At Franco Manca sourdough pizzas are served. The dough is made daily and all ingredients used are sourced from small Italian and UK suppliers. Franco Manca Leeds is wedged in between M&S, Whitelock’s and Clarks by the Trinity Centre. They took over Pintura’s venue less than a year ago and finally I went to try their freshly baked pizzas. I even got the chance to make my own and learn how they make their sourdough pizza base in their pizza making masterclass*.
Franco Manca Pizza Masterclass
We started the evening with an introduction to the brand and their sourdough production. Originating in Brixton, London Franco Manca now have 50 or so restaurants around the UK and they’re all more than happy to share how they make their pizzas. Since the start in 2008, they’ve used the same yeast (Criscito) and shared it across all their restaurants. The yeast is what makes the sourdough. You can keep it for years, feeding it daily with water and flour. When you fancy making a pizza, simply take 200g or so to use.
At Franco Manca they make two sourdough doughs daily. One in the morning to use for evening guests and one in the evening to use the following day. They’re the only pizza restaurant in the UK using a fork shaped blender rather than a spiral. A key part making it the scrumptious pizza base that it is.
Moving on, we were shown how to make the dough using Criscito and it looked so easy. I have a feeling it’s not as easy at home but I have all the instructions and the exclusively made for Franco Manca flour so I’ll definitely give it a go. Perhaps a pizza party?! With the dough having so few ingredients, it’s great to see that the flour is so special, making their pizzas one of a kind.
The last part of the masterclass is the most fun! This is where you get to make your own. Be alert because this part goes SO fast!
- Shape the dough into your desired size pizza
- Add locally sourced toppings
- Bake in the pizza oven for 50 seconds at 500 degrees
Yes you read right, it cooks in only 50 seconds. Before I’d had a chance to leave the pizza making area my pizza was ready to be tucked into. By this time I was starving so it went down very fast.
Franco Manca Menu
Franco Manca likes to keep things simple and I love it. As a minimalist, I appreciate a short but yet fulfilling menu. They have seven pizzas on the menu ranging from classics to more adventurous flavours. They’re all customisable and of course can be made gluten free or vegan. Something for everyone and starting at £5 it’s a bargain for a authentic and tasty Italian pizza.
I kept my pizza simple as well, topping it with ham and cheese. For a bit of saltiness, I added olives. It might look like a weird combination but it worked really well. I’ll most certainly be back to try their full menu and in summer top it with a spot in the sunshine at their cute outdoor seating area.
If you too want to learn how to make Franco Manca pizzas, they host a master class every first Tuesday of the month. Book on their website for £30 per person for a 2.5 hour long session.
Have you been to Franco Manca yet? With their app, you’ll enjoy the seventh pizza for free. If you sign up using my code (4F2344) your first stamp will automatically be added. You’re welcome!
*I was kindly invited to Franco Manca to take part in their pizza making masterclass in return for writing this blog post. All words, views and photos are my own.