm).

Iesdeux

We finished off the potato version for breakfast – the true test of pizza was passed: It was good cold!

Once again, I have been humbled by the Bread Baking Babes…. But every group needs it’s leader, right?  The star, the one who always gets it right?

And in order for the star to shine someone has to serve as the bad example, the screw-up, the one who, unfailingly gets it wrong.

I have finally found my niche!

I shall be the bad example; pictorial proof of what it’s NOT supposed to look like.

To see what it’s supposed to look like, visit some of the expert Babes.

A Fridge Full of Food (Glenna), Bake My Day (Karen), Cookie Baker Lynn (Lynn), I Like to Cook (Sara), Living on Bread and Water (Monique), Lucullian Delights (Ilva), My Kitchen in Half Cups (Tanna), Grain Doe (Gorel), Notitie van Lien (Lien), The Sour Dough (Mary aka Breadchick), Thyme of Cooking (Katie), and What Did You Eat (Sher)

Being a bad example has it’s own rewards… and I get to eat well, regardless.

One final note – as long as I’m feeling humble and apologetic….
I have been sadly neglectful of  many / all of my favorite bloggers for the last few months while I worked on the rewrite of my website.  I’ve been reading / skimming but not very good about commenting.
The new design has been all-consuming, but I went live with it yesterday.  It’s not finished, but at a stage where I had to get it up and out there… the rest can be wrapped up over the next few weeks with much less stress.

Now I’m going to relax with my new book – a real page turner “Get into Bed with Google”….

25 thoughts on “Potato Pizza; Ham Pizza; The rewards of being a Bad Example”

  1. The wonderful part about being a home cook rather than a commercial chef is that, if the food is delicious and exciting but the presentation is off, you still get an absurdly grateful audience. Kudos for you for sticking with your monthly baking challenge.

  2. Ho Katie my BBB (love the bitch).
    I think this is just the exact way this dough behaves. You sure got it with that olive oil, I didn’t think of using duck tape or stapling it. Might have to try that next time. I really do like the potato topping.
    Wonderful write up.

  3. Your pizza’s look great. The one with the cheese on it makes my mouth water, lovely.
    This is a pretty good example to me, Rustic edges, great. I also found that there were too many potatoes (I reduced it to 1500 g, which was more than plenty).
    What a clever girl you are designing a whole new look! Can’t wait to see it.

  4. I think I would have picked a fight with your Hubs for a bite of the other one as well (that ham does look muchingly good!).
    This pizza really was a surprises, sneaking up in the dark and winning over.. I knew for sure I would hate it even before I started, but the pizza won.
    Great Job Katie!

  5. These look pretty darn good to me! I’d stay for dinner! Potato pizza! That there is a new carb loader to me! I must try one of those!
    Cannot wait to see your new site! I have been pondering the same, but am shying away from the work. Now about the book you are snuggling up with….
    Spring must be on your doorstop with the photo of your lovely tulips in your previous post and you could never have too much green garlic!!! It is Spring!

  6. Ham! Why didn’t I put ham on mine???? That’s such a great idea, and it looks to die for. Now, I have the perfect excuse to make the pizza again! Thank you. :):)

  7. Mmmmmm! As I look at this thinking I have no energy to cook dinner…How I would love to stick my hand through this screen and over to you! 😉
    Can’t wait to see the site! I have felt the same way, neglectful, but we all go through our things. 🙂 We’ll always come back…

  8. Wow, both pizzas look great – I actually like the free-form shapes) – and I imagine that one that combined the potatoes, the cheese _and_ the ham would also be killer!

  9. Congrats, great job, I think you are falling in love with those doughs 🙂
    I tried the original version, I liked it, you missed something, at least with the ail salt you sent me

  10. I am of the feeling that if it tastes good…then what the “hay”.My blog attests to the fact that not everything is photogenic and magazine perfect. If that were true why isn’t there a photo of every dish in our favourite foodie magazines…some just aren’t photogenic or better left on paper:D

  11. Neen, I was thinking of you when I wrote this post, hehehe!
    Tanna, thanks… and thanks for the great recipe/challenge!
    Lien, the crispy crust ham was good…. and the site is up for any who care to have a look.
    Peter, the crispy potatoes were goooood!
    Baking soda, I might have had a bit more patience if it hadn’t been after 10 on a Sunday night…
    Deb, spring shows it’s face every third day or so…
    Sher, ham goes with everything!
    Chris, having the site up, even with all it’s current imperfections, is a huge relief… (Deep breath)
    Zoomie, I just took it back to my hippie roots.
    Ulrike, they are going to make a baker out of me yet!
    Val, how very very true. I can never get a good photo of meat…
    Thanks, Lucy. Looks aren’t everything (I keep telling myself)
    Colleen, It’s all the plaster dust…

  12. Hahaha , the way you discribed this pizza event….There really is some “star” in you !
    And your bedtime story-book…must be a knockout !

  13. I think I am the queen of the “taste counts more than looks” school, which is probably why I hardly ever bake. My dishes usually taste just fine, but sometimes they do have a bit of a train wreck appearance…

  14. I would say that your pizza is about as fantastic as I’ve seen! And I’m so glad I’m not the only one who um broke the rules of the recipe. I’ll sit with you in the corner any time you want!

  15. Hmm, pour your pizza dough, that’s for me. I had no doubt the potato pizza would be good, we’ve had a couple a few years ago, but unfortunately the pizzeria that made them closed down. Getting out a mixing bowl now…

  16. Monique, me and Google, in bed together (don’t tell)
    Lydia, I normally avoid baking for exactly the same reason. I’m more of a ‘glug of this’ type.
    Breadchick, it’s a nice corner…I have wine?
    Shayne, I’d never heard of potatoes on pizza before this! Where have I been@!?
    Neil, in retrospect, I really liked it. And I liked the ‘not having to roll it’ part.

  17. Katie, don’t send them to my blog to see what it’s supposed to look like! 🙂 I cut way back on the potatos, it just sounded like wayyyyy too much.

  18. lol, this was as fun a read as the last BBB post. We all have our not-quite-pi.jpgcture-perfect dishes, but this nonetheless looks and sounds like a definite winner.

  19. Sara, it was waaaaay too much. I cut in half – and then a wee bit more!
    Mike, ‘not-quite-perfect’ I’ll have to remember that one…rather kind of you!

  20. That is one slack dough! I’ve gotten in enough trouble lately with my slack doughs that I think I will refrain from making this one.
    Having said that, it sure does LOOK good. And I haven’t even seen how it’s “supposed” to look yet.
    (I just pulled the first in AGES successful wild yeast bread out of the oven. When are you babes going to announce what you’re doing with your wild yeast for May? I SO want to be a BBB… just once.)

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