Good things come in threes. Amigos, bears, musketeers, kings, chipmunks, you get the idea. Every morning our chefs work through three tasks, which base each and every day, setting us up for greatness.
First up – the tomato sauce. We make our sauce fresh. No cold tinned tomatoes spread onto bases around here! First some chopped red onions are caramelised in some high grade olive oil, then we add garlic, dried herbs and basil, stalks and all. We then tip in a huge tin of tomatoes and bring the whole lot up to simmer. We let it all come together, then add some more tomatoes, some seasoning and leave it to bubble gently for one and a half hours, whilst we get on with more prep. Once the sauce is cooked, we blitz it all together and then cool the whole lot, ready for pizza perfection. The sauce is a like a secret weapon – it’s so delicious that chefs and staff have been known to tuck into it like soup. It’s silky smooth, tomatoey and provides a balance of acidity, sweetness and a little saltiness.
When the sauce is on the bubble, the chefs prepare the pizza dough. They combine organic Shipton Mill flour with a little salt, a little sugar, some olive oil, water and a scoop from Jerry, our sourdough starter. We let our big ol’ mixer do most of the hard work and set it to knead for a while until we achieve a smooth, elastic dough. We then leave it to prove for 24 hours to allow the flavours and gluten to develop. When it comes to turning the dough into bases, we take 135g dough balls and roll them out to order. We add our signature toppings and pop the whole lot into a ridiculously hot oven for about three minutes. We know the base is cooked to perfection when there are little marks that look like leopard spots that tell us it’s crisp and even. Grub’s up!
The final step to morning prep is feeding Jerry. By now some of him has been used in the dough, so what remains needs to be fed a mix of 50% water and 50% flour. We stir it together, then pour it into the bin we keep Jerry in. He uses the energy from the flour to get all bubbly and active, ready for use again tomorrow. All the chefs know him by name and speak to him like he’s a member of the kitchen team. “Have you fed Jerry?” “Jerry’s having a party!” He’s a core crewmate.
Once these three things are done, we can get on with service and continue to prepare and make delicious pizzas throughout the day. This routine keeps us happy and on track, pumping out delicious pizzas for you to devour.