Canadian Pizza Magazine

Dessert pizza recipe: ‘Pillow of dreams’

By Gianluca Donzelli and Stefano Manfredi Pizzaperta Manfredi   

Features In the Kitchen Techniques dessert pizza nutella pizza pillow of dreams Stefano Manfredi

Looking for a new dessert pizza for the holiday season? Try this sweet innovation.

This creative dessert pizza featuring Nutella is topped off by a scoop of vanilla gelato. Photo by Bree Hutchins

Pizza New: A whole new era for the world’s favourite food, by chef Stefano Manfredi includes recipes for pizza rossa, pizza bianca, Roman pizza, and filled, fried and sweet pizzas such as this delicate dessert recipe, “Pillow of dreams.”

The new recipe book looks at what happens when pizza is made using different stone-milled flours, various fermentation procedures and free of the strictures of tradition.

“Italians love their Nutella,” writes Manfredi, who owns and operates Restaurant Manfredi and bel mondo and Pizzaperta Manfredi in Sydney, Australia. “It’s a treat given to them in their childhood and many continue this love affair when they become adults.”

He provides a history of the chocolate treat: “Nutella is now famous throughout the world, but its origins begin with Italian pastry maker, Pietro Ferrero, who created a chocolate bar cut with high-quality Piemontese hazelnut paste. That was in 1946 when chocolate was in short supply post-war. It became an instant success. Many loved having bread and chocolate for breakfast, so in 1951 a version with a creamy, spreadable consistency was invented called Supercrema. It was Pietro’s son Michele who rebranded it as Nutella in 1963 and it is now enjoyed by millions of people all over the world.”


“This is Pizzaperta’s version of a Nutella pizza. When our chef, Gianluca Donzelli, created it he said it was ‘like a dream.’ ”


  • 250 g (9 oz.) ball of basic pizza dough (see below), shaped as you would a normal round pizza, but make it larger by not leaving a cornice on the edge
  • 4 tbsp Nutella
  • 2 tbsp flaked almonds
  • icing (confectioners’) sugar, for dusting
  • 1 scoop of vanilla gelato
  • 2 strawberries, halved
  • 1 tbsp thinly sliced fresh mint leaves
  • 1 sprig of fresh mint

To assemble: Place a large tile in your oven for the pizza, then preheat to full heat (without using any fan-forced function) for at least 20 minutes. Cut the pizza base into as large a square as possible. Place a tablespoon of Nutella halfway between each corner and the middle of the square. Scatter the flaked almonds on top of each tablespoon of Nutella. Fold each of the corners of the dough into the centre over the filling, forming a smaller square, and seal by pinching the edges gently where the folds meet. Place the pizza in the oven for 3-5 minutes until cooked, turning to get an even colour. Once cooked, remove from the oven and place on a board. Sprinkle with a light dusting of icing sugar. Place on a serving plate. Add a scoop of vanilla gelato in the middle, a strawberry half in each corner and scatter the sliced mint on top. Finish with a mint sprig on the gelato.

Basic Pizza Dough
The direct method for producing pizza dough is the easiest because all the ingredients are mixed together at about the same time. This is the method that the large majority of pizza-makers use because it’s simple and quick.

For our recipes, however, we extend the maturation phase of the dough in the refrigerator so the final cooked pizza is easily digested and the flavour of the wheat maximized. Using an unrefined, stoneground whole-wheat (not wholemeal) flour is important because of its rich nutrients and the fact that it means less yeast is needed for fermentation and the maturation phase is thus more effective.

Fresh yeast dough
This recipe is for making pizza using fresh or compressed yeast. Each 250 g (9 oz.) ball of dough will make one 30 cm (12 in.) pizza, which feeds one person.


  • 1 kg (2 lb. 4 oz./6²⁄³ cups) unbleached, stoneground
  • whole-wheat flour or strong bread flour
  • 550 ml (19 fl. oz.) water at room temperature
  • 8 g (¼ oz.) fresh (compressed) yeast
  • 20 g (¾ oz.) sea salt
  • 30 ml (1 fl. oz.) extra virgin olive oil

Place the flour and 500 ml (17 fl oz./2 cups) of the water in a mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment. Begin mixing on a low speed and keep mixing until the flour has absorbed all the water but is still not smooth. This should take only 3-4 minutes. Stop the mixer and let the dough rest in the bowl for 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, dissolve the yeast in the remaining water. Once the dough has rested, turn the mixer on to medium and add the dissolved yeast. Two minutes later, add the salt, mix for 2 minutes and then add the olive oil. Keep mixing until the dough is shiny and homogenous, about 6 minutes. Turn the speed up a little and mix for 2 minutes more.

A good way to check the elasticity is right is to stretch a piece of dough and if it forms a strong, transparent membrane without breaking (similar to blowing a bubble with gum), it is ready. Let the dough sit, covered with plastic wrap, for 30 minutes in winter or 15 minutes in summer. The dough is now ready to be shaped into balls and then rested further in the refrigerator before shaping into discs (see pages 80–83). Makes 6 pizzas (250 g/9 oz. each).

Cooking basic pizza dough In a wood-fired oven
With the floor temperature between 360-400 C (680-750 F), a pizza will take around 90 seconds to cook. Some pizzaioli cook at temperatures up to 450 C (840 F) and this takes less time. The pizza is put directly on to the oven floor to cook, thereby getting an immediate ‘lift.’

In a domestic oven
My suggestion is to find a large terracotta tile that fits onto your oven rack. Place the rack on the bottom rung of your oven and the tile on top, giving you plenty of room above to manipulate the pizza. Turn to full heat without using any fan-forced function and let the oven run for at least 20 minutes to heat the tile completely. When the pizza is ready, use a floured paddle to take it from the bench on to the tile. Close the oven immediately. At around 250-280 C (480-535 F) a pizza takes 3-5 minutes to cook, depending on your oven temperature. It will have a crisp, bread-like texture and should be no less delicious than the wood-fired version.

This recipe appears courtesy of Murdoch Books, publisher of Pizza New: A whole new era for the world’s favourite food.

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