The 7 Italian Protected Designation of Origin (DOP) cheeses in association AFIDOP, Franco Pepe and Breakfast Pizza

Franco Pepe is Italian pizza maker. But not just anybody, but a genuine ! His restaurant Pepe in Grani is located about 30 km north of one of the pizza capitals ever - Naples - in Caiazzo. The digital and print media regularly top Franco Pepe's pizza in the leaderboards and sometimes even get the title for the best pizza. So it is not surprising that his dough recipe is a secret and also Karoline, Steffi and I can not elicit it this Sunday at the anuga in Cologne.

The Association AFIDOP and the seven cheeses with protected DESIGNATION OF ORIGIN

We have been invited by AFIDOP (Associazione Formaggi Italiani DOP e IGP), the association in which the protection consortia of the Italian producers of cheeses with a protected designation of origin have joined the seven cheeses Asiago DOP , Cociocavallo Silano DOP , Gorgonzola DOP , Grana Padano DOP , Mozzarella di Bufala Campana DOP , Parmigiano Reggiano DOP and Pecorino Romano DOP . And not just like that, but on the best pizza in the world! The Italian cheeses with a protected designation of origin are deeply rooted in the history of the country and some of them date back centuries. Milk processing is thus a tradition passed down from generation to generation. The individual consortia within the AFIDOP Association protect the specific characteristics and use of the product name, promote its visibility and protect its production through monitoring and quality control.

 AFIDOP's seven DOP cheeses and the best pizza in the world - with recipe for Breakfast Pizza from

Franco Pepe, the Maestro pizzaiolo

Franco Pepe is preparing the dough for the next day when we arrive at the booth. He stirs the ingredients by hand in a large wooden vat. He has the composition in mind and yet he pays close attention to how the dough feels when he adds the ingredients, explains our translator Alfonso. The flour for his pizza dough is Franco Pepe grind specially, also the brought tomatoes and the olive oil used come from Campania and are personally selected by the maestro. The best is just good enough for that special pizza. It is best compared to a Neapolitan pizza, but Franco Pepe tells us with a wink that this is his very own kind of pizza, the Franco-Pepe pizza. How long the dough rests, at what temperature and how much of which ingredient everything in the dough, that the Maestro feels. It depends on various factors such as humidity, temperature and much more. I notice that the dough has a more fluid texture, but is malleable after walking.

The seven DOP AFIDOP cheeses and the best pizza in the world - with recipe for Breakfast Pizza from

Seven Cheeses = Seven Pizzas

Seven cheeses mean seven different pizzas that Franco Pepe now exclusively prepares for us. The AFIDOP stand has had an original Italian pizza oven built in, which runs at over 400 degrees in front of him and drives us when photographing the sweat on the forehead. With practiced, quiet hand movements, the maestro turns the dough flat and pulls it with rapid movements to circles apart. Lightning fast, they are occupied and walk for just 1-2 minutes in the hot oven.And even the first bite reveals: Here was not promised too much! What a revelation! The pizza has the perfect consistency: soft without being sloppy and crispy without being firm. The dough is mild and subtle and provides the perfect base for the melting cheese, the sun-dried tomatoes, the fresh pesto and the fruity olive oil. For every cheese, the maestro combines the perfect pizza and the sixth piece makes me short of fat. Wow, I am full! Since the Maestro explains that his dough is particularly digestible due to the long maturation and the low yeast content and you do not feel too eaten afterwards. And it's true, a few minutes later I'm ready for the next song. Afterwards we all feel full and satisfied, but as promised not completely overcrowded.

The seven DOP cheeses of the AFIDOP and the best Pizza of the World - with recipe for Breakfast Pizza from

I can not make out a clear favorite among the seven selected DOP cheeses. Each cheese convinces both on its own and on the pizza by its very own character traits. The peculiarity of the seven presented cheeses is that they all bear the EU seal of "Protected Designation of Origin" (PDO), in Italian "Denominazione di Origine Protetta" (DOP).

 AFIDOP's seven DOP cheeses and the best pizza in the world - with recipe for Breakfast Pizza from

The seven Cheeses with protected designation of origin (DOP)

Asiago DOP

The Asiago DOP is one of the more unknown cheeses in this country. It is available both in a fresh version, in which the cheese matures for at least 20 days and in a ripened version in which the Asiago gets between 3 and 15 months to mature. An Asiago Mezzano even ages 4 to 6 years! The young Asiago is made from whole milk and tastes mild, creamy and almost sweet. The ripened version a bit heartier, but without strict notes. Ripened Asiago is excellently suited for grating or for a cheese platter in combination with pickled fruits.

Caciocavallo Silano DOP

The Caciocavallo Silano DOP is also not widely distributed in Germany. Its shape is reminiscent of earlier saddlebags, from which the name comes. It is a raw milk cheese of yellow color, which has an intense and slightly sweet taste and is suitable for pasta, sauces and appetizers, whether pure or baked.

Gorgonzola DOP

Gorgonzola DOP is already well known in this country and it is impossible to imagine many sauces without it. This cheese made from pasteurized cow's milk gives it a creamy, mild variant as Gorgonzola dolce, which has ripened for about 50 days and as a firmer, more intense variant, Gorgonzola piccante, which ripens for 80 days. Gorgonzola tastes and smells very intense, contains a spicy noble mold and fits particularly well in salad, sauces or also in combination with fruits like pears.

