I follow a lot of recipes. And, they always seem to start off with the recipeer going on and on about this or that. So, in order to be professional, I am going to give you all sorts of useless information before I get around to the actual recipe. If you want the recipe now, just skip down to where you see a list of ingredients. That’s what I always do.
It Was East Lansing in the Early 2000s…
I was just finishing up my Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology at THE Michigan State University. Most of my studying was completed while working the closing shift in the city’s parking structures. I sat in a booth, listened to emo music, and collected parking fees from drunk-driving college students. Sometimes, I called the cops on them. I’m okay with narking on drunk drivers, and you should be too.
Anyway, I’m hoping the statute of limitations is up on this, but we used to give free parking to the employees at Georgio’s Pizza in exchange for free pizza. This was an arrangement that reached all the way to the highest levels of the city government. I’m not proud of this situation, but I also wasn’t Serpico.
Georgio’s introduced me to the wonders of baked potato pizza. They had a big squeeze bottle of sour cream for the express purpose of slathering the pizza. It was heaven. And, though they did not give me the recipe, I like to think I’ve done a pretty good job of replicating what they’ve done. You see, after I graduated from MSU, I moved to the West Coast where they agreed to let me into a graduate program. No place has good baked potato pizza here. So, I had to come up with my own recipe to enjoy my favorite pizza. Through much trial and error, this is what I’ve come up with.
A Couple Notes
Before I get into it, I should let you know about substitutions: I do tons of them. I don’t see a point in going to the store for ingredients when you are just missing one or two things and there are suitable alternatives. So, here they are:
- About half the time I make my own pizza dough because I don’t have a car nearby to go pick some up. When I make it, I use this recipe. Since there is some rising involved, you need to get on this first.
- I use yellow (Yukon gold) or red potatoes. I’ve used russet potatoes, and they are horrible. I hate russets. You’re probably okay with any potato with a thin skin. DO NOT use sweet potatoes. I don’t care how healthy you want to be.
- Green onions are ideal. But, I’ve used red and yellow in the past. It’s different. If you choose red or yellow, then I recommend putting the onions on (above the potatoes, under the cheese) before you put the pizza in the oven.
- I use whatever cheese is on hand, but sharp cheddar is the best I’ve tried. Also, in the Midwest, they have easy access to inexpensive cheese. Consequently, I grew up with tons of cheese on my pizza. If you are used to West Coast levels of cheese, then maybe just use a cup or cup-and-a-half. And, don’t invite me over for dinner.
- Don’t use bacon bits or turkey bacon in place of real bacon. You’re better than that.
- Lastly, I’m not used to having enough kitchen space for a separate pizza pan or stone. I just use an old-fashioned, 17” by 11” baking sheet. I’m sure you’d get better results with an item specifically designed for baking pizza.
Also, I usually double the recipe because leftover baked potato pizza is one of the few leftovers my family will eat.
Baked Potato Pizza
- Prep Time: 20 min.
- Overall Time: 1 hour, 10 min. (2:45 if you make your own dough)
Ingredients (for one pizza):
- Pizza dough
- 4 medium Yukon gold potatoes
- 1-1/2 tsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp. onion flakes
- 8 oz. bacon
- 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar
- ¼ cup melted butter
- 1 green onion diced
- 1 tsp cornmeal
- Sour cream
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice the potatoes thinly (about an eighth of an inch) and toss them with the olive oil, onion flakes, and salt to taste (but it’s going to taste bad no matter what at this point: it’s raw potatoes.) Transfer the potato mixture to a baking sheet (you may need to use a spatula to get all of the good stuff outta the bowl) and bake for 25 minutes flipping them halfway through. Leave the oven on.
- While the potatoes are baking, chop up the raw bacon. Cook it up in a large pan over medium-high heat stirring occasionally. Once it’s crispy, remove the cooked bacon to a plate covered with paper towel.
- Lightly grease/oil a baking sheet. Spread the cornmeal over it. Roll/throw/whatever the pizza dough so it is the size/shape of the baking sheet.
- Pour the melted butter over the dough, and use a brush to make sure it is evenly applied.
- Spread the potatoes evenly over the dough.
- Sprinkle the cheddar evenly over the potatoes.
- Toss the bacon haphazardly all over the cheese.
- Bake the pizza for about 25 minutes at 400 degrees. You know it’s done when the crust starts to turn a light brown.
- Sprinkle the green onions on the pizza immediately.
- Let cool about five minutes before slicing it up and serving it with sour cream. I slather that stuff on real good.
And, that’s the recipe. This is the first recipe I’ve typed up so please let me know if I screwed up the official Strunk & White recipe style. Also, let me know if you like this, and I’ll try to share some more of my unique recipes with y’all. Is this where I say “bon appetit”?