For a long time, I was an impatient pizza chef. After all, a recipe that required almost a week to prepare sounded ludicrous! Who could plan their eating habits that far in advance, I wondered? Well my friends, you and I have to become those exact people if we are ever to reach our lofty pizzaiolo goals. Time, after all, is the number one pizza dough secret ingredient.
There is no one bigger ingredient in a dough recipe that will affect the flavor and depth of your dough. Brand of flour, oil or no, salt or no… all of these options are minuscule compared to the choice you make when you prepare a dough half an hour before you bake it.
I have found this one rule to be true for almost all home pizza making: If the recipe calls for two hours of rise time in between mixing and baking, place your dough in a covered bowl, place the bowl in the fridge, and leave it there for three to five days. If the recipe calls for twelve hours of rise time, place your dough in a covered bowl, place the bowl in the fridge, and leave it there for three to five days. A long, slow, cold rise time will do wonderful things to your dough. In fact, about a day or so into the rise, pull the dough and and punch it down – then place it back in the fridge of course. This will further develop the flavor and texture (not to mention redistribute the bubbles which have formed in your dough).
The Pizza Dough Secret, It’s About Time
So there you have it. I know, it’s kind of a bummer. As you read this article, the spark went off in your head “How about pizza tonight!” But what you need to retrain yourself to think is this, “How about pizza five days from now??”
It’s time to start paying attention to time, the secret ingredient in all pizza dough.
I’ve noticed a trend over the past few months of writing this blog and it is this: you people LOVE your white pizza! The top ten most searched terms on the blog are all for this simple, subtle pizza. So what is up? Are you purists who would rather eat pizza in its original state before tomatoes arrived in Italy? Are you all on some kooky new diet where you can’t eat any fruits or vegetables and instead are only eating carbs and dairy? Or is white pizza America’s hidden secret favorite pizza and I’m only just now arriving at to the party?
Here are a few of the “celebrity” chefs’ takes on the famed white dish. Many of these preparations call for “pizza dough” without really giving you any specifics. I’d like to humbly point you to this post which I believe is the best dough recipe I’ve tried so far. Enjoy the recipes, and as always, leave me some comments and let me know what you’d like to see next.
Check out this handy dandy and eco-friendly pizza box! With just a few simple modifications to what we think of as a normal pizza box, this pizza box becomes reusable in two different ways. I don’t want to spoil the reveal, so watch the quick demo video below, then head over to Amazon to grab some of these boxes to wow your guests at your next backyard bash! I have a stack of these pizza boxes ready to go at a moments notice and once you see this video, you will too.
GreenBox is a multifunctional, eco-friendly pizza box that can split into four sturdy plates for serving and a compact storage space used for leftovers. The box was recently featured on ABC’s Shark Tank, and they also have two other eco- conscious alternatives, Doggie Box and SliceBox. GreenBox, headquartered in New York, NY, hopes to build a new standard in the 21st century food industry, starting with a bit less waste per pizza.
Nonprofessional/Home Chef Courses
Students ages 18 and over will be able to participate in a 2 day course at our pizza school from 10am – 2pm specializing in any of the categories below:
Classic Italian Style
Teglia – Pan / Sicilian Style
New York Style
These short home chef courses will be open to anyone who would like to learn how to make authentic style pizza at home. Students will get into groups and make dough and sauce from scratch, learn how to toss and make great pizzas. Students will also learn pushing techniques and proper pizza transfer onto pizza stones into home ovens. We will be using several types of pizza ovens in this course. Wood Fired, Electric, Gas, and including one that is similar to an home oven.
Courses will be available quarterly starting in the summer of 2009.
Courses range from $400 – $500 each (Maximum 15 students per quarter)
Begin creating thin-crust, classic, rustica and deep-dish pizzas, calzones, focaccias, crostinis, quiche, pies, layer cakes and more. This step-by-step guide includes basic recipes, dough forming & baking tips for a variety of bakegood styles.
