Monday, May 9, 2011
Remember a few months ago when I blogged on and on about the courses I took with Gabriele Bonci? First Bread, then Pizza. I wrote about the classes here, here, here and here. And about my one attempt at making pizza (which turned into crackers) here. Last week I was among the chosen few who got to attend Bonci Pizza Two: Beyond the Pan.
I made up that last part, but really that’s what it was all about.
While a good portion of the class was spent working with different kinds of flour (enkir, farro and a mix of the two) The other part of the class was more “having fun with pizza” a.k.a.: “definitely try this at home.”
Although Bonci is a master of pizza dough, and is constantly experimenting with different flours and yeasts to get just the right mix of what he is after, I have to admit, that the whole chemistry-of-flour-thing sometimes goes right over my head. So while I really appreciate learning which flour to use (Mulino Marino Enkir, for example) I sort of follow blindly and ask few questions. (for more on Enkir see Elisa's beautiful blog)
What really gets me excited is what Bonci does with the dough, once he’s ready to use it. He’s well known at Pizzarium for his constant innovation in combining new and exciting ingredients as toppings. Working with people like Vincenzo Mancino of D.O.L. to source incredible artisinal cheeses and cured meats, and working directly with farmers to source organic just perfect vegetables, he creates mini masterpieces on a slice.
But he also takes the dough and then uses it in ways most of us would never think of. In Pizza Part Two he shared a few of his ‘inventions.’
Fried Pizza: He made the dough using the recipe we learned in his first class, and then cut it carefully into small squares. The trick was, he stressed, to touch the dough as little as possible. You want the bubbles that formed during the rising to remain intact, and make it into the hot oil. In the pan they puff up beautifully. Hot out of the pan, the little squares were topped with a spoonful of tomato sauce (raw), a shred of mozzarella and a leaf of basil.
Pizza Streudel: At least that’s what Bonci calls this. Using the pizza dough as his base, he filled it with ricotta and mortadella, rolled it up, sliced it into 1 inch pieces, flipped them on their side and then baked them. He did the same with a mix of ricotta, cherry tomatoes and zucchini.
The master in action. (see below for the video with my voice over translation)
Here's the video with English voice over.