You’d think that there was nothing new under the sun that I could write about Gabriele Bonci. I’ve written so much about him and his classes, that my posts and You Tube videos have become one of the reference points to getting in touch with him to learn his magic.
Sometimes people write to me with specific questions about recipes or techniques. Most get in touch for information about his twice monthly pizza classes. But every so often I get a request of a different kind. Professional chefs or pizzeria owners who would like to come to Rome and take a private class with Gabriele. Not the home cook type of class he usually teaches (which is fantastic), but one that addresses the specific issues facing professionals who would like to recreate his pizza in restaurant ovens far, far away.
Before the holidays I had a great time helping facilitate one of these private classes with a super fun couple from California, John and Gesine, who own two restaurants and are about to open a third, focusing on Italian street food. (all those past porchetta posts were part of my research to help them too).
Since they are both chefs, the private pizza class went right to the heart of things. Gabriele discussed flour types, quantities, mixing methods, rising times. We talked ovens, we talked reheating. And got our hands very dirty with dough, flour and toppings up to our elbows.
Bonci’s normal classes focus on his signature type of long rise, high hydration dough which makes its way into the pizza he serves at Pizzarium. In this class, instead, we packed how to make four types of dough into our one night class. Focaccia pugliese, focaccia genovese, traditional pizza al taglio romana and his own ethereal version of it.
Yes, we did get into toppings as well. But this was all about the dough, and how tiny differences in variables like water, rise time and temperature can result in huge differences in texture, crumb and taste.
Amazing how much ground you can cover in a few short hours.
And for more of my posts about Bonci you can find all the links here, including information about his group classes in Rome.