This post is going to be a 2 parter…
The first part is about a place you need to go to learn about how to make pizza.
Pizza a Casa is a G-dsend for people like me who just can’t, despite public claims they make on their blogs, seem to be able to pull it together to make a good yeast bread.
Or, in this case, pizza crust.
Mark Bello has created a pizza school for the yeast challenged They partnered with Sam Adams to teach us how to make pizza dough with beer, but more on the recipe later.
The pizza school itself on the Lower East Side is very small with a long counter in the middle where you sit, drink a beer, and learn how to make pizza.
Bello measures out all of the ingredients for you, so all you have to do is concentrate on the technique.
He is patient, funny, and totally hands on. He walks around to each of the 20 or so students in the class, making sure that each one understands how the dough should look smooth, how it should feel rather dense by the time that you are done needing, and making sure that everyone who wants to has a glass of wine or beer.
He explains why it’s important to use finely granulated salt (so it melts better) and how to slide your pizza off your peel onto the stone (the secret is semolina flour). He lets you know that your home oven can produce a wonderful pizza and that your supermarket carries every ingredient you need – no need to invest in olive oil so expensive that it makes you take out a second mortgage on your home.
Best of all…he teaches you how to make some totally delicious pizzas.
Like one topped with ricotta, parley, and crab (he uses canned crab meat and it tastes incredible). Very light and non fishy). The ricotta puffs up and creates this lightly salty, very creamy topping on a wonderfully tender pizza crust.
Then there is one topped with spicy red pepper and mozzarella paste – kind of like an Italian pimento cheese. The secret here is some Sriracha in the pesto. Topping it with pepperoni brings out the even saltier, spicier tones, and makes those high notes sing.
Or one topped with raw bell pepper, red onion, and basil on a mozzarella and tomato sauce pie. Simple, vegetal, and totally delightful.
Though I took the class for free, I would pay for it again . In fact, I am thinking about taking it again soon. After all, the pizza I made at home did turn out pretty darned well thanks to this class…
To Be Continued…
*Disclaimer – I did not pay for this class. I was not required to write about my experience and my opinions are my own and unbiased.*