There’s nothing quite like the the flavor & texture of well made fresh pizza. Whether thin crust or Chicago style, vegetarian or meat lovers, eating the perfect pie can be life changing experience. Recreating restaurant quality at home as alluded many a cook. There is a bit of art & science to making, rolling out & cooking these icons of American cuisine the right way, without fuss, every time. In this extravaganza of hands-on cooking fun, we’ll demystify the art of making perfect pizza crusts & fantastic topping combinations that will wow even the most discerning of connoisseurs.
Executive Chef MikeC. From growing up in the wine country of Western New York to living to the fullest in Berkeley, Chef MikeC. slices and dices his way into your kitchen. By the ripe old age of four, he was already in the kitchen practicing his brand of food alchemy. Through the mentorship of his parents, he learned the finer aspects of organic gardening, simplified cuisine, and home entertaining for all occasions. As he soon discovered, MikeC.’s creative and quick mind was always in search of culinary knowledge. By the end of high school, MikeC. had found his mission in life; to teach the world how to come back to the table with friends, family and food. MikeC.’s quest has been a breathtaking adventure of food, folks, and fun. He has worked in the restaurant world, and a variety of other areas, but the food industry has always been foremost in his interests. Since arriving in California, he has owned two catering businesses, directed two cooking schools and has been teaching cooking professionally for over eight years. In his free time, he enjoys sharing his vast entertaining skills with family and friends. With a philosophy of fantastic food, people, music, and exhilarating places — isn’t that what life is all about!? Come on down and join MikeC.at Kitchen on Fire® and reap the benefits of his training and consummate skills.
This friendly, family run Italian cooking school in Sorrento focuses on simple healthy Italian food and uses fresh organically grown produce from their own gardens, you can even specialise in making the Italian classics of pizza, pasta and gelato
Included in price
5 day Neapolitan pizza making course
3 hours of pizza making tuition each day for 5 days
Lesson times vary and will be confirmed on arrival
All pizza making ingredients
Your own souvenir apron
A recipe book
Course start days
This course starts on
Optional accommodation available
This school also offers the following accommodation options. You will be able to book accommodation as shown below during the booking process.
Neapolitans have strong opinions about how pizza should be made. The dough has to be thick with a raised rim, and its texture must be firm yet moist. Here in Naples, pizza masters who can make such fine pizza are called Pizzaiolo.
What is this freshly-baked pizza called? Good question. This is the famous Margherita pizza. A legendary Pizzaiolo, a pizza master called Raffaele Esposito invented this pizza in the 19th century. It is known as The Queen of Pizzas. Why Queen? Another good question. But before I answer your question I will tell you a little bit about Napless extraordinary history. After the fall of the Roman Empire, Naples was ruled by various foreign powers.
The Castle dellOvo was built by the Normans who arrived here in the 12th century. It is believed that there is a magic egg buried inside the castle and if it gets broken it will bring harm to the city.
120 years later, the French came here and built another huge castle.
Many artists and writers such as Giovanni Boccaccio came to Naples from Florence to the north and an elegant court culture flourished.
Splendid food must have been served in the palace but regular citizens were eating simple pizzas like this.
Just a second. It’ll be cooked soon.
No ingredients like olive oil were used. Pizzas were made simply with some lard spread over the dough and topped with fish like sardines and whitebait caught during the day. It was only after another foreign power came to the city that pizzas became more sophisticated. The Kingdom of Spain ruled Naples for over 200 years from the late 15th century onwards. This palace was the residence of the Spanish Governor-General. The interior is impressive, the staircase here is entirely of marble. However, during the Great Age of Discovery, the Governor-General was too busy exploring the New World and never had time to visit the palace. Spain brought many unique vegetables from the New World back to Naples. In the 19th century, Italy was finally unified and Naples was finally free from foreign control. Tomatoes were brought from the New World during Spanish rule. They are a key ingredient in Pizza Margherita.
After Italian unification, the King and Queen of Italy visited Naples for the first time and the Queen invited the great pizza master Esposito to the palace. To commemorate the unification of their country, he invented a new pizza inspired by the colours of the national flag.
He used basil for green, mozzarella cheese for white, and
Tomatoes for red. Mozzarella cheese is a white cheese made from water buffalo milk. He used generous amounts of this rare and fine cheese to make a pizza. The queen was delighted and asked him what this pizza is called. Esposito immediately answered,
It is named Margherita in your honour, Your Majesty..