Last week on our trip to Florence we attended a cooking class! The class was fun and easy and perfect for kids. Even Carter could follow along and participated in almost all the steps of making the pizza. During the class we tried our hand at making our own pizzas and chocolate gelato, both of which we had for dinner at the end of class. The pizza recipe I’m sharing today is slightly different than the one we did in the class, but I am going to explain the method we used, which I thought was an easy way to make the dough (no tossing necessary!).
Carter gave the instructor his full attention! We were impressed that, for the most part, he really tried to listen and participate. He even asked questions and tried to follow the directions! For the full recipe with measurements, see the recipe card at the end of this post.
First, crumble fresh yeast into warm water (not too warm, not cold) and stir until fully mixed in. Set aside. For the next step we made wells with the pizza flour. Use your fingers to circle around and around until the well is about as big as your flat hand. Then, carefully pour your water-yeast mixture into the well. Use a fork to drag the flour into the water from the flour walls a little a time, all the way around the circle, mixing as you go. Do this until all the flour has been mixed in. Try not to let the water escape, but if it does then just close it back in with some flour!
After the water is mixed in, begin to knead the dough. Coat your hands and the dough with a sprinkle of flour. Knead for several minutes until the dough is consistent and not too sticky or wet. If it’s sticky you can knead in some extra flour.
SideNote: At this point some people might be wondering- where is the salt? We will add salt later, don’t worry! Because adding salt can kill the yeast, the salt is added in later by sprinkling on top with the sauce.
Cut dough in half, or fourths depending the size of the pizzas you want. Form dough into balls to rest. Drizzle olive oil over dough balls and rub all over to coat. Allow dough to rest on floured surface or in a bowl coated with olive oil to rise for about 2 hours. Make sure to separate the dough balls so they have room to rise without touching each other!
Once the dough has rested, begin to form it into the pizza shape. Place dough onto a floured surface. Use your fingertips to gently spread the dough out into a circle. Using this method will help make sure the dough doesn’t rip.
Add fresh tomato sauce and sprinkle with salt and oregano. Add shredded mozzarella cheese and other toppings of choice. This type of pizza should have fresh ingredients such as cut up veggies and fresh sauce! You can also add some spicy salami for a real Tuscan taste! Boar salami is very popular in this region!
Cook and enjoy your pizza!
While we waited for our pizza dough to rise, Carter was selected as one of the “special helpers” for making the gelato! He got to help mix the ingredients and taste the unsweetened chocolate, of course making the appropriate face of disgust which everyone thought was hilarious.
He also got to help taste the finished product before it was poured into the gelato machine! It was pretty good, although I’ll admit that chocolate isn’t my favorite flavor. We did try plenty of other delicious gelato on this trip though!
- 14 grams fresh yeast (about 1/2 ounce)
- 1 1/4 cups warm water
- 4 cups pizza flour (or other very fine flour of choice), divided
- olive oil
- red pepper flakes
- fresh tomato sauce
- shredded mozzarella cheese
- other fresh pizza toppings of choice
- Crumble fresh yeast into warm water and stir to dissolve it. Allow to sit for just a few minutes while you prepare the flour.
- Dump 3 3/4 cups flour on a large, flat and clean surface. Use your hands to create a well in the middle of the flour.
- Pour water and yeast mixture carefully into the well. Use a fork to draw flour into the water from all around, a little at a time, stirring as you go. Continue around until flour is incorporated, mixing it all in.
- With floured hands, knead dough for a few minutes until consistency is uniform and not sticky. If it's too wet, add a little extra flour. Cut dough in half, or fourths depending the size of the pizzas you want. Form dough into balls to rest.
- Drizzle olive oil over dough balls and rub all over to coat. Allow dough to rest on floured surface or in a bowl coated with olive oil to rise for about 2 hours.
- Using your fingertips, gently press dough into pizza sized circles.
- Add sauce, sprinkle with salt and oregano. (and pepper flakes if desired)
- Add cheese and other toppings of choice!
- Bake in preheated oven, 450F(220C) for 5-8 minutes.
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