Here’s a recipe thrill … but only if you have lots of time, lots of olive oil, and a calm, disciplined approach to following directions. It’s the the “Pizza al Taglio with Potatoes and Soppressata,” from the March/April 2019 issue of Cook’s Illustrated.

Pizza al Taglio with Potatoes and Soppressata
Cook’s Illustrated, March/April 2019
Serves 4 to 6

The dough for this pizza requires a 16- to 24-hour rest in the refrigerator. You’ll get the crispest texture by using high-protein King Arthur bread flour, but other bread flours will also work. For best results, weigh your flour and water. The bread flour should weigh 14 2/3 oz., regardless of which brand of flour is used. Anchovies give the sauce depth, so don’t omit them; they won’t make the sauce taste fishy.

Dough:
2 2/3 cups (14 2/3 oz.) bread flour
1 tsp. instant or rapid-rise yeast
1½ cups (12 oz.) water, room temperature
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1¼ tsp. table salt
Vegetable oil spray

Sauce:
1 (14.5 oz.) can whole peeled tomatoes, drained
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 anchovy fillets, rinsed
1 tsp. dried oregano
½ tsp. table salt
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes

Topping:
3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
6 oz. thinly sliced soppressata
10 oz. thinly sliced provolone
1 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
½ tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. chopped parsley

FOR THE DOUGH: Whisk flour and yeast together in medium bowl. Add room-temperature water and oil and stir with wooden spoon until shaggy mass forms and no dry flour remains. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit for 10 minutes. Sprinkle salt over dough and mix until fully incorporated. Cover bowl with plastic and let dough rest for 20 minutes.

Using your wet hands, fold dough over itself by gently lifting and folding edge of dough toward middle. Turn bowl 90 degrees; fold again. Turn bowl and fold dough 4 more times (total of 6 turns). Cover bowl with plastic and let dough rest for 20 minutes. Repeat folding technique, turning bowl each time, until dough tightens slightly, 3 to 6 turns total. Cover bowl with plastic and let dough rest for 10 minutes.

Spray bottom of a 13 by 9-inch baking pan liberally with oil spray. Transfer dough to prepared pan and spray top of dough lightly with oil spray. Gently press dough into 10 by 7-inch oval of even thickness. Cover pan tightly with plastic and refrigerate for at least 16 hours or up to 24 hours.

FOR THE SAUCE: While dough rests, process all ingredients in blender until smooth, 20 to 30 seconds. Transfer sauce to bowl, cover, and refrigerate until needed (sauce can be refrigerated in airtight container for up to 2 days).

FOR THE TOPPING: Brush top of dough with 2 Tbsp. oil. Spray rimmed baking sheet (including rim) with oil spray. Invert prepared sheet on top of pan and flip, allowing dough to fall onto sheet (you may need to lift pan and nudge dough at one end to release). Using your fingertips, gently dimple dough into even thickness and stretch toward edges of sheet to form 15 by 11-inch oval. Spray top of dough lightly with oil spray, cover loosely with plastic, and let rest until slightly puffy, 1 to 1¼ hours.

Thirty minutes before baking, adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Just before baking, use your fingertips to gently simple dough into even thickness, pressing into corners of sheet. Using back of spoon or ladle, spread ½ cup sauce in even layer over surface of dough. (Remaining sauce can be frozen for up to 2 months.)

Lay 6 oz. thinly sliced soppressata in even layer over sauce, followed by 10 oz. thinly sliced provolone. Toss 1 lb. peeled and thinly sliced small Yukon Gold potatoes with ½ tsp. pepper and remaining 1 Tbsp. oil. Starting in one corner, shingle potatoes to form even row across bottom of pizza, overlapping each slice by about one-quarter. Continue to layer potatoes in rows, overlapping each row by about one-quarter. Bake pizza until bottom of crust is evenly browned and potatoes are browned around edges. Sprinkle pizza with 2 tsp. chopped fresh parsley before serving.

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Always a fan of hands-on dough exercises, I whisked and wrapped and rested and folded. My dough refrigerated for more than 20 hours.

After all that time (the next day, obviously), the dough comes out of the fridge and needs another hour to rest and rise. So, meanwhile, process the sauce in the blender (easy). Then, slice the potatoes with a mandoline, for nice, thin, consistent slices. Artfully add your toppings to the dough: sauce, soppressata, provolone, potatoes. See how perfectly proportioned these amounts are.

Twenty-three minutes in the oven gave me a crispy crust. This crunch was unique: not quite pizza, not quite bread. I enjoyed my grand prize, my victory.

After this intense exercise, I will mellow for next time and make a cute snack: the “Savory Spiced Nuts,” from the November/December 2018 issue of Cuisine at Home. Really. Come back to my site next week, to enjoy this with me.