World-Champion Pizza Dough Making at Rossopomodoro, London

It was just a casual day. I happened to be hanging out with Davide Civitello, the winner of the World Pizzaioli Championship and being taught how to make the perfect pizza dough. No big deal.

Okay, I was CRAZY excited! Davide was doing a tour of London and Birmingham for a couple of weeks in May. He’s a senior Pizzaiolo (pizza chef) for Rossopomodoro, so I was learning from the best here. Who better to be taught by, hey?

As I walked in, I noticed our work stations set up all ready to go.

But first, a cocktail was thrust into my hand and went off socialising amongst other excited beings
like myself. All is better with a cocktail.

There were also lots and lots of treats out, but I (for some odd reason) wasn’t actually that hungry yet. Maybe I knew how much pizza was coming up later and was preparing myself. My tummy is getting smarter.

Davide was an absolute babe. A friendly, cheeky Italian who loves pizza. A man after my own heart.

We popped on our aprons and we were ready to get our hands sticky. Soon I’ll be making pizza dough all the time and find any excuse to do it.

We gathered around our stations and started listening to Davide speak about the dough and instructing us on what to do, demonstrating as we went along. The cocktails also made it along to the table with us. Never leave a man behind.

We got down and dirty with this dough. It was sticking to my hands like crazy, but I was so determined to get this right. My name is Italian, for God’s sake. I CAN DO THIS. I AM A FOOD BLOGGER.

Davide went around helping people, making sure they were done right. I was extremely relieved when he made it over to me and sorted my dough out. Let’s be honest, this baby wasn’t going to be world-champion worthy with these half-Asian hands. They just were never made for kneading.

Someone popped this in front of me once my first glass was empty, which got my confidence back up and I was kneading like a crazy woman, pretending to know exactly what I was doing. I got a few impressed comments for my technique. Whaddup.

Very soon with a teensy bit (a lot) more help, the dough was looking goooood.

It was popped into a bowl for us to take home and make later. This definitely calls for a pizza party! Any excuse, right?

Davide showed us what to do. We were supposed to leave it to set for an hour, then split them into how many pizzas you want and roll them into balls, covering them in a damp towel for 3 hours. 3 HOURS? I HAVE TO WAIT 3 HOURS TO EAT?!

He got out some pre-made dough and did his thing to whip us up the perfect pizza.

In a ridiculously short amount of time, he was showing us pizza perfection.

Is it weird that I’m a little turned on by this picture?

This was the start of the pizza feast we were about to embark on. Everyone dived in – it was like our reward for being such good little pizza chefs.

Including yours truly. Anyone who thinks I look good when eating is deeply mistaken.

It was amazing, okay? Who knew a simple Margherita pizza could be so freaking delicious? It’s all about the quality of ingredients, of which Rossopomodoro’s is spot on.

The pizza party moved towards the back of the restaurant and things were getting exciting.

It was pizza time. Goodies were being brought out one by one and my eyes got bigger and bigger. The first one was a delicious courgette one…

Then a cod one arrived. Oh my god. A cod pizza with black olives, capers, mozzarella and peppers.

Then the most gorgeous pepperoni pizza. WHY IS THIS HAPPENING? I may as well wave goodbye to the beach bod dreams now.

This was the final straw. It was a pizza stuffed with ricotta and mozzarella. This was the absolute dream and by far my favourite. I’m a sucker for a stuffed crust.

Just look at that. I’m getting turned on again.

Like I said, the quality of their ingredients are amazing. Their mozzarella gets flown in twice a week from Naples, and it is sensational. And you can’t just throw that word around.

It was the most fantastic night, but like the night before, I was pooped from exams going on and I knew I had to go back to Bath tomorrow morning. This put a spanner in my works of my pizza party, and it meant I had to have one that night. I was worried the shops wouldn’t be open to get everything I need, but the guys at Rossopomodoro were so lovely that they made sure they popped me some homemade tomato sauce and their mozzarella in a bag for me to take home. DID I JUST SCORE SOME OF THEIR MOZZARELLA? I THINK SO!

On the tube home I was looking through some of my pictures and saw this cheeky selfie of Davide and the Rossopomodoro manager for that Hoxton branch. Cheeky.

I had no one to cook for at home, so I went back to Boy’s where I knew there would be hungry flatmates. The only problem was that it was pretty late and if I left it 3 hours then I would in the am hours still waiting for all of them to cook. I was all, no big deal, and left it only an hour. Rookie mistake. This is why half-Asians shouldn’t make pizza or decisions when tipsy.

At least it was clever making it then since there was 5 pizzas from that dough, so it took get through cooking them all.

The pizzas turned out really well, but the dough tasted nothing like it did at the restaurant. Definitely should have left it longer under that damp towel. Drats. Hey ho, at least everyone in that house had snacks for the next couple of days. Man, that mozzarella! 

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