At our 2nd Brussels Food Friends event – every blogger walked away with a discount voucher for La Cucina Delle Zie – where Antonio not only provides gorgeous baked & decorated sweet treats directly from the shop – but also offers fun workshops & courses – ranging from cupcake decorating to pizza making!
I had previously attended the cupcake & biscuit decorating course (thanks to a birthday gift from M) & was super eager to try out the pizza course! Boy, was I glad that I did!
There we were, 10 delegates in aprons (provided by La Cucina Delle Zie), listening to Antonio as he patiently explained the whole process – from the reason why protein in the flour is so important to why you need to use a damp cloth to cover the dough while it proofs!
And then we started…..
Somewhere in between – we also opened a few bottles of wine, laughed, ate slices of the pizzas as they came directly out of the oven and laughed some more … (mainly at my instance of wanting banana on a pizza… which the Italians were shocked about… and refused to even consider!)
And finally left feeling very well informed, with our homemade dough, full stomaches and the confidence to make our own at home! (Plus a few leftover slices)
Pizza dough ingredients for 1 pizza (although it is recommended to make more 🙂 but remember to keep the proportions the same!)
5g yeast (not the dried sachet type)
125g tepid water
10g salt (less if you so wish)
- Mix a little bit of the water with the yeast to form a paste
- Create a well in the centre of your bowl of flour
- Pour the yeast wet mix into the centre and using your fingers, slowly make circles to incorporate the flour into the wet mixture
- Add a little bit of water at a time – as you might not need all of the water to get the dough to the right mixture
- when fully combined, place the ball of dough onto a lightly floured surface
- Add the salt – and push & fold together (don’t stretch!) until the dough has a somewhat soft and smooth texture (the only thing that I could alike this texture to – is a firm breast…..)
- Leave on a lightly floured surface covered by a damp tea towel for a few hours
- It will have doubled in size & is at the perfect stage to give it a good knead….
- Once again – place the ball on a lightly floured surface for ~1hr (covered by a damp tea towel) for a bit more proofing
- Take a ball & flatten to create a disc
- Using one hand, palm downwards on top of the disc (to keep it flat), use your other hand from the underside (starting at the centre) to gently pull the edges of the disc of dough to stretch it out a bit
- Try to avoid making holes in the disc – but if you do – don’t reknead – rather pinch the dough back together at this point and continue
- And voila – you have a pizza base!
You will need to top the dough with a tomato based sauce & bake for 10-15minutes before adding the cheese & other toppings as standard ovens don’t get hot enough to cook the base of the pizza & the toppings in the right amount of time… once the base is a little brown around the edges, then you can add your mozzarella & toppings and bake for a further 10minutes.
We even made Calzone…
Now it sounds like a lot of time & effort – but it really is worth it… Yes – the dough takes time to proof – but you could make it in the morning – and start stage 2 of kneading about an hour before you wanted to eat that morning… Or you can do what we did & make the dough the night before & even freeze it!
La Cucina Delle Zie
address:Rue de l’Arbre-Bénit 26, Ixelles, 1050, Brussels, BELGIUM
telephone: +32 2 852 6639
Closed on Mondays