Sunday, October 9, 2016

Pizza Making with Romano and Giovanna

After our cooking class with Simona and Simone, we headed to Agriturismo Mulino Vecchio del Cilone, an organic farm run by Romano and his beautiful wife Giovanna for a pizza class.   Upon arrival, Giovanna had baked an incredible chocolate torta, and we were served Vin Santo the local dessert wine to accompany it.  Fueled up, we took a walk around the property which has beautiful rooms, and views across the property.  

Giovanna and Romano both speak excellent English, and they are amazing hosts

Their farm is organic, and they were the first to institute solar power on their farm in the valley.
After our walk, we came inside to a beautiful room where we would make pizza dough.  

The Maestro ready to teach us his technique

Mulino means mill, and at one time the property did have a mill near the small river that runs through the property.  Giovanna grinds the wheat here in a little grinder, and we used half of her flour and half 0 flour.
Technique for forming the ball of dough

L to R:  George, Romano and Merlene (Dr. C. on this side of the table)

Dr. C. kneading the dough
 Since the dough would have to rise for a while, we used dough that had been made the night before and had risen in the refrigerator.  Romano showed us how to make our dough into bread and his technique was awesome.
He calls this the turtle
this is genius, a flower
The flower would have to rise for a while
Mine is the one in the back, I think it needs water!
Romano made 6 to 7 pizzas each with different toppings


Into the wood fired oven

Gorgonzola, mozzarella and hazelnut


Gorgonzola and hazelnut

And, just when I thought I would burst, Nutella pizza!  Bake the shell, then spread the nutella on the hot shell

Life doesn't get much better than this!
After food, wine and conversation, including sharing the photos of how the agriturismo was built, we said good night, and will forever remember this place and our lovely hosts.  Grazie Romano and Giovanna!  Ciao for now.

Pizza al Romano
Makes one 12-inch pizza

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons dry active yeast
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt

  1. In a bowl, combine all the ingredients, and mix with your hands until the dough comes together. Knead the dough on a board until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 7 minutes.  Allow the dough to rest in a covered bowl overnight in the refrigerator, or one hour at room temperature.  If you have allowed the dough to rise in the refrigerator, bring it to room temperature for 1 to 2 hours, before forming into a pizza.  
  2. flatten the pizza with the palm of your hand, and continue to spread the dough out until it is thin. Dip the bottom of the pizza in a light dusting of flour, and put on a pizza peel.  Top with your favorite toppings, and put into a 450 degree pizza oven, or oven.  Bake for 5 to 6 minutes, until the bottom of the pizza is cooked. Remove, let rest for 5 minutes before cutting into wedges.  
  3. Buon appetito!

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