Earlier this week, I visited Bardolino for the first time for a pizza making class. Another restaurant in the Marco Pierre White family, Bardolino Birmingham is the first of it’s kind in the UK, and although I’ve had poor experiences of Marco branded restaurants before, my first impressions of Bardolino were good.
We were welcomed by the organisers with a Peroni or Prosecco on arrival and got to meet the chef. We were all given an apron and a fetching paper hat to write our names on so we could get to know each other.
After a bit of mingling, we all gravitated towards the pizza table, which was set out in the middle of the restaurant with an impressive selection of toppings.
Our dough was ready made to keep things simple, and although I totally understood, it would have been fun to get a demo from the chef on how Bardolino make their dough in house.
We were all desperate to get stuck in, so we got to work on shaping our dough balls into a pizza base. Bardolino use semolina instead of flour to stop it sticking, and a plate around 12 inches around to get the right size.
Chef gave us a quick demo for technique before we got to work. The aim was to use flat palms to stretch the dough around the edges, leaving a bit of a bump in the middle.
After we’d got the dough to roughly the size of the plate, it was time to get it onto the worktop and dust off the semolina before throwing it!
As terrifying as the idea of throwing my lovely pizza base was, it wasn’t so bad! The dough is stretchier and less fragile than it looks. The lovely Wine Press Girl even captured my throwing skills on camera!
After successfully catching my base, leaving it suitably stretched, it was time for toppings.
We started off with classic tomato sauce, spread in a circular motion from the centre of the base to the edges.
For my pizza, I decided on bresaola – Italian air-dried and salted beef – for my meat, with baby mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, fresh spinach, thyme and mozzarella, with a grinding of black pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Our group produced a great selection of pizzas, using everything from salami, to bolognese sauce, to eggs. We even had a dairy-free pizza from Ting of The Ting Thing.
Our pizzas were whisked away to the oven to be stone baked. It was a shame we couldn’t see the pizzas cooking, but the results spoke for themselves.
My pizza turned out brilliantly, with a thin, golden crust and a great crispy base that didn’t go soggy in the slightest. I really enjoyed it and thought it was delicious, even if I say so myself!
Sadly my pizza didn’t win the competition for a place on the Bardolino menu for February, but I did get a shout out for my impressive dough throwing. If I ever decide to have a career change, you’ll know where to find me!
If you fancy trying Bardolino yourself, you’ll find them in The Cube in Birmingham City Centre. You can personalise any pizza on the menu to make it your own, or try out any of the family inspired dished on the menu, which has had a dozen new dishes added this week.
And if you’re in the mood for love, their Valentines Day special sees heart shaped pizzas on the menu and a Valentines Day 3 course meal with a bellini for £22.50.
Have you been to Bardolino? What did you think? And most importantly, what would be on your ideal pizza?