The Best Tool Ever for Kneading Dough (Pasta, Bread, Pizza)
We had a very social weekend this weekend; it was filled with food, beverage and friends. We were very, very fortunate to have the weekend we did.
Part of our social marathon included a 3-year old birthday party. The party was for a friend’s daughter and was a lovely time. Beyond enjoying seeing old friends and making new ones, the fete featured food made by the toddler’s family. The whole family chipped in to help the efforts of Chef Massimo Bruno who decided to switch to homemade panzerotto (or calzone) from hamburgers when the weather called for rain.
He must have made 100 of these:
Massimo takes great pride in the cuisine of his homeland, especially things like these which come from him home region of Puglia.
Mass’ work was a good reminder of how far my learning has come – and how far remains on the journey – in terms of making dough. They were exquisite.
Beyond his technique and results I was most amazed at a rudimentary piece of equipment that graced his kitchen:
I was given a quick history of the board he uses to roll pasta on: it had been in his family for a long time and had belonged to his aunt who passed it on to him.
The board was massive – about 3 feet by 4 feet. And while it’s easy to see the 3 raised sides that keep the flour on the board (and off the floor or counter), the real magic is difficult to see in this photo. The fourth side has a hidden lip – one that reaches towards the floor. This lip catches the side of the counter and prevents the board from sliding when it’s placed on your counter.
There could be other modifications made to the design (like a no-slip pad) that would further help but it seemed perfect just the way it was. It kept the mess off the floor, was easy to clean, would allow you to knead dough anywhere (perfect for a hot day or busy kitchen) and didn’t let the dough stick to it.
Stay tuned for a coming project and lessons learned from it!
What’s an obscure piece of kitchen equipment you have and adore (or you secretly covet)?