Taking a cookery class has been a bucket list item of mine for a long time and this week, I finally made it happen. I signed up for an evening Gourmet Pizza Masterclass at Dublin Cookery School.
The two and a half hour masterclass began with a demonstration of the shaping and base making techniques, (which they make look really easy!). This was followed by making the sauce recipes and toppings.
These are no ordinary toppings; candied shallots and goat’s cheese; asparagus, ricotta and paremsan and a Turkish pizza with lamb and harissa. There was a tasting of each of the pizzas as they came out of the oven. The deliciously sweet candied shallots which are cooked in red wine were the winning topping for me. I’m not mad about goat’s cheese, but the salt and sweet combo on this pizza was quite nice!
Once the shaping and base making had been demonstrated a few times, it was time to get hands on in the kitchen and test our skills. Each work station had 4 pizza dough balls to start with between 2 people. Working together, each pair had to take it in turns making the base and the toppings.
My first attempt was nothing short of pathetic. It was the base for the asparagus, ricotta and parmesan pizza. My cooking partner prepared the toppings and once out of the oven, this is how it looked. Thankfully, it still tasted like a normal pizza.
The next one on the list was the Turkish pizza with lamb and harissa. For this one, I was back in my comfort zone dealing with the topping ingredients while my cooking partner made the base. This one was much better, a slightly oblong shape, but still something that resembled a pizza, unlike my curvy mess!
The last dough ball was for each student to make their own pizza and freestyle with the sauce and toppings, choosing from the huge range on offer. I went with tomato sauce as a base, then added salami, olives and mozzarella. I got the round shape this time, but I was over cautious with the dough and once I had a good base started, I didn’t want to tempt fate by playing with it anymore. I should have stretched the dough more as I made it too small. It tasted pretty good though and I had enough to wrap up for a little snack later at home.
Now, getting that lovely round pizza base with perfect crust is something that obvioulsy takes practice. Personally, I’m willing to put in the extra time, even if it means I have to eat a hundred pizzas, that’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make 😉