The Gentleman Gourmand

sharing the best food around

Pizza with Pizzaz

Today, I learned how to make pizza the Umbrian way.

Unfortunately, I didn’t catch the recipe for the dough, which just happens to be the most important part. You’re just going to have to use your imagination. (I know it had flour, water, lard, yeast and salt. What’s odd is that the yeast came in these little blocks that looked like dough. I guess it’s an Italian thing.

Now, I had been eating pizza in Spoleto, and it was incredibly thin (with the exception of Pizza Bianca, which is supposed to be thicker). I really enjoy thin pizza, but evidently this is not how Umbrians make pizza at home.

Anyway, here’s our dough proofing on the stove (but not on the heat, silly):


After proofing, the dough was surprisingly soft. It reminded me less of bread dough and more of a pastry dough.


We ended up making two pizzas with it, one with a simple sauce of fresh tomatoes, tomato sauce, basil and oil (margarita), and another with just oil, salt and rosemary (bianca).

It’s important that you spread lard on the parchment, so that it doesn’t stick. You cant use oil, because the pizza will soak it up and get soggy on the bottom, which is molto cattivo. (Look that one up!)


If you wished I had taken a close up of the bag of lard, I’m way ahead of you.


Another important thing is having a ragingly hot oven. If you open it, and you don’t feel your skin start to peel off, it’s not hot enough. Ours went up to about 250 C. That’s about 500 F for you stateside folks.


Spread out the dough however thick you want. We did about half an inch. Spread the sauce, or oil/salt/rosemary combination evenly on the spread out dough. Then poke holes in it. But don’t prick it; that’s just dirty.

Don’t give me that look.


Anyway… put the pizza in the oven. Enjoy the burning smell of your face. Then take your face out of the oven, silly.

Toss some mozzarella on there. Then toss it back in the incendiary device.




Then take a picture of your scowling maestro.


Now run!

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Comunione “Angelica”


Best mini vacation, ever.


  1. Andrew – just wanted to say I am really enjoying your blog. I love Italy and all things Italian. I envy your extended stay there. Anyway, your stories and pictures are the next best thing. Thanks!

  2. ssp

    Little blocks of yeast are ‘normal’ yeast in Germany as well. Dry yeast seems more modern and I don’t quite trust it.
    I found it hard to find this kind of ‘fresh’ yeast when baking in the UK or South Africa. But usually you can get it by asking at a bakery, even the instore ones of large supermarkets. Sometimes it’s even free because very few people ask for it (and they don’t have a barcode for it or so).

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