I love cooking and baking, but I will not pretend like everything I make comes out perfectly every time. Grazie to everyone who follows @Immerse_Italy on Instagram, but social media doesn’t always expose the sbagli (mistakes) we make. For example, my kouign-amann mishap was nothing short of a humbling experience that didn’t quite get broadcasted.
A few months ago, Dan Souza, the Editor in Chief of Cook’s Illustrated magazine wrote an article titled “Dice Game”, it was about eating your cooking mistakes in full sight, as a way of learning from them. As someone who hates wasting food (thanks to my Depression-era nonna), I now enjoy silky, thin homemade tagliatelle - but only after chewing through a couple batches of thick, hard wannabe pasta. Practice really does make perfect!
This weekend I returned to a neglected Italian food goal: making homemade pizza. You can’t blame me – I live in NYC with easy access to delicious pizza on every block. Why would I go through the trouble of making pizza at home when I don’t even have a wood burning oven in my apartment? Because I’m an Italian perfectionist, that’s why!
So, the first round in over a year didn’t go quite as planned – but I ate it. In hindsight (I’ve got a lot of that), my mistake was that I didn’t simply follow one recipe. I sifted through a few Italian recipes for impasto per la pizza and the Roberta’s pizza dough recipe from NYTimes Cooking and fused them together according to my "know-how". Next time, I’ll just stick to one plan. Instead of getting the sought-after Napolitano style pizza with airy risen crust, I got something closer to the after-school snack, Elio’s. But it I ate it, and it was still delicious, and I even discovered a few air pockets in the dough, which I'll consider a minor success.
Allora, pizza party anyone? Have you tried making pizza at home? How did it go? Or… why haven’t you tried yet? My pizza making journey is pressing forward, with this much curiosity and research, I have no doubt I’ll be shoveling out pizzas like a true pizzaiola in no time!
In the meanwhile, no matter who is making your pizza – buon appetito!