Lifestyle: Pizza Making at Criniti’s, Manly, Sydney.

To say that I have almost spent half a year in Sydney and hadn’t yet visited Manly was becoming a bit ridiculous. I know that Summer time is the best time to go and visit, with it’s famous beaches and surf competitions, but hey better late than never. We’re in April now and it’s only going to get colder. So I finally planned a trip to go, and it actually fell in with the evening time, which meant jumping on the ferry at night whilst all of Sydney’s biggest attractions and city building were lit up and looking spectacular. I know Manly is meant to be a lovely daytime trip, but I would recommend the ferry journey over there just after sunset to really admire the views of this iconic city at night!

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sydney harbour bridge

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So as you can see, the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge looked breath-takingly beautiful all illuminated. Anyway, the reason I was visiting Manly on a weekday evening was because I had kindly been invited along to a real Italian woodfire pizza making class by famous Italian restaurante Criniti’s – home of the 2 metre pizza I previously blogged about in Darling Harbour. The class is usually made up of approx 15 passionate chefs-in-the-making who all pay $89 to take part in an intense cooking lesson. Not only do you learn all the skills and make the pizza from scratch, but you get to personalise your pizza to your taste, take it home with you, gather round with the class and share 3 meters worth of pizza, before indugling in a dessert pizza! So I guess you have to really be into your pizza to participate in this kind of thing…

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The restaurant itself has an authentic decor, and a slight warehouse type feel with exposed brick walls and slate flooring. We all gathered in a room slightly away from the diners, where we recieved complimentary wine and beer before getting our hands covered in the dough for the base making session. First we worked with the right quantities of flour, adding water at different intervals to make sure the texture of the dough was correct. I have to admit mine wasn’t the best, but eventually it got better! Then came adding extra ingredients such as yeast and oil to give the base the correct substances to bake and rise.

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The hardest bit was actually spinning the dough around in your hands to stretch out the base. This is where my piece of art started getting holes and falling apart in certain places. Good job dough is repairable! The chef who trained us all up used this part as a perfect excuse to show off his skills, spinning the dough in the air, throwing it, catching it, and stretching it out in 5 seconds flat. I didn’t really think this bit was worth me copying or my dough would have been a splatter on the floor. The next bits were a lot easier – decorating the pizza! I made a lovely topping combination of tomato puree, mozzarella, ham, mushroom and basil leaves, before setting it aside for 15 minutes in the woodfire ovens to bake away…


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So the final result was actually really impressive – my pizza tasted like one I ordered the previous time I visited Criniti’s, so I was more than impressed to take it home with me! And sitting down with all the rest of the class indulging in meters of pizza after a history lesson about the restaurant and the food making process was really interesting and beneficial, especially if your a bit of a foodie like myself.

We left the class with goody bags filled with Italian treats such as baked cakes and packs of spaghetti to conclude our Italian experience. So, the verdict? Well I would recommend the class as a really good gift for a friend who loves their pizza! If your interested in this kind of thing too, check out the website here for more details.  Bring a friend along with you and have a really good over indulgent night out!

emma campbell

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1 Comment

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