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"The dough is an empty canvas,” says Russell, who designed two pies loaded with fresh flavors from the spring garden. “Potatoes, leeks, and garlic are a classic combination,” he says of the first. “I thought about what I would love on a loaded baked potato.”
And for home cooks who may be intimidated to make the perfect pizza crust, the chef explains that while tossing the dough makes for a thinner crust, rolling it out with a rolling pin works well, too. “You don’t have to throw it up in the air,” he says. “Just roll it out a little bit first, then stretch it out with your hands until it’s really thin.”
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- 1/2 cup thinly sliced fingerling potatoes (Ambrose Family Farm)
- 1 Tbs. garlic oil, divided (recipe follows)
- 8 oz. pizza dough (recipe follows)
- 4 cloves garlic confit
- 1/4 cup diced bacon, cooked until crisp and drained
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced leeks
- 1/4 cup blue cheese, preferably Mindoro
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
- Sea salt
For the garlic oil & confit (yields 2 cups):
- Cloves from 2 heads garlic, peeled
- 2 cups canola oil
- 1 sprig rosemary
For the pizza dough (makes 4 8-ounce crusts):
- 1 1/2 cups cold water
- 1/4 tsp. dry yeast
- 3 1/3 cups unbleached bread flour, divided
- 2 tsp. kosher salt
Place a pizza stone on the lower rack of the oven and preheat to 500°F.
Add potatoes and two teaspoons garlic oil into a bowl and toss to combine. Spread potatoes on a sheet pan and roast in oven until tender, about 20 minutes.
Roll or hand toss pizza dough to 12 inches in diameter. Using the back of a spoon, spread the remaining garlic oil evenly onto the dough, leaving a one-inch margin around the edges.
Scatter garlic confit, bacon, potatoes, and leeks over oil. Top with cheeses, red pepper flakes, and a light sprinkling of sea salt.
Bake directly on the pizza stone until the crust is crispy and cheese is golden brown and bubbly, about seven to 10 minutes.
For The Garlic Oil And Confit:
Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Gently simmer over medium-high heat until garlic is fragrant and tender, about two to four minutes. Remove and discard rosemary. Set pan aside to cool. Store garlic confit and oil together in a sealed container. They will keep for up to two weeks in the refrigerator.
For The Pizza Dough:
Combine water and yeast in a large mixing bowl and set aside for two minutes.
Sprinkle three cups of flour into water and yeast mixture. Stir to combine until all the ingredients come together to form a sticky dough. Let dough rest for two minutes, then sprinkle salt over the dough and mix until incorporated.
Dust a clean work surface lightly with remaining flour. Turn dough out onto the surface and knead by hand for two minutes. Let it rest for one minute, then knead again for two minutes. Repeat this process until the dough is smooth, adding a light dusting of flour to the work surface as needed, about eight to 10 minutes total.
Allow dough to rest in a covered bowl overnight (or up to three days) in the refrigerator. Remove at least one hour before using.