Food Thursday: Hearty Pizza Bread

Whether you’re tailgating or having people over to watch the big game, I’ve got the perfect snack. It’s so hearty it’s almost a meal on its own. It’s pizza bread, probably unlike any you’ve had before. (Well, unless you know me personally because I might have made this for you.)

Many, many years ago I was looking through a pizza dough cook book (that’s one specific cook book by the way), and it had a couple of extra recipes in the back. One of those got me started on this bread. The secret? Mashed potatoes (trust me on this). This isn’t hard to make but it does require some rising time so be sure you plan ahead a few hours to give yourself enough time.

Hearty Pizza Bread

3-4 medium size potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 lb salami, cut into shreds
1 package of active dry yeast
1 tsp salt
3 TB olive oil
6 cups all purpose or bread flour
1 1/2 cups luke warm water
6 ounces of provolone cheese, diced

1. Boil potatoes for 15 minutes, drain and mash. Place in a very large bowl and stir in Parmesan, salami, yeast, salt and 2 tablespoons of oil. Gradually add in the flour and water to make a soft dough. At some point you’ll probably need to turn this out on a floured surface to mix things in with your hands. If your bowl is big enough you can keep it in the bowl, but you’ll still need to use your hands to get everything mixed in.

Note: You may not use all the water… or you may need a little more. You want enough to help the dough stick together without being sticky. What do you do if you’ve added all the flour & water and your dough is sticky? Add a little more flour and work it in until the dough isn’t so sticky. What if the dough won’t stick together in one ball? Work in a little bit of water until it does.

2. Knead your bread dough vigorously for five minutes. Transfer to an oiled baking sheet and pat out to approximately 12 inches in diameter. Cover with clean towels and leave it someplace warm to rise for 1.5 hours. It should nearly double in size.

3. Preheat your oven to 400. Push the diced provolone cheese into the dough at regular intervals. Rub the remaining tablespoon of oil over the top of your dough. Bake on the sheet for 30 minutes until lightly golden.

4. Try to wait at least five minutes before you tear into it 🙂

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