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I'm Melissa!

A Food Network chef + mama obsessed with Aperol spritzes, travel, and mouth watering food. I also own a gorgeous cooking school in Italy. My mission? To share the secrets of La Dolce Vita so you can create a healthy, beautiful, delicious life filled with joy!

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I like to think of myself as a dough therapist.

I’m guessing you’re wondering…What is a dough therapist? 

Good question gorgeous…The real answer. I don’t really know since I made up the title when I was writing my so-called elevator pitch. But it was something I’ve always wanted to be. So I kinda created it. I think it all stems from my love of working with homemade doughs.

Nothing brings me more joy 

I feel most alive kneading and working the dough. Most days you will find me covered in flour, rolling, stretching, and infusing love into simple ingredients. In the middle of a stressful day, I’ll take a break from the mayhem and get out the flour, eggs, and yeast and make a fresh batch of dough.

I USE IT TO MEDITATE

It centers and calms me. And within 10 minutes I feel like a brand-new person. And it doesn’t hurt that I have a delicious batch of homemade dough. And for those of you thinking she doesn’t eat carbs… You are sooooo wrong. 

I’m addicted to bread, pasta, and pizza!

Yeah, I can see some of you over there shaking your head in utter disbelief. All you gluten-free protesters. You carb-hating cretins, you flour-fearing fanatics. You have been falsely led to believe that gluten and flour make you fat or that you have some sort of gluten allergy. 

And for the record, I’m not speaking about the small percentage of people who suffer from celiac disease or some sort of autoimmune legitimate medical condition.

I’m speaking to the crowd of fad followers who jumped onto the gluten-free bandwagon when the diet trends started moving towards high fat and low or no-carb diets.

Your thinking, “She has no clue what she is talking about”

Cause when you eat flour, your stomach bloats, and swells. And you experience pain and lethargy. And I’ve had this reaction many times too so I know it all too well.

But you missed something very important!

The gluten you are reacting to is in products made with all-purpose flour bleached flour. 

Let Me Explain The Process:

Wheat is composed of three layers:

 • The bran – which has the most fiber

 • The germ – the nutrient-rich embryo

 • The endosperm – 83% of it, and the starchiest

White flour contains only the endosperm. In America, it is bleached to make it white.

HEALTHY FLOUR SWAP

Why do so many people avoid this carb? Because it sets off their gut.Wheat is composed of three layers:* The bran – which has the most fiber* The germ – the …

WHAT’S UP WITH THAT? 

ALLOXAN or C4 H2O4N2, is a byproduct of the flour bleaching process, and it is toxic. It causes diabetes in lab animals. Alloxan is structurally similar to glucose, and destroys the beta cells of the pancreas, causing them to die, so they no longer produce insulin. But the FDA allows this poisonous process.

AND IF THAT’S NOT ENOUGH!

The mills remove the nutrients and then try to put them back.

 Yes!!!! Bloody idiots.

Or at least that’s how I feel about the whole stupid process of taking out all the goodness and then adding in a bunch of chemicals and junk your body can’t process just so the flour can be pretty, uniform, and bright white.

Scary shit… No wonder people avoid flour like the plague. 

But Italians exist on a steady diet of pasta, pizza, and bread. Why? Because Italian flour has no additives.

Do I use this toxic American flour? Absolutely not. 

The REAL Question! What flour do I use?

You can call me a flour snob. I trade looks for quality. I only use 100% Italian 00 flour which is unbleached and contains the wheat, germ, and seed. The stuff that’s good for you. And it’s free of cancer-causing chemicals.

There is a silver lining in all of this. You can amend your purchasing choices and get in the kitchen and make your dough using chemical-free ITALIAN FLOUR.

Shop My Favorite Flours

And I use it to make all my bread, pasta, and pizza doughs. You can find tons of FREE amazing recipes on my website. And I do this by hand. 

This takes me back to this new career that kinda chose me. I realized the 10 minutes I spend kneading and working on the dough was where all the magic happened.

Not only because it takes me out of my head and I get lost stretching, rolling, and working the dough. But because this dough will nourish me and my loved ones.

“Life’s a combination of magic and pasta”

Federico Fellini

THE HISTORY OF DOUGH THERAPY

Cultures have been making doughs by hand for centuries. From the Mexican tortillas to the Middle Eastern lavash and pitas bread. The Eastern European ryes, sourdoughs, and perogies. The Asian dumplings and noodles, French baguettes and croissants, Italian pasta and pizza, and Jewish challah and bagels. The list goes on and on throughout history.

I’ve made dough since I was a kid 

I grew up in a Jewish and have watched countless women around the world knead love into their challah doughs each Shabbos. God rained down manna on use for 40 years in the desert and no one was ill or hungry.

It is one of the 3 mitzvahs (blessings) gifted to a Jewish woman. And it is customary to pray for others during the 10 minutes you knead the dough. We are asked to pray for anyone sick, struggling, or in need of a miracle. I use this time to pray for humanity. I ask God to heal this world with love and unite all its souls. 

I am thinking love, love love, love, luvvvvvvvvv the entire time I’m kneading the dough.

And I’ve watched nonas and chefs across Italy wake up early every morning to knead love into their pasta and pizza doughs. They are instilling into it the most essential ingredient in any recipe.

A-M-O-R-E… Without love, there is no magic.

EVERYTHING COMES FROM ENERGY!

And that magic is the energy that we infuse into the food we are serving those we love. 

“Matter is energy. Energy is light. We are LIGHT beings.”

ALBERT EINSTEIN

All the greatest physical minds all agree! So your thoughts and emotions are energy. When you cook food for yourself and others you are instilling your energy into the food you are making. And this energy, spark, pray and light is transformed into the food. It’s your love that then nourishes and sustains the people you are feeding it to. It provides comfort and sustenance for you and your loved ones.

YES! The secrets ingredient is YOUR love!!! 

So going forward I want you to get into your kitchen and start making all your own doughs.

BENEFITS OF DOUGH THERAPY

  1. Instill blessings into the food you’re eating
  2. Pound out your frustrations and destress
  3. Use the time to manifest miracles.
  4. Tone your tris and bis and say goodbye to the jiggly arms that come with aging
  5. It’s super cost-effective

There’s no substitute for a good session of DOUGH THERAPY!

And the best part is you have the ingredients in your home:

  • Flour (and it must be 00 Italian Flour)
  • Water
  • Eggs
  • Yeast
  • Oil
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Water

 Let me be your “dough therapist”—making pasta & finding peace at the same time. 

BOOK A CLASS WITH ME

Group Classes

Join one of my delectable monthly group glasses where I teach you (and a small group of others) to make a classic Italian recipe.

Private Classes

Want something a bit more personal? Let’s plan a private cooking party for your family, friends, or coworkers to spend a little quality time together learning & eating delicious food. It’s the perfect birthday present for someone who loves to cook or a great way to bond with your team. I’ll help customize your experience and plan the perfect class—let’s chat ideas!

I’ll teach you to slow down and feel… 

Touch, taste, smell, listen, and experience all your 5 senses coming to life!

I’m looking so forward to our cooking with you. It’s way more delicious than therapy!

In the meantime check out my pasta dough, pizza dough, and challah recipe.

You’re welcome gorgeous!

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I'm Melissa, your host & tour guide.

A Food Network chef, author, mamma, eternal optimist, wannabe-mermaid, spice mixologist, and “dough therapist” (yep, it’s a thing)—

I'm also the founder of Susina Cucina, the gorgeous, Italian cooking school I manifested into my reality. I’m obsessed with Aperol spritzes, travel, and mouthwatering food… especially pizza and pasta.

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