Rainy Days and Mondays

Yesterday, we had both — a rainy day and a Monday. Seeing as we’ve been in a drought, the rain was welcome (‘though Sid, Ally, and LBK would argue that point with us), but we also had cooler temps. It was a perfect day to snuggle under a quilt on the couch, good book in hand, warm cuppa at the ready (Barry’s Gold Blend, of course!), Sid snoring in the floor, and LBK snuggled in next to me. (Ally stayed snuggled up in the bed.)

What can I say — it was one of those days where I am grateful to be self-employed. 🙂

The cooler weather and gray skies  — combined with my trying to use up some yeast before it expires — inspired me to try a recipe for a pizza crust that sounded intriguing to me. (I discuss pizza more — including making your own sauce easy-peasey — here.)

Why make pizza for lunch? Why not just a sandwich? Well, because we’re nearly out of sandwich bread, and neither hubby or I wanted to get out in the rain for sandwich bread…and baking pizza would make the kitchen nice and warm — and make the house smell yummy!

I noticed a recipe for pizza dough on the back of a package of Idahoan Roasted Garlic (Instant) Mashed Potatoes. It was for an “Hawaiian Pizza” topped with ham and pineapple, which isn’t really my thing, but I was intrigued by the recipe for the crust.

A word about the Idahoan instant mashed potatoes: They offer a variety of seasonings and flavors in their potatoes, they come in convenient-sized packages (3 to 4 servings are standard; their website says they also offer single-serving sizes now), and all you ever need to add to them is water. No, they aren’t like “real” mashed potatoes, but they are quick and convenient (especially when it’s just hubby and me), and for instant potatoes, I’ve got to say they are pretty durn tasty — and even if I don’t have any milk or butter, we can have some potatoes.

A word about food packaging: Don’t be afraid to check out their recipes and cooking hints and tips for inspiration! Remember, they want you to fall in love with their product and purchase it on a regular basis, so chances are that at least some of their recipes and serving or preparation suggestions will be appealing to you.

So anyway, I decided to give this recipe a try, although with my own twists and methods based on my bread-, pizza dough-, and pizza-making experiences.

And let me tell you peoples, it was GOOD! The dough mixes together quickly and easily, and the dough is very easy to handle. I simply mixed the dough, kneaded it, and plopped it in a warm spot to rise. I grated my part-skim mozzarella (peoples, do your taste buds and your pocketbook a favor and take a few minutes to grate your own cheese!), diced and sautéed some onion, sliced some green olives, made up my sauce, and curled back under the quilt with my book.

After the dough had risen, I shaped it into two crusts while the oven preheated. I pre-baked one crust (reading my book in the meantime), then topped that pizza while the second crust pre-baked. While the first pizza finished baking, I topped the second pizza, and once the second pizza was baked (I read my book while it baked), I was all done…and we had a delicious lunch. (And we’ll have another delicious lunch tomorrow, and still some more for yet another lunch or a couple of snacks.)

You can vary the taste of the dough a bit by what flavor of instant potatoes you use. I used Roasted Garlic & Parmesan Baby Reds potatoes, but any of their flavors would be delicious. You could also use plain instant potato flakes, too, of course — just measure out however many flakes would be used for 4 (1/2 cup) servings.

I promise you, if you make this, even if it’s a rainy day, a Monday, or a rainy Monday,  it won’t get you down ’cause it smells so yummy! 🙂 (Go on, take a three-minute break and give it a listen…you know you want to!)

Potato Pizza Dough (Makes 2 pizza crusts)

  • 1 package (4 to 4.1 ounces) instant mashed potatoes of desired flavor (you want the amount of potato flakes that would be used to prepare 4 (1/2 cup) servings)
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast (NOTE: A packet of dry yeast contains 2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 to 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour (plus more to dust board for kneading)
  • 1 to 1 1/4 cups warm water
  • Desired pizza toppings: sauce, shredded cheese, vegetables, etc.
  1. Stir yeast into 1/4 cup warm water in a medium-sized bowl. Stir in olive oil and honey. (TIP: If you measure the olive oil first, then measure the honey in the same spoon, the honey will slide out of the spoon very easily.)
  2. Stir in potato flakes, 2 to 2 1/4 cups flour, and 1 to 1 1/4 cups warm water (or more, if needed) until blended.
  3. Knead on lightly floured surface until soft and no longer sticky.
  4. Place in a lightly greased, warm bowl; cover with a lint-free towel; and let rise in warm place for about an hour.
  5. Preheat oven to 400F. Divide dough into 2 portions. Lightly oil pizza pans with olive oil or cooking spray. With lightly oiled hands, shape dough in pan. (For a thick crust pizza, lightly oil a 13″ X 9″ pan and sprinkle cornmeal on the bottom of the pan, then shape the dough along the bottom and partially up the sides of the pan.)
  6. Pre-bake crust for 8 to 10 minutes. (For best results, bake only one pizza at a time.) Remove from oven, top as desired, and return to oven for another 8 to 10 minutes.
  7. Let rest 3 to 5 minutes before serving. Refrigerate leftovers.

About MissieLee

I love tasty food prepared in a healthy way with a budget in mind.
This entry was posted in Bread, Main Dish, Sandwich, Vegetarian/Meatless, Yeast Bread and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Rainy Days and Mondays

  1. Vikram says:

    I loved and agree with this line – peoples, do your taste buds and your pocketbook a favor and take a few minutes to grate your own cheese. Well said!!!

    • MissieLee says:

      It really is true, isn’t it, Vikram? I had a coupon once or a store was running a promo or some such, but anyway, it ended up that the grated cheese was a super buy, so I gave it a try. In one word: flavorless. Never again — not even if it’s free!

      • Vikram says:

        When we buy cheese, we always buy the block so we can grate it. Agreed – grated cheese tastes awful.

  2. Pingback: Your Second Cousin, Twice Removed | That Smells Yummy!

  3. LinnieGayl says:

    Did it have a taste of potatoes at all? Was it a bit softer? I’m really curious about this.

    • MissieLee says:

      Linnie, it didn’t really have a distinctive potato taste — but to me, potato bread made with instant potatoes doesn’t have as much potato flavor or the same kind of texture as bread made with real mashed potato and cooking water from the potatoes.

      The recipe said it made 2 “medium” pizza crusts, but it made 2 rather large thin crusts, we thought (if I’d have wanted to futz about it with it more, I likely could have made one of them be a smaller, but thick crust, pizza for hubby, but I was keeping things as simple as I could).

      The texture was pretty much like what one expects from a non-potato pizza dough — not as crispy as a sourdough crust (I’ve not yet found anything that matches sourdough in crispiness), but not at all soft like roll or bread dough.

      What I loved most about it is how incredibly easy the dough is to mix up and then how easy it is to work with…I mean, not that other pizza doughs I’ve made are all that complicated to make, they’re not, but this is much simpler in comparison and the feel and texture of the dough when working with it is just wonderful.

  4. LinnieGayl says:

    That’s a really unusual recipe for pizza crust. It does sound easy, and the photos look delicious.

    • MissieLee says:

      Linnie, I was really pleased with how easy it is to work with, and how the flavor can be influenced subtly depending upon the flavor of instant potatoes.

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