My mother’s side of the family originates from Naples, Italy – a.k.a. the pizza capital of the world. And, while her Sunday “gravy” (a braised meat – meatballs & Italian sausage – and tomato sauce) rivals any restaurant variety I’ve tasted, we have never made pizza at home.
I’m not sure why my family never attempted pizzaioli excellence, but when I was invited to participate in a blogger’s pizza making class with Vimbly, I jumped at the chance to channel my family’s pizza birthright.
After being offered a glass of wine, our class was escorted upstairs to a private room dotted with large, sunny windows and a great view of the street below.
Chris and Nicole began with a brief introduction of their backgrounds and the history of Neapolitan pizza and pizzaolis, but, to the delight of the room, we dove into pizza making almost right away.
Nicole explained the importance of using the ultra fine and light double zero flour for pizza dough, while Chris took on the more labor-intensive instructions with a dough kneading and air tossing lesson.
Most of my classmates were content with less extreme dough handling (per Nicole’s recommendation – if the dough is overworked, it could result in cardboard pizza) I couldn’t resist hoisting the dough high in the air, and thankfully, catching it.
Once the dough was rolled out, we moved on the fun (and easy) part of the class: adding a little bit of Margherita sauce (way less than you think you need), basil, and of course, fresh Buffalo mozzarella cheese (also important for authenticity).
The most surprising fact I learned about pizza making was how little time it spends in the oven – just 90 seconds! The extreme heat from the brick oven and short cooking time guarantees an airy, crispy crust – the true hallmark of an excellent pizza.
So, just about a minute after we said goodbye to our pizzas, devoured the round (or in my case oval) delights, and the class was finished.
I promised to bring Walter home some leftovers (which I did, after some restraint..), and he was a happy taste tester.
I told him that I couldn’t take full credit for creating the pie (since we had supervision from our teachers and a legendary brick oven), but I was excited to experiment with the extra raw dough I took home to see how much I really learned in the class.
How did it turn out? Well, tomorrow I’ll share my trick for creating a $3 pizza stone, but for now, enjoy the step by step visuals of my pizza — from dough to done.
Thanks again to Vimbly, Chris, and Nicole for hosting such a fun and informative class!
Step 1: Build a “mountain” with dry, 00 flour.
Step 2: Add a well at the top, and pour in yeast liquid. Incorporate into the dough slowly.
Step 3: Form the dough into a ball.
Step 4: Circle the dough ball in your hands to create a thin circle (or, in my case an oval – called Metropolitan style).
Step 5: Spoon a little bit of sauce – don’t overdo it!
Step 6: Add fresh buffalo mozzarella and basil.
Step 7: Eat!