Franco Manca Sourdough Masterclass, Bath, Somerset
WOW! What a night that was, I am still telling people about the fun I had from the Franco Manca sourdough masterclass. From kneading dough alongside the co-founder Bridget Hugo whilst the workers spun their pizza dough in the air. It was an evening not to be forgotten. Make yourself a cuppa or better and pour yourself a tasty glass of wine as I tell you about my evening.
If I had to describe Franco Manca in one word it would be Authentic. We were recently asked to come along to the newly opened Franco Manca situated in Bath for a Sour Dough Masterclass. I wasn’t sure what to expect on the evening, however, I certainly had more fun than I anticipated. I took my Daughter Natalia along for the evening also.
We arrived a tad late at approximately 7.15pm. Our table was booked for 7 pm. There was only a couple of spaces left which meant we were placed at the end of a table. The place was absolutely buzzing it was so busy. There was such a good vibe in air.
I hadn’t long sat down before the founder Giuseppe Mascoli was introduced to myself. I stood there a little flustered from the rush of walking there so quickly and I had something in my eye! A few photos were taken but I looked terrible so I have taken myself out of the picture by cropping it.
The waitress came over and we were given drinks. We were then greeted by a male Waiter who gave us olives, a platter of cured meats each and some sourdough bread. The waiter explained how the meat was sourced. Franco Manca does not just buy from anyone or anywhere all food is sourced. One of the meats we ate is made for the Franco Manca Restaurants.
After my fluster was over with and I had started small talk with the group of ladies at the same table as us, I was able to relax. Natalia had started sipping her lemonade but she didn’t like it. The problem here is that she is so fussy. The Lemonade she was given was organic and fresh therefore had a bit more punch than a normal can of lemonade. So what did Natalia want? A can of Sprite of course! I do however at home make lots of food from fresh but not fresh lemonade. After explaining quite bluntly the only drink she would get would be authentic she opted for a bottle of water. I tried the lemonade and it was actually really nice.
After finishing the starters we then expected pizzas. How wrong was I? We were given Baked spicy lamb sausage with potatoes and mozzarella and a Baked aubergine parmigiana. This comes out like a lasagne tapas. Both of these dishes were delicious. My favourite was the Baked aubergine parmigiana. Whilst eating them the staff started ORGANISING the tables behind my Daughter for the Franco Manca’s sourdough masterclass.
I was given a little red wine to taste, yummm. I was offered a full glass and declined. Declining wine to an Italian waiter was quite fun. He looked completely perplexed that I had said no. Laughing about it I explained I was driving. He then put a bottle in front of me so I could try it once I was home.
Our dishes were cleared and an announcement was made. Co-founder Bridget was on the table in front of me at this point, showing how the sourdough was made and the process that is followed. Then, I am not sure how I was picked to go to the front and give it a go too. I stood up a little nervous and went to the front. I expected to get my hands covered in sticky dough but it was very light and I was shown how to press it to make the pizza bread. The chef by my side was able to pick up the pizza bread and whizz it around in the air, I wasn’t willing to whizz mine as knowing my luck it would go horribly wrong and end up on someone’s head.
I sat back down laughing and more people were then picked to give it a go. We were then told to go the Kitchen area so off my Daughter and myself went. The Kitchen is open and the other half of the Restaurant had diners enjoying their meals. We were given aprons, put our hair back in ponytails and had paper hats placed on our heads. We washed our hands and started prepping.
My Daughter loved this bit, the Chefs were so funny. In fact, all throughout the night even though it was super busy the staff were all so engaging and friendly. They were also fun to watch with other. We both prepared our toppings whilst Diners looked at us also chuckling. It was really fun to do. Our pizzas were placed in the oven which I was told it has a temperature of 500c. Pretty hot eh?
We sat back down laughing and the waitress came immediately over with both pizzas. They literally go in for less than a minute. Think I could do with this Pizza oven at home.
The pizza reminded me of the type I have had abroad. It was super light and very tasty. I topped mine with mozzarella cheese, Gloucester old spot ham home cured, yellow piennolo tomato (thought I would try it) and buffalo ricotta finished with a couple of fresh basil leaves.
Before indulging, Natalia took a couple of shots of her amazing pizza and sent them on Snapchat to friends to show off her culinary skills. My Daughter and I tucked in. I was so pleased when Natalia looked up and said this is the best pizza she has ever tasted. She was so impressed with the base being super light and the fact she topped it herself.
It was about 9.30pm by the time we had finished eating the pizza and we had to get home. I had work in the morning and Natalia had school so feeling absolutely full we declined any dessert and we were kindly given a goodie bag which contained the Franco Manco Francesco Cirelli Organic Red wine. This is a medium-bodied red wine and is well worth trying. I drank this over the weekend and I am a big fan. I was so pleased to also receive a bag of sourdough flour and the Franco Manca hardback book on how to make pizza at home. We will most definitely be giving this a go.
We left the restaurant in full spirits as it had been a truly entertaining evening. If you like Pizza and want authentic then Franco Manca is the one for you. The staff were also superb. Click here to the Franco Manca website.
If you like pizza’s feel free to look Pizza Express Review – Weston-Super-Mare
Disclosure – I was invited to Franco Manca as a Guest. All that is written is in my words and how I found the evening.