Italians aren’t so big on pie as such, but they do love their pizza!
Since we organise wonderful hands-on cooking classes in Florence and Tuscany, we in the Artviva office should also know how to cook these wonderful recipes, right?
So along we went one evening to the local cookery school, rolled up our sleeves, washed our hands and started with our pizza and gelato cooking class in Florence.
First of all though, we started with a little lesson on kitchen science. Yes, science. ‘What does science have to do with cooking?’ you may well ask.
Well, Italians take their food very seriously and know that good food (and good wine while we’re at it) comes from knowing what is going on in the pot (or vat) in order to produce the best results.
In fact arguably the most famous cook book in Italy’s history is by Florentine local Pelegrino Artusi and titled ‘Science in the kitchen and the art of eating well’.
To cook well, you need to understand what is going on in the kitchen. Thus, we had a fascinating discussion on the reaction between the yeasts and the sugars (carbohydrates in this case), and effect salt has on this process.
Then we discussed mathematics – that is, the quantities required in the delicious Italian recipes we were preparing.
Now, since dough does need to sit for several hours before it can be rolled out and cooked, the chef had kindly prepared some pizza dough for us earlier that day which we topped with some delicious ingredients.
Our Italian chef was on hand (thank goodness!) to guide us through, step-by-step as we mixed, rolled and spun our dough. Whilst he expertly worked that dough like nobody’s business, we needed a little more patience.
But soon enough we too had ended up with a great looking pizza base just crying out to be topped with some delicious ingredients!
We also tried buffalo mozzarella and parmesan over a tomato base, as well as using the dough to make a focaccia bread covered in fresh sage and rosemary and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
Since it was the winter season and the group size was quite small, he even showed us an additional topping – onion and pepper. Finely slice the onion (in this case he used a red onion, although yellow is the most common type used), cover your pizza, drizzle with olive oil and bake.
The last part of the course was of course dining on the delicious results! This was the best pizza dinner in Florence for sure! Served with a bottle of Tuscan wine, we enjoyed our pizza over another a great Italian dinner tradition – wonderful conversation!
To learn about food and have fun learning discovering tasty ways to use seasonal Italian ingredients to make delicious, typical dishes before indulging in a delicious meal made by you, we have hands-on cooking classes in Florence and Cooking Classes in a Tuscan Villa.
If you would like immerse yourself in the Tuscan culture out of the kitchen, we have a small-group Best of Tuscany tour visiting Siena, San Gimignano and Monteriggioni too, as well as stopping for lunch and wine tasting at an award-winning wine estate. See the highlights of Tuscany in one spectacular day tour from Florence – Best of Tuscany small-group tour.
Join us to have fun on an exhilarating bike ride from Florence to the Tuscan countryside, whizzing up and down the rolling Tuscan hills that form the stunning Tuscany countryside as you tour to a great Tuscan villa wine estate to visit their wine cellar for a Tuscan wine tasting, and dine at an award-winning Tuscan restaurant. During the warmer months, you may want to add a splash of extra fun to your Tuscany bike tour with our unique Tuscany Bike Ride with a Villa Swim. Should you wish to skip the Tuscan bike riding altogether and head straight pool-side, we have our Wine Tour and Villa Swim with lunch or simply enjoy a Villa Swim and Lunch in Tuscany.
Visit a Tuscan villa on the Taste of Tuscany at the Villa wine tour. Explore historic wine estates before undertaking a wine tasting. Tread through the terrain, enjoying spectacular views of the Tuscan countryside up-close and personal.
Stroll through the Tuscan countryside, join us for a Perfect Morning in Tuscany small-group walking tour. Leaving from Florence’s city centre and heading to the surrounding countryside, this small-group walking tour includes, well, walking in Tuscany, as well as lunch with wine at a stunning Renaissance Villa Estate, accompanied by an expert tour guide.
If you would like to have a private guide accompanying you, we have private tours that cater to your every desire. From Florence (and Tuscany) to Rome, Venice to the Cinque Terre and beyond, we are at your beck and call.
To explore other areas of Italy, can check out our Artviva Walking Tours website to read more about the tours we have to offer in Florence, Rome, Venice, Cinque Terre, Umbria, Naples, Pompeii and more.