One of the most incredible experiences that I’ve ever had was to get to take a Pizza & Gelato cooking class in Florence. We were able to learn how to make pizza and gelato from local chefs. It was such a fun experience after eating so much of both on our trip.
The class started with a lesson on making dough. We made a little bowl out of the flour, then carefully kneaded it together, being careful not to overwork the dough. Then it had to be left to rest before getting transformed into our pie.
They suggested enjoying a glass of local Chianti while you wait for your dough to rise. Somehow I was talked into it! 😉
Once it rose, we pressed it into shape and added our toppings. I first started with too little flour, then I ended up with too much. I guess I’ll have to keep practicing until I get it right!
Once you’ve made your dough and topped it with sauce & cheese, the rest is your choice. Pizza Margherita & Marinara Pizza are the classic two choices of pizza in Italy. In the old school pizzerias, those are the only two choices that you will find. In newer spots that cater to a younger crowd, more toppings are sneaking in. It’s still nothing like what Americans put on our pizzas, but some new classics are emerging. Here are the most common pizza combinations:
Margherita Pizza – fresh basil leaves
Marinara Pizza – chopped fresh garlic, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and dried oregano
Spicy Salami – hot salami
Four Formaggi – Fontina cheese, Gorganzola cheese, mozzarella cheese, and brie cheese
Pizza Napoli – capers & anchovies
What goes better with pizza than gelato? After our pizza lesson, we were taught how to make gelato. I will say that I was disapointed to find that it requires a gelato or ice cream machine, but it was still a lot of fun to try making it. If we had space in our kitchen, I would get a gelato maker. It has been so hard to go back to eating regular ice cream!
Our class opted to make both the regular gelato (like a vanilla) and a chocolate one.
Fior di Latte Gelato
- 2.5 Cups whole milk
- 1 Cup sugar
- 1 1/4 Cup fresh cream
- 1 Pinch of salt
- Warm the milk.
- Add remaining ingredients to milk, stirring well until everything is dissolved.
- Pour the mixture into the machine & let it go to work. Your gelato should be a lovely smooth consistency.
- Follow the directions for the Fiordi Latte gelato. Add in 1 Cup of Cocoa Powder to the warm milk while stirring.
We got a graduation certificate for completing the class! If you are interested in taking one of their classes, check out Florencetown for a ton of options. I seriously can’t recommend them enough!