Mamma Mia!

a guide to mastering pizza - The cat, you and us

A few months ago we went to La Fermatta, a new pizza place recently opened at Barcelona that is in the hot restaurants’ list of our city. They sell gourmet pizzas “al taglio” like the ones you can buy on Rome to take away; I specially love the one with potato and pesto sauce. But the secret of their pizzas isn’t the quality of the ingredients, what makes a difference is its exquisite dough which they ferment during 48 hours. Since the moment I put the first slice in my mouth I went crazy with it!

La Fermatta evil pizzas made me start looking for information about homemade long fermented pizza dough. I used to make homemade pizza using the typical recipes, but I learnt something in my crazy research for the perfect homemade pizza: Don’t believe their lies! Most of Internet recipes will end with a non-elastic flavor-less dough. So here are some tips I learnt during my madness:

  • Don’t be violent with the dough! Never use a rolling pin, it will pop the bubbles of your long fermented dough.
  • The long you ferment the dough, the best flavor it will get. I usually put the dough in the fridge for 24/48 hours before putting it in the oven.
  • To get a dough that is easier to get shape, mix all the ingredients with the 75% of the flour and let them rest for 30-60 minutes before starting the kneading. This process is called Autolyse. After 30-60 minutes start kneading and add the other 25% of the flour, it will make a huge difference when you try to shape the dough after a 24/48 hours fermentation!

This last Christmas, Santa, who was aware of my new hobby, brought me a few gifts on the subject:

  • Pizzarina, a special flour for pizzas from a Barcelona artisan bread makers shop.
  • The Bread Baker’s Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread, a book by Peter Reinhart, a must have for homemade bread makers.
  • And finally, the coolest themed gift: Mamma mia!, an awesome (and fun) card game! ;) We are always searching for two-player games and that one is perfect for us, it is designed for two or more players and guess what? It’s about making pizzas!

Do you have any tips on homemade pizza? After some disastrous attempts (poor Damaris), thanks to Mamma Mia! I’m starting to improve my techniques and the last ones don’t look as bad as my first attempts at all. Are you in the mood to share a slice with us?

Mamma mia! Card game - The cat, you and us

All I know about pizza is thanks to that great moustached man.

Pizzarina flour - The cat, you and us

I used pizzarina flour, one of my best christmas gifts this year.

Kneading the dough - The cat, you and us

Just pretending, I knead the dought with my Kitchen Aid ;)

Pizza dough - The cat, you and us Playing with the dough - The cat, you and us

Don’t try this at home, only for great pizza makers! ;)

Oiling the container Putting the dough in the fridge - The cat, you and us Our fridge - The cat, you and us

A long fermentation requires low temperatures. I usually let rest the dough in the fridge for 24 hours before baking it.

Mamma Mia! Ingredients - The cat, you and us

Then is Damaris’ responsibility to choose the ingredients.

Mushroom - The cat, you and us

This time she was on the mood for mushrooms, so we used some Portobello and fresh mozzarella.

Mozzarella - The cat, you and us Mamma mia! and a slice of pizza - The cat, you and us

Maybe not perfect shaped but not bad, isn’t it? I think we won the game this time ;)

Share this adventure


  1. Ice Pandora ADDS...

    I have never made my own pizza’s before, yet
    I am planning too because the dough is similar
    in making bread and I love making bread c:
    Thanks for the tips! Xx

    23rd January 2014
    • We reply...

      You must try pizza dough specially if you love making bread, they share the same principles with the difference that you can oven it very quick! ;)

  2. Jane Y. ADDS...

    i once made my own pizza and it came out horrible! yours look so delicious. love how the ingredient was chosen! :)

    23rd January 2014
    • We reply...

      While experimenting I had a problem with a too much fermented dough and it came out so horrible (acid flavor, eww xD) that Damaris was about to forbid me making again pizzas at home ;) Don’t give up, I convinced her to keep trying and now they are very tasty!

  3. Fiona ADDS...

    Ahhh pizza making :) How fun! Okay here is what I learned from my friends who learned off this awesome Italian dude. (I ate his pasta once and it was most delicious pasta I’d ever eaten!)

    1) Don’t be scared of a hot oven – turn your oven up to it’s highest temperature.
    2) Make the base thin, pop it into that oven and let it bubble before taking it out (this takes only a few minutes or less)
    2) home made sauce (looks like you’re onto that!)
    3) put that home made sauce on your pizza and pop it back into the oven to let the sauce get less liquidy!
    4) three ingredients – keep it simple and mozzarella cheese (you guys are onto that too) and then back in the oven
    6) eat
    7) try and not burn yourself :)

    I’m super intrigued about the dough, my dough was so awful.
    What ingredients do you use for your dough apart from the awesome flour?

    My friend Shane did say I had to buy – I think it was high gluten (??) flour – which I forgot at the supermarket so maybe that’s why my dough turned out horrid, plus I didn’t do your magical step of leaving it for 24/48 hours! I’m excited to experiment :)

    24th January 2014
    • We reply...

      Hahaha, while writing this post I was thinking about you (and your friend’s awesome oven)! ;) Love all your tips, they ring so true. Don’t worry about the flour, it’s not as important as a slow rise of your dough. I use only flour, water and salt (ok, and a little of homemade sourdough), using this amazing pizza recipe. The recipe’ owner become famous thanks to that recipe and now has its own pizza restaurant in New York, cool, isn’t it?

  4. Mariko ADDS...

    I feel I have perfected many different bread types, but pizza dough is still rather illusive to me. I will have to try your method out when we have a weekend to play around.

    24th January 2014
    • We reply...

      I think the perfect pizza is the combination of a good dough and a very (VERY) hot oven, ideally 800F! Tell us how it goes if you try the long rising method! ;)

  5. Fiona ADDS...

    Okay the flour isn’t as important, that’s so good to know -will follow that recipe next time!!! weee I’m excited to make more delicious pizzas!

    27th January 2014
    • We reply...

      Varasano’s recipe is long, but it worths reading thoroughly! Tell us how your pizza turns out! ;)

  6. Brittany ADDS...

    I have never thought to make my pizza dough, but I bet this would taste so amazing compared to the bought pizza doughs!

    27th January 2014
    • We reply...

      Thanks Brittany! Basic pizza dough is easy and the results are incredible compared to the pizza doughs that you can find at the grocery store, try it some day and I’m sure you will love it! ;)

  7. deniz ADDS...

    It seems yummy. We also make our pizzas at home, I have only one trick is that you should leave dough in the fridge for a looooonng time :)) and I agree with you about rolling pin, hands are better than it :)
    And one thing I just remember; put garlic, sugar and black pepper in your sauce in addition to salt, they make it better!

    29th January 2014
  8. Lucila ADDS...

    Les cartes són lo más :-)

    29th January 2014
    • We reply...

      Si us agraden els jocs de cartes hem de buscar un forat per fer una partideta, i una pizza d’acompanyament!

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