Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Do You Know About Our Dough?

        We make our pizza dough fresh in the Cucina every day using 7 simple ingredients and we only use Olive oil - YES it's more 4 times more expensive than the mainstream canola or soy oil but it gives our pizza crust that authentic Italian bread flavour.  And we only use Sea salt in our dough, because it's what the Olive oil deserves.  Did you know that each dough ball is hand rolled? Yup, you don't let a machine work over this nice of a pizza dough! And after each dough ball is hand rolled, we let it cold ferment (aka proof/rise) and develop it's flavours for a minimum of 30 hours before it's ready to be your pizza crust or flatbread.  

            Back in 2008 when I took my certified Italian Pizza School course, my Italian instructors talked at great lengths about the importance of using Olive oil over other forms of oil or fat, (*did you know some places use lard???It’s true, I don't want to scare you, but some places even use imitation lard which is really, really bad for your health!) and they also spoke at length about the importance of a high quality Sea salt.  They spoke about the importance of choosing a high quality flour, and allowing the dough to develop it’s flavours at a slowed pace. .

           All of this, they said, is of great importance to how your body digests the pizza, and if you skip these high quality ingredients, or one of the steps to allow the flavours to develop in your dough, your body knows it and will have a difficult time digesting the food.  Knowing that your body takes an average of 30-48 hours to digest a meal, it’s not something we want you and your body feeling bad or unsettled about later in the night or the next day.  Rather, we’d like you and your body to just enjoy all the goodness of all the ingredients that actually nourish your body and soul, not just fill an empty tummy:).   At Diana's, we know that we cater to those with discerning tastes, those who can appreciate an authentic pizza made with a great artisan pizza dough.  Next post I'll discuss ingredients we use at Diana's vs 'ingredients' mainstream places use.

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Why I love sharing my knowledge of artisan pizza with home pizza chefs

You may not know that I have been teaching pizza making classes for over 10 years and I’m often asked why I would share my extensive knowledge about the art and craft of pizza making.  Well, initially it started with people buying my pizza dough.  Then people started calling the store to ask how to hand stretch it and bake it at home - which is challenging to describe over a phone, never mind in the middle of a busy supper rush!  Naturally, it evolved into pizza making classes, both private and with the city of Winnipeg's Leisure guide.  As it turns out, I've found a similar passion for a great pizza from these kindred spirits and over the years I’ve come up with several reasons for sharing my extensive knowledge...

A passionate home pizza chef is rarely concerned with how much the ingredients cost, or how much time it takes to make it, they are solely concerned with the best quality and taste.

A home pizza chef...

... stocks their kitchen pantry with the same simple ingredients that you would find/have found in their grandmothers’ kitchens.  

... won’t use fake or imitation cheeses – unless there is a dietary restriction.  And even when there is a dietary consideration, you will never find a home pizza chef who searches out the cheapest non-dairy imitation cheese, rather they are looking for one made with good ingredients that anyone can pronounce. And one that they find appealing in taste and baking consistency.

...will never try to make a pizza for $1. 50* [*in the pizza industry the average $5 pizza actually contains $1.50 worth of ingredients – and that includes the highly colourful logo’d cardboard box – the most expensive “ingredient” for a $5 pizza.]

...discerns true quality ingredients over marketing slogans.  A home pizza chef is concerned with how their body and their loved ones bodies digest the food that they have so lovingly made. They see the ‘you are what you eat’ connection with the quality of the food they choose to nourish their bodies and of their loved ones.

...rarely refer to us as expensive.  They realize that the time and hard earned money they spend shopping for premium ingredients, cleaning, prepping, and baking up of those ingredients and then cleaning up after the meal is a labour of love whereas a business that strives to meet the same excellence pays its team each step of that process.  

                We’d thought it’d be fun to see your creations, so home pizza chefs –especially those who start off with a Diana’s Cucina dough ball, we’d love to see what you’re making – please post a pic to our Instagram page and share what kind of dough you used, and what’s on your pizza creation – each month my team and I will vote on our favourites and the winner will win a special Diana’s home pizza chef prize!