Grana Padano DOP

Grana Padano DOP is the most popular hard cheese of the Italians. It consists of raw, partly skimmed cow's milk and matures in different degrees. The most common use is the 9 to 16 months matured cheese, which has a slightly sweet, creamy note. From a maturity of 16 months, the Grana Padano gets its typical grainy structure and breaks when you cut it. From a maturity period of 20 months one speaks of Grana Padano Riserva. It is mainly grated with pasta, salads or risotto.

Mozzarella di Bufala Campana DOP

The Mozzarella di Bufala Campana DOP is an indispensable part of our cuisine.You can either enjoy the buffalo mozzarella alone, in combination with tomatoes or in a salad, or use it for gratinating, for example on pizza or pasta.

Parmigiano Reggiano DOP

Parmigiano Reggiano DOP, at better known as Parmesan, comes mainly from the region around Parma. The longer it matures, the more grainy and crumbly it becomes. The maturation period is at least 12 months, often there are also 18 or 24 months ripened cheese. I have also tasted aged cheese for 60 months and still find it pleasantly mild with an almost crispy texture. It goes well with salad, you can eat it pure with a glass of wine, grate on pasta or stir in soup or risotto.

Pecorino Romano DOP

Pecorino Romano DOP is a cooked hard cheese from fresh sheep's milk. It ripens between 5 and 8 months and develops an increasingly strong aroma with an increasingly crumbly consistency. Like the other hard cheeses, the matured version is great for grating pasta, risotto, lettuce or pure.

The seven DOP cheeses from AFIDOP and the best pizza in the world - with recipe for Breakfast Pizza from

The Best Pizza in the World by the maestro pizzaiolo

The peculiarity of all pizzas is that they are not prepared as we know them classically: with tomato sauce and sprinkled with cheese. It's all about white pizza, so pizza bianca , where the tomatoes, if anything, end up in the form of confit, cold tomato sauce or pesto topping the pizza. The cheese plays the main role and is so particularly good.

My favorite among the pizzas is the variant Pinsa Conciata ​​em> with Pecorino Romano DOP, Lardo di maiale nero, pepper, dried Oregano, fresh basil and fig jam. Another highlight for me is the Breakfast Pizza with a cream of Parmegiano Reggiano DOP, crispy Parmigiano Reggiano DOP, pancetta or bacon, black pepper and egg. And it is exactly the latter that I have taken the example of baking at home. Of course, I would never presume to imitate the maestro, but I have created a Jedermann version for the home. This includes having my dough slightly more fluid this time. This will make the pizza less malleable, but you'll be fine at home even in a direction that makes the pizza soft and not firm.

The AFIDOP's Seven DOP Cheeses and the World's Best Pizza - with recipe for Breakfast Pizza from

I baked the pizza in my little pizza oven, a pizza stone in the normal oven should work the same way. For this purpose, the stone should be preheated at the highest temperature and inserted into the upper third of the oven. Of course, you never reach the temperature of an Italian pizza oven at home, but with one of these two methods, you get a very acceptable result for your home.

Have fun trying and baking!00 as Italian flour)

  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 g (!) Dry yeast (here: Italian brewer's yeast)
  • 400 g of cold water
  • 400 g Organic Whipped Cream (carrageen-free)
  • 100 g of fresh grated Parmigiano Reggiano DOP
  • 150 g pancetta or sliced ​​bacon
  • 5 fresh organic eggs
  • Parmesan shavings
  • black pepper (here: roughly crushed fermented Kampot pepper)
  • Preparation


    Start cooking the dough the day before. Mix flour, salt and yeast well in a large bowl. Add the water and mix everything with a wooden spoon until everything is mixed. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise at room temperature for about 18-24 hours. 2 hours before baking stir the dough again and divide into 5 parts. Make each piece of dough on a floured work surface by repeatedly stretching and folding into balls and cover covered with flour again.


    For the Parmesan cream, reduce the cream in a large saucepan over medium heat while stirring constantly. That takes about 15-20 minutes. Take care that the cream does not burn! Once the cream has thickened, remove from the heat and quickly stir in the grated Parmesan cheese.


    The Oven Preheat the top and bottom heat to the highest temperature and heat a pizza stone for at least 30 minutes. Alternatively, preheat the pizza oven.


    Carefully pull the first of the 5 dough balls on a floured work surface and press, forming a slight edge. Place the dough on the well-floured pizza scoop and spread with a fifth of the Parmesan cream. Cover with 30 g of bacon and bake until bacon and dough are just starting to brown. In the pizza oven, this takes just 2 minutes at the highest level, and a bit longer in the oven. Let an opened egg slide into the middle of the pizza and either leave it as a fried egg or stir gently. Bake for another 1-2 minutes in the pizza oven (or in the oven for 5-7 minutes) until the egg has stabilized. The dough should not be crispy, but stay as soft as possible. Sprinkle the ready-baked pizza with Parmesan chips and crushed pepper and serve immediately.


    Do the same with the other dough balls and bake more pizzas.


    The recipe comes from me, based on a recipe by Franco Pepe and gives 5 pizzas, each 24 cm in diameter. Since the dough is very liquid, it is difficult to mold and runs if necessary My pizza I did not succeed perfectly round, at least when they stick to the wooden board, the beautiful shape was there. However, do not stir more flour under the pizza, only this way it will be so soft and easy. The baking times vary depending on the oven and procedure.There were no requirements for the post and the recipe was modified by me on the basis of Franco Pepe.