Monday, March 18, 2013
It’s been a while since I took the bread and pizza making classes with Gabriele Bonci. Two years in fact. In the meantime he’s been a very busy guy. Bonci's not only published a book here in Italy (which is coming out in English in October!) he’s refurbished his original Pizzarium, and opened a new bakery as well as continued to develop menus at Open Baladin and No.Au.
Yet somehow he still finds hours in the day to share his doughy knowledge teaching cooking classes. I've been lucky enough to take a total of five classes with the man, (the links to those posts are down below). While he does give out recipes, taking a class with Gabriele is more about learning technique. In the end, dough is dough is dough. You can talk about quantities and quality, but according to the master, it’s all in the handling. And what hands. I have to admit that half the fun of taking a class with Gabriele is watching this massive guy handle his dough with a choreographic delicacy that is unique.
So when I found out that Gabriele was giving a special class on Easter breads, I jumped at the chance. And brought my video camera of course.
Right now, when you read ‘Easter bread’, you were probably thinking sweet stuff, right? While Italy does have its share of Easter sweeties (Colombe, etc.) it’s the cheesy savory breads that most people get excited about.
We started out the class making Pizza al Formaggio. This is the type of typical cheesy bread that you run into all over central Italy, especially in Umbria and Campania. Everyone has their own recipe and way of doing it, but a common thread is lots of cheese, eggs, butter and oil. In other words, it’s a bomba.
You’ll find Gabriele’s recipe below. But of course, as always, it’s all about the handling of the dough. So I’m including this rather long video (12 minutes) with my voice over (sorry, don't know how to do subtitles!) But don't worry, I’m also posting the original video, so you can experience Bonci in all his unique Bonciness.
Pizza al Formaggio
First you have to prepare the liquid yeast:
200 grams of millk
10 grams of dry beer yeast
20 grams of white sugar
Mix these ingredients together, then let them sit at about 30C for 40 minutes.
1 kilo flour (Manitoba Flour, Type "0")
150 gr of olive oil
400 grams of softened, unsalted butter
15 gr salt
60 gr ground black pepper
30 gr sugar
300 grams egg yolks
300 gr whole eggs
500 grams grated cheese ( 1/2 pecorino, 1/2 parmesan)
1/2 kilo of Emmenthal (Swiss) cheese, cut into 4 inch logs
Mix the ingredients following the instructions in the video.
Divide the dough into three bread pans that have been lined with parchment.
Stick three cheese logs into each bread (see video)
When the dough has tripled in volume, bake in a 190C oven for 25 minutes.
The bread is better when it rests for a day.
Here are links to my previous Bonci posts:
Making Pizza Dough with Gabriele Bonci
Pizza as Canvas: Creative Toppings with Gabriele Bonci
Two Cool Pizza Tricks (Bonci Again!)
Bread Making with Gabriele Bonci
Bonci Pizza 2: Having fun with Pizza
Gabriele Bonci: The Michelangelo of Pizza
Here is the original video, without my annoying voice over:
Via della Meloria, 43
via Trionfale 34/36
For a full list of Bonci's classes visit the Tricolore web site , where the schedule is updated monthly.