Pizza masters, Sense of Taste Chef School and restaurant, Urban Playground, talk us through the art of the perfect pizza base – a firm favourite in restaurants, bakeries, street trucks and homes across the world.
If you haven’t heard of Sense of Taste Chef School or Urban Playground before, here’s just a taste of why we turned to them for their expert opinion on the matter… As its name suggests, Sense of Taste Chef School provides aspiring students with standard-setting training in classical cooking using the correct, established techniques.
Set in South Africa’s food capital, Cape Town, this dynamic chef school has a passion for food and dining experiences that it wants to share! So much so, that they only take on 20 students at a time to ensure a highly personalized, close-knit environment where individuals can thrive. In a nutshell, they covet quality over quantity and shoot for the stars with consistent excellence – a set of beliefs that we adhere to ourselves, here at Millstone Flour.
But that’s not all they offer. Sense of Taste Chef School also supplies neighbouring restaurant, Urban Playground, with food, baked goods, and pizzas – made with Millstone Farina “00” Flour.
“Our motto is simple: Cook. Eat. Love. Only the best ingredients go into our food, which is why we use Millstone Farina “00” Flour. As a “00” flour it’s as finely milled as one can get which gives us the perfect consistency in baked goods. It also has a higher gluten content, making for a more elastic, springy dough – perfect for our authentic pizzas.” Chef Peter Ayub
Owned by the same dynamic duo as Sense of Taste Chef School, Chef Peter Ayub and his wife Debbie Ayub, Urban Playground is a passion project that has come to life. Serving up simple yet sinfully delicious creations, this small but dynamite team bring Capetonians urban street food at its best in a fun and edgy setting. Their goal? Sustainable, ethical, seasonal, no-waste food that can be loved and shared by all. In fact, they’re constantly working on new dishes to blow diners minds!
When he’s not blowing diner’s minds with Urban Playