Tag: Esposito

Pizza as Antonino Esposito does: heretical and with lemon – Italian Cuisine


It is not round, it is not Neapolitan, it does not tell the tarantella of yeast and long leavening. A star, a bouquet, with lemons. From Sorrento this pizza arrived in Milan. And it amazes

It is pizza, but it is not Neapolitan, it is not round and it is in the shape of a bouquet, whip, donuts and cannoli. It is not leavened 1000 hours, it is not made with mother yeast and just to dispel the last myth, it arrives seasoned with lemons. It's pizza as it does it Antonino Esposito, guru of the counter-current pizza, left from Sorrento and now they come up to Milan to churn out … from the electric oven.

The frozen pizza empire

In Sorrento Antonino Esposito is loved and respected as a mayor of those elected by popular acclaim. Born in 1968, he was born in Sorrento, where he lives and works, but above all he gives work. A master pizza maker who is a heretic and a lover of dogmas, in 1996 he invented the Sorrentine whisk, patented, frozen and known throughout the world. It is a small boat shaped like a small tomato, stuffed with tomato and basil, with two pieces of mozzarella on the ends. Today the company Sorrento Flavors and Traditions it produces a dozen variations of condiments, bases and other frozen pizzas, enough to give work to 45 employees to produce over 30 million pieces a year, under its own brand, for private labels and even for airlines. He could stay at home enjoying the money, instead Antonino Esposito in 2008 participates in the World Pizza Championship and wins the silver medal, a year later he inaugurates Ahum! pizzeria-bowling located in the upper area of ​​Sorrento and in 2015 in Marina Piccola the restaurant Acqu ’e Sale. He goes on TV on Alice and becomes famous even to the general public. In 2019 he opens in Milan in via Solferino. So does Antonino Esposito and soon he will be in Catania, Capri and does not intend to stop: «Not to prove something to someone, I am no longer a boy; not to emerge, now I've done everything in life: but to give myself a dream come true. I am in Milan for personal gratification and to gratify my pizza . And in fact, May 1st is at work in front of the bakery with his boys and eager to tell his story and stop and chat for hours with us.

The heretic pizza maker

It comes from Sorrento, not from Naples, produces frozen pizzas and dismantles the most common beliefs about good pizza one after the other. «Today we like to talk about sourdough, stone-ground flour and long leavening. They are the three stories of the pizza maker to get you up . And he begins to dismantle the theses of others one after the other. "To reach 72 hours of leavening you need strong grains, very rich in proteins, but Italian grains are too weak and with little protein to ripen for so long, so you have to use foreign flours, which to get here maybe even have preservatives. But why not use Italian wheat and leaven less? In 24-48 hours I am ready, working with Italian grains with the germ, the fill paste and a few grams of brewer's yeast. It does not and at 70 ° C it dies, as the mother yeast dies. Stone milled? I prefer to use the most modern technologies that do not spoil the grain and do not heat it . And he concludes: "At the age of fifty I don't need to tell the tarantella. I want to respect the product that gave me life. And I'm against gourmet pizza, I'm a practicing Italian, I want to talk about excellent pizza .

The menu

He has no ideological conviction about pizza, no veto and so the frozen king makes pizza that he likes, refusing labels a priori. No round pizza, no classic Neapolitan dough, in Milan Antonino brought his own pizza and apart from the fact that it's really good, it's hard to define it. In the shape of a bouquet, of a donut, of a bundle or a 60 cm long whisk, it has nothing to do with the classic pizza. I miss the dressing, which amazes with the combined Sorrento lemon, mozzarella and fennel seeds: large and yet wiped out in a second. The raw dough is super elastic, from (perfectly) cooked it becomes light, never chewy, so much to last on the plate. And even in the evening, since with the leftovers I admit I made the doggy-bag. Fried pizza is a revelation. Fried, then baked and at the end seasoned, it is so little greasy that the dip in the oil does not feel neither to smell nor to the palate. But it becomes very crunchy.
On the topping the obsession for quality and typical products is total, just look in the fridge-window to understand that nothing comes from the industry, but remains on the classic. "Pizza with seafood? What are we talking about!". For the doughs, instead, they make original mixes: hemp flours, cereals, Venere rice and then the inevitable types 0, 1 and integral. Dough with beer, Sorrento lemon infusion, wine and wild fennel …
The shapes range from the oval, with the classic Marinara or the Cinque Sensi, with cocoa, then there are the famous whips, in which we even finish pasta and potatoes, and even more creative forms like the butterfly or the squares. Just to impress? "Absolutely not. To have fun, of course, but to study the shapes that make the fillings stand out and make my customers wow . He smiles: "And then it's also a memory of when I wasn't able to get her to come straight!"
We drink wine, craft beer from the Sorrento Brewery with IGP lemons and both classic and Neapolitan cocktails, such as the Bloody Cetara with anchovy sauce. And finally a limoncello. But the good one, really from Sorrento and from real lemons (they also have an annurka apple liqueur which is a delight).

Milanesi, do it calmly!

«The pizza gave me everything, I was born poor and the work brought me here: every day of my life I ate, lived and thought about pizza. It is almost a religion ". There is no time when Antonino is not grateful for the pizza for everything he gave him in life, and indeed the business of the frozen Sorrentine whip took him around the world as perhaps he would never have expected. «When you still make pizza, dough, you wake up with the desire to do, it means that you still have passion, the day I will tell a boy:" Go to knead "it will be time to give up". Only regret about Milan? "Even when it's a vacation day it's all organized, planned, and it's a shame, you never take the extra minute to enjoy life." It was May 1st, everything was planned, but in the end, with his pizza, Antonino raised a Milanese at four o'clock. And with ladoggy-bag in hand.

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Antonino Esposito makes the pizza with the egg (and not only). Here is the recipe – Italian Cuisine


The recipe of the pizza guru explained step by step, including egg and lard – which serve to make the dough softer – and the secret to the perfect tomato. Once tested, you will never come back

Antonino Esposito of pizza understands. Born in 1968, he was born in Sorrento, where he lives and works in his pizzeria Ahum! and in the Acqu ’e Sale restaurant. In 2008 he came second in the World Pizza Championship, he is the first TV face in the history of pizza in Italy, when he led the Piacere Pizza program and Alice Master Pizza. He has just opened a new pizzeria in Milan, so does Antonino Esposito and writes for magazines, makes videos, DVDs and books dedicated to the world of pizza. Antonino Esposito is also the master pizza maker who invented the Sorrentine whip, a product born in 1996, patented and known all over the world, shipped frozen in Italy and overseas.

Photo @ Daniel Mari.

His is a technical mastery that is measured with the wood-burning oven, the difficulties of the production chain and the ovens at home. He knows the secrets that pizza chefs use to make good pizza, to keep the dough soft and to make scented pizza. He knows that to make a pizza at home, with the home oven, you need egg and lard.
THE'egg makes the pizza golden without having to overcook it, and helps with its protein and fatty part, the sugna adds flavor and softness. "It is imperceptible to taste – Antonino is keen to specify – but in consistency it is magic. And I really do pasta a teaspoon ".
For the rest, quality raw materials are needed: strong flour, real mozzarella, a carefully prepared tomato and honesty in choosing the rest. Pizza is a simple food, when you eat it, eat the work, the gestures, the choice of the raw material, the care “Foodcost is an alibi, a good product costs you something more but has a different yield in terms of taste . And on the finished pizza nobody weighs the ingredients, it's the result that counts, not the price per kilo ”. Then only real fresh mozzarella and only good products: this is how Antonino Esposito does it.
Here is his recipe, taken from the book Passione Pizza.

Ingredients for 5 round pizzas

500 cc of water
850 g of strong flour, or 500 g of flour 0 and 350 g of manitoba
25-35 g of dough (the pasta is a piece of dough preserved by a previous dough)
25 g of salt
2 g poor brewer's yeast (3 grams if it's cold outside)
half an egg
half a teaspoon of sugar
a teaspoon of lard

The dough is all pleated

In a bowl, melt the dough with the yeast, a little water and the sugar.
Add ¼ of the flour, stir, add salt, then ¼ more flour, then the egg and the lard and the rest of the flour alternating with water. Stir until it comes off the bowl.
Pour the mixture on the lightly floured pastry board in the shape of a rectangle and fold it over itself a couple of times. Form a loaf, cover it with a bowl and let it rest for 15 minutes.
Work the dough again for about ten seconds with your hands, fold it a couple of times and let it rest covered for another 15 minutes. Repeat the operation 2 more times.
Divide the dough into 5 parts and form loaves, place them at a distance of a couple of cm from each other and leave to rise covered with a cloth overnight in a warm or controlled temperature, away from currents. The trick? Use plastic containers, just greased, which allow a "vertical" leavening.
After 7 hours put the loaves in the fridge or in a cool place and take them out an hour before using them.

Photo @ Daniel Mari

Spreading ON the bowl

Take a pizza ball and work it with your fingers until you reach a disk. Take a large bowl, preferably in metal, turn it upside down, flour it and place the dough on top.
Begin to spread the dough by pushing from the center to the outside of the bowl, so that the disk widens. When you get the desired width, wrap the dough on the pastry board and proceed with the shape.

The pan

Cooking at home in the pan is the best. A very light non-stick pan, so no oil is needed and the heat spreads immediately. It is a perfect trick for the home oven that does not reach high temperatures.
Roll it out into the pan and let it rest until it has doubled in volume. Prick it with a fork and bake.

The peeled rule

The tomato is used peeled, and is prepared the day before. Only San Marzano, peeled, perino because it has the right balance between water, pulp and seeds. It is crushed with your hands, with its consistency, seasoned with oil, salt, crushed garlic in a shirt and whole basil and left to rest all night in fridge. Is the pass not used? "Salsa is a baby food, it's another stuff, pizza is serious stuff!"

Cooking and seasoning

Bake the pizza until it just becomes golden, season with the tomatoes, then bake again. Three minutes from the end, remove again, add the finely chopped mozzarella, the grated Parmesan. When it comes out of the oven, it should be removed from the pan, placed on a grid, extra virgin olive oil and fresh basil.

Photo @ Daniel Mari

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