Updated: May 4
I decided to start Build A Slice Ltd after my girlfriend and her friends asked me to cook them some pizza!
I had won a contract in 2019 to open and develop a progressive Italian restaurant in London and I knew this was right up my sleeve. Just one thing. The small flat in White city didn't have a state of the art £90,000 Moretti Pizza oven. So I got researching. Behold the revolutionary frying pan method!
Every time I want to do something I always try my hardest to make the best possible product from what I am given and I did just that. I knew for our Pizza night it had to have BIG flavours and that meant one thing. Sourdough. I have a starter called Jane Dough. She has been alive since March 2019 and tastes great. I look after her very well and give her a lot of love.
Next it had to have a salty, sweet, sour & tomatoey tomato sauce. Only San Marzano tomatoes can do that for you. The rest is easy. You need a good quality Mozzarella, Fresh Basil and Olive oil.
I made the Dough using a simple pizza recipe. The secret is of course using good quality pizza flour. Caputo make for great pizza bases. Their flour is milled in Napoli and leads to a base that isn't too dense and easily digestible. Fermentation also plays a key role here. I let the dough ferment for 24 hours in the fridge. then a further 12 hours at room temperature. Fermantation is the beautiful process which develops a wealth of flavour in bread. The reactions of C02, enzymes and protein in the gluten all lead to our delicious sourdough bases.
Now I had all my ingredients we were ready to cook. I definitely didn't want to just use the oven as its max temperature was 220 degrees. I knew from my time working with pizza that I needed something in the range of 400-450 degrees. But how to achieve that ?
The frying pan method. This method allows us to use only a frying pan and a grill (found in nearly every home) to recreate the conditions and temperatures of a pizza oven.
The frying pan has to be hot and the grill need to be on maximum.
I made the first pizza using this method for the first time and I was shocked and blown away by the results. It was incredible. I needed a slice there and then. I was so excited to get everyone to try!
I had the lightbulb moment when my girlfriends friend asked if she could slap and shape a pizza and cook it. I guided her through the process and her pizza was better than mine. That is when I knew I had a new life mission. To get everyone around the UK building their own slice at home.
With restaurants shut it was a great idea. I worked for 2 days day and night coming up with the branding, the social media, the products, sourcing ingredients, taking pictures, making videos, fermenting dough and website development. Call of duty was finished I had a new calling... Pizza!
2 days later we got our first customer.
From there it has gone from strength to strength. We have had the pleasure of sending out hundreds of DIY Pizza Kits to reach thousands of happy customers across the UK and cannot wait for the opportunity to send more!