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Make Pizza Like a Champ

John Lewis host proper pizza making demos and Abbie reveals the secrets of the World Champion pizza maker.

Want to know how to make really good pizza? You’re in luck, pizzaiuoli from Rossopomodoro will be spinning their stuff in the demo kitchen in the John Lewis Oxford Street food hall this Saturday 25 October. Demos will be taking place in the morning and afternoon, exact times tbc – keep an eye on our Twitter and Facebook for times nearer the day.

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Back in the summer we were privileged to be visited by our very own World Champion pizzaiuolo (pizza maker) Davide Civitiello. Our Neapolitan champ did the rounds of the UK Rossopomodoro restaurants and shared his skills with budding pizzaiuoli.

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I rolled up my sleeves and got my hands floury with the best of them. I tried my darndest to do as Davide did, mixing the ingredients gently together, then kneading the dough, though I was corrected more than once! I guess there’s a reason these pizzaiuoli train for a decade or more, – I wasn’t likely to go pro in the course of an evening. Once we’d made our dough, we had to leave it to raise before cooking.

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Word to the wise, if you are making this at home, it really does expand; mine started escaping out of its box like some doughy monster! Top tip:  this dough doesn’t respond to a rolling pin, it wants kneading flat, gently, gently until it’s the desired circumference and thickness.

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Why not try your hand at making your own Neapolitan pizza.  Rossopomodoro have modified their pizza recipe so it’s suitable for home use, perfect if you don’t have your own 500 degree wood-fired pizza oven just knocking about. Buona fortuna!

Ingredients for 6 – 8 (12’’) pizza

  •  1 ltr of water
  • 60 g salt
  •  5 g fresh yeast / or 1.5 g dry yeast mixed with some water
  • 1.7 kg extra-fine plain flour (or 00 caputo flour if you can find it)
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil (necessary if you bake your pizza in an electric oven)


  1.  Mix salt and water
  2. Add half of the flour, the yeast (crumbled if fresh or mixed with water if dry), the olive oil and mix it
  3. Keep incorporating the rest of flour until your dough can be removed from the bowl in one piece
  4.  Cover with cling film and leave at room temperature for one hour
  5. Make 6 to 8 balls with the dough
  6. Place the dough balls on a greaseproof paper tray and leave them to rise covered with cling film for three more hours
  7. After three hours, hand-stretch the dough on a tray and add tomato, mozzarella and the toppings of your choice
  8. Bake at 220 degrees until the crust is golden (7 to 10 minutes) – keep watching your pizza!

See you at the food hall demo kitchen at John lewis, Oxford Street on Saturday 25 October. Remember to check our Twitter or Facebook for exact times nearer the date.

Ciao, Abbie!