My sister got us some free tickets to this year’s Good Food & Wine Show, so we decided to check it out. I booked myself into a dessert pizza class with 400 Gradi‘s Johnny Di Francesco. We made pizza dough, and got a pizza with Modi Apples (cooked in butter and sugar) and Nutino Hazelnut spread (I think it’s basically Nutella).
The recipe for the pizza was on the back of this packet of flour that he imports from Italy.
1000g flour 00
0.5 – 2.0g yeast
Dissolve the salt in the water.
Add 10% of the flour. And mix until you get a thin crepe batter-like texture. Add the yeast, and continue to mix, slowly adding more flour. Don’t add the yeast before adding flour, as the salt water will kill the yeast.
When you’ve added enough flour that it starts to come together into a dough, knead it until you can poke the dough and it bounces back quickly.
Cover with a damp cloth, and leave to rest for 24 hours. If the ambient temperature is over 20 degrees Celcius, then leave out to proof until doubled in size (~5 hours), then put in the fridge to finish maturing.
He said this process is really important for good tasting pizza. The reason why there’s so little yeast in his pizza dough compared to a lot of other recipes is because of the long fermentation time. The good thing about this is that by the time you serve the pizza, the yeast is done maturing. Compared to a lot of rushed doughs that only have an hour or so to proof. The reason why you feel so bloated and thirsty after eating pizza made with the rushed dough is because the yeast will continue maturing in your stomach while you’re digesting. In contrast, his pizzas leave you feeling light. Can confirm, his marinara pizza is one of my favourites (note: he makes a traditional marinara, with no seafood).
Divide dough into 8 balls.
Johnny says that the way a lot of pizza places flatten out the dough is bad, because all that work you put into kneading your dough gets ruined and you end up with a flat piece of dough. What he does is he holds the dough with one hand, and pulls it out sideways with his right hand. Then he lifts it and rotates it 90 degrees so it sits on his left forearm, then he flips it 180 degrees and puts it back on the table. Then he continues doing this until he has a round pizza.
In this picture, you can compare the two doughs – the left one was made with the typical flattening method, and the right one with his stretchy method. Notice how the left one is incredibly flat? He said that’s bad.
Cover with sauces, toppings and he bakes it in his oven for 90 seconds, but the reason the name of his restaurant is 400 Gradi is because that’s how hot his oven is (400 degrees). He said for most home ovens, if you heat a pizza stone to the hottest you can, it’ll probably take about 5 minutes to cook.j
And here is the dessert pizza:
Other things we saw at the show were lots of BBQs. After doing the BBQ course, MrFodder and I have been on the hunt for a new BBQ, and this one looked pretty cool (Primo Ceramic Grill):
It’s ceramic (as you can tell by the name), and if I recall correctly, was about $1700 (I remembered incorrectly, website says $2.6k), not including the metal table or any of the accessories, but you can use it for smoking and grilling. The guy at the stall didn’t seem all that keen to answer questions though. Probably for the best, as it gave us time to go home and research it.
I didn’t end up trying any wine, and the only thing we bought other than some Boscastle pies and a pretzel for lunch was some cookies to take home.
Kinda pricey at $20 for the two of them, but I have discovered a new love for honey cookies, and it’s probably going to be my next obsession.
Pro tip: Sunday afternoon seems to be a great time to go, as a lot of stalls were selling things at a discount given they were closing up soon!