After mulling over a few topping ideas in my head, I decided what to put on my pizza: diced eggplant, zucchini, Parmacotto ham, ricotta, mozzarella, parmigiano, and basil. A little different, I must admit. But you know what? It worked.
Press the Dough
Next, Guilio showed me how to shape the dough into a round by pressing the dough with the tips of my fingers.
The dough at Forcella undergoes a second 24 hour fermentation, which results in a pizza that is less soupy in the center than a regular Neapolitan pie. The double fermentation yields a dough that is more fragrant and stands up better to toppings.
After punching out the dough, Giulio shows me how to lay one palm on the dough while stretching out the other side with my free hand.
Then comes the tricky part: flipping the dough with one hand onto the other hand, then flipping it back onto the counter while rotating it. I got the hang of it by the end!
Unfortunately, there was a small hole in my dough which Giulio was thankfully there to fix.
Topping time: Zucchini and Eggplant
The zucchini and eggplant had been diced and quickly sautéed.
Ham for a bit of salty porkiness (always important).
Then came dollops of creamy ricotta, ripped bufala mozzarella, parmigiano, and pieces of torn basil.
A good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
Giulio then showed me how to transfer the pizza from the counter to the peel. It's harder than one might think: you must do it in a swift motion so the dough doesn't stick to the counter and the toppings don't fall off.
Before I took the reigns, Giulio showed me how to tilt the pizza towards the hottest parts of the oven to evenly cook the crust.
He then showed me how to rotate the pizza by pulling back on the pie with the peel and sliding it towards the mouth of the oven.
I was very careful not to drop the gorgeous pie while transferring it from the oven to the plate.
Giulio enjoyed my topping combination, but remarked, "Basically, I love any pizza with ricotta on it." Personally, I'd say my pizza-making session was a great success.
Hopefully, if I'm ever in need of a job, Giulio will hire me. A girl can dream, can't she?