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Here's some dough on the pizza acrobat

Chef Pasqualino Barbasso, a pizza acrobat from Sicily in Italy who was in the city last week, shares the recipe of the perfect pizza dough

We have all seen Mughlai and Punjabi cuisine chefs fling the roomali roti into the air like a frisbee. How different can it be with a pizza dough?

Barbasso
Barbasso lies on the floor and flings the dough from one hand on to the other from under his legs.

But chef Pasqualino Barbasso, a pizza acrobat from Sicily in Italy who was the visiting chef at JW Marriott Mumbai, Juhu last week, proved us wrong. Forty-year-old Barbasso showed us some mean moves and called it ‘joking with the pizza’.

Barbasso
Barbasso even tosses the dough behind his back and catches it with the other hand

“My pizza acrobat show is like an entertainment performance full of surprises,” says Barbasso, who holds recognition by the Sicily’s Acrobatic Pizza Championship and has even won the World Champion title in 2001 and 2002. He runs a pizza acrobat training institute back home. “My style is freestyle.


While turning the dough on his fingers, Barbasso even manages to increase the circumference of the dough by swinging it like a fan. Pics/Nimesh Dave

I put on some groovy Italian pop music and just go with the flow,” says Barbasso, who has even had some ‘oops’ moments, when the dough flew out of reach in the middle of a show.

Chef Pasqualino Barbasso
For the performance, Chef Pasqualino Barbasso needs a bowl of flour and some dough balls. He begins rolling the dough with his hand. After he gets an oval shape, he begins the performance, by revolving the dough on his fingertip.

“ When people watch me for the first time, they are spellbound,” says Barbasso, who goes around the world promoting his talent and conducting trainings in pizza acrobat and cooking.

Pizza dough

Ingredients
>> 1kg flour
>> 7 gm fresh yeast
>> 550 ml water
>> 25 gm fine salt
>> 20 gm extra virgin olive oil

Method
>> Dissolve the yeast in 100 ml lukewarm water  
>> Put all the remaining ingredients inside a dough-kneading machine and knead for 10 minutes. You can also knead the dough
by hand
>> Then add the yeast and water mixed previously and knead the dough for 10 more minutes
>> After this, put the dough inside a large container and cover it with a wet cloth. Let it rest in the fridge for about
20 minutes
>> Once the dough has rested enough, remove it from the fridge and make individual balls. Each of them should weigh 160 to 180 gm.
>> Let it rest in a warm place for one more hour. After that your dough is ready to be used

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