Ladro Junior Pizza Making
This class ticks sooo many boxes – kids learn to make pizza Ladro style (√), they then eat their pizza for dinner (√), they have a fun hour and a half learning to make a favourite food (√) and they get to bring home extra dough to make pizzas at home (√). Parents are welcome to hang around (useful if your child is under 5) or you can sneak off up Greville Street for shopping or refreshments.
When: 1st + 3rd Saturday of month, 3.45 – 5.15pm
Where: Ladro Greville 162 Greville St Prahran
Cost: $35 per child, 3 – 14yrs old, bookings essential: firstname.lastname@example.org or 03 9510 2233
Ladro pizza’s are among the very best in Melbourne, and outside Italy, I reckon, Melbourne must be up there for world class pizza.. Which brings us to a rather exciting discovery for the kids of Melbourne – thanks to Ladro they can learn the art pizza making from the masters (even if they don’t have Nonno’s or Nonna’s handy).
Ingrid (not just a random staff member but actually one of Ladro’s co-owners) runs the class and she’s not only passionate about what she does, she’s delightful and great with the kids – she has two of her own children who are similar ages to Immi (7) and Charlie (4), so she understands her audience well.
Class size is usually about 10 children and it’s held at a time of day when the restaurant is closed to the public. The sharpest implement used is the (fairly blunt) pizza cutting wheel when the pizzas are served – and only staff are permitted in the kitchen area, but luckily the kitchen at Ladro Greville has a perfect viewing window so we could still see all the action when it came to cooking time.
After washing hands the children had a run down on yeast and everyone got to touch and smell, we then learnt about how it needs to be activated (or woken up) and then all the children had a turn at mixing the “starter” before it was put near the mouth of the pizza oven to grow. While the “starter” (a mixture of yeast, flour and water) was growing we talked about herbs and got to taste and smell fresh thyme, mint, dill, basil and rosemary. We also talked about the Sugo (red sauce) and got to taste it too. By now the “starter” had doubled in size and it was added to the flour, salt and water – and everyone got busy with kneading their dough. Once the kids had their dough ready it got put into named containers (and popped in the fridge) so that they could take them home later – the next step, “proving”, takes 2-24 hours and so the children made their pizzas from dough prepared earlier that had already proved.
And so the pizza making bit began – we learnt the best technique for flattening out the dough and even how to toss it in the air (there was spare dough in case anyones landed on the floor – I think we only lost one). And then the pizzas got to be dressed: there was sugo, basil, four different cheeses, salami, olives and garlic oil. And then off to the wood-fired oven. At 500C it only takes 60 seconds for the pizzas to cook – now that’s just the perfect amount of waiting time for me!! The children watched excitedly through the kitchen window as their pizzas went in to the oven and came out again – all crusty, golden perfection… OMG so good. Silence.
With only two classes a month you need to book in advance. And I noticed on the Ladro website you can book a private class for a birthday party – what a gorgeous idea.
Oh and you heard it here first…. Junior gnocchi making classes are coming! Could be the perfect way to spend a wintry Saturday afternoon….
And of course for every other day there is the Ladro Junior Kids Menu which is one of our favourite treats.