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Saturday, November 7, 2009

Pizza Cooking Class

More and more people from my generation are taking classes to learn how to cook new foods and one of the more popular cooking classes is the pizza cooking class. This class has an authentic Italian cook who used to be a Silicon Valley engineer who is now teaching Italian cooking classes.

Rosetta, our instructor, demonstrated how to make pizza dough and the secrets to good dough (such as double zero high protein organic flour, like Caputo flour).

Rosetta then shared another important step in the pizza process; always use a VERY hot oven. She said the oven should be at least 550 degrees and you must preheat it at least 30 minutes. She also recommended lining the oven with nonglazed tile if you don't have a wood burning stove (as if we all have one). In the photo below is how she lined the oven with the nonglazed tiles so the pizza dough could be placed on those tiles when it was cooked.

Rosetta then taught us how to cook six different types of pizza. One of the most unique pizza combinations was the potato pizza and the roasted butternut squash pizza.

Potato Pizza
The potato pizza was spread with carmelized onions and then layered with thinly sliced potatoes that had been cooked in olive oil and fresh rosemary. Gorgonzola cheese was then sprinkled on the potatoes and then cooked in in the 550 degree oven for five minutes. This was one of the class favorites.

Roasted Butternut Squash Pizza
The roasted butternut squash pizza was first spread with a garlic parsley flavored olive oil and then topped with the roasted squash and goat cheese.

Desert Pizza
My favorite was the desert pizza called Pizza Dolce. This pizza was topped with ricotta cream cheese and then layered with slices of cut figs and sugared orange peel. Sliced almonds were then scattered on top. (This was a similar flavor to a cheese danish but there are no calories in this one....or so I believe).

After seeing a demonstration of each of the different pizza's, we then made either the classic margherita pizza, the mushroom with parsley and fontina cheese pizza, the butternut squash pizza, the potato with rosemary pizza, the eggplant prosciutto pizza, or the desert fig pizza.

Here are some of the completed and cooked pizza's from the class. (You can tell we are very much in the learning phase because of their weird shapes).

After preparing and then cooking the pizza's, we all sat down and had dinner together, remarking and toasting to what great cooks we had all became.

Rosetta's cooking classes, a fun way to spend an evening with friends.