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Waste Not

Potato water in pizza dough

By Pielove, member

April 21st, 2009

I have been considering how best to answer the actual topic of this challenge, which is how to use the things we might otherwise throw away. Inspired by this, I decided to try an experiment, using the water from boiling potatoes as the liquid in a batch of pizza dough for tomorrow's dinner. This actually utilizes two things that would otherwise go down the drain, the starch-laden water and the heat in that water. So instead of taking plain water and heating it to a good temperature for the yeast, I drained the potato water into a measuring cup and let it cool during dinner. By the time we cleared the table, the potato water had cooled to the perfect temperature for yeast. I used the excellent pizza dough recipe by Evan Kleiman from FC #49, which I will bake tomorrow. I'll report back on the pizza. I could also see using potato water for making stock, but the timing might be difficult-- you do not want to waste a lot of energy cooling down boiling water and then heating it back up, so the stock would have to be ready to simmer as you drained the potatoes.

Results: I baked the dough as pizza the next day and it was a lovely dough-- very easy to handle with good spring.  My husband and I agreed that the potato water made the dough a bit more chewy than my usual pizza dough.  Whilst this was not a good thing for pizza dough, I think it would be great for a rye bread.  Next time!

posted in: Gallery
Comments (3)

Janni writes: This sounds very good, as I actually like my pizza crust to have a bit of tooth to it. I detest the cracker like crusts that seem to be proliferating these days. As regards potato water in stock making. It will make for a cloudy stock because of the starch. Not very attractive. Posted: 4:38 pm on March 15th

Pielove writes: Hi Sarah-- No actual potato flavor that I could detect under all the cheese and sauce, just a subtle change in texture. I bet potato water would be great in bagels.

pie Posted: 3:11 pm on April 23rd

sbreckenridge writes: Cool idea, pie! Was there any actual potato flavor in the crust? Posted: 2:27 pm on April 23rd

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The Good Life Challenge: Waste Not

Over the course of one month, Ellie Krieger is challenging you to Waste Not: Make good use of those peels, stems, and other scraps you might otherwise throw away, and share what you've made with the community. Taking the challenge is easy:

Step One: Login or create a profile

Step Two: Post your entry
following the instructions on the entry form.

Step Three: Browse the gallery and get inspired! You can comment on other entries, and give your favorite photos a thumbs-up rating.

Grand Prize: The user posting the most creative dish will win a $200 gift card to:

For the complete contest rules, click here.