Sweet potato pizza was first introduced to me by a colleague of mine while we were brainstorming workshop ideas. From her description, it did not seem very appealing since I am not a person to reach for sweet potatoes unless they're fries. She also mentioned that the leavening agent is baking soda, which gave me the impression of a cake-like texture. I can't think of any reason not to use yeast, other than it just takes a bit more patience. After a bit of experimenting, I was able to create a crust with a light, airy texture and a mild sweetness from the sweet potatoes.
Sweet Potato Pizza
The resulting crust from this recipe is similar to a New York style pizza. The aim for the dough is to get a 65% hydration (ie. 65g of water to 100g of flour). The moisture content in the sweet potato will vary depending on how it is cooked, so the best way to determine the hydration of the dough is by feel. Try making a small piece of 65% hydration dough on the side just to familiarize yourself with the texture. This recipe also uses a baking stone or steel, which is worth getting for making pizzas and breads. Otherwise, just place on a pizza pan when shaping the pizza and adjust the cooking time appropriately.
- Step 1
Peel and dice the sweet potato into large chunks. Simmer in boiling water for about 15 minutes or until fork tender.
- Step 2
Drain the sweet potato chunks in a colander for 10 minutes and then mash them with a potato masher.
- Step 3
Wait until the temperature of the sweet potato mash comes down to 40°C (100°F). Then place the mash into a mixing bowl, mix in the yeast and the flour.
- Step 4
Knead the dough and add more flour if it is too wet. Knead for ten minutes or until smooth and elastic.
- Step 5
Lightly oil a large bowl with olive oil. Ball up the dough and lightly roll it around the bowl so that it is lightly coated in the oil.
- Step 6
Cover the bowl and let the dough rise in a warm place for 45 minutes. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 230°C (450°F).
- Step 7
Gently remove the dough ball from the bowl and place on parchment paper. Using fingers (as if playing a piano), gently flatten the dough into a 12 to 14 inch disc, careful not to force air bubbles out of the dough.
- Step 8
Top with sauce, cheese and other toppings as desired.
- Step 9
Slide the pizza and the parchment paper carefully onto the baking stone. Bake until cheese is bubbly and crust is browned, rotating the pizza midway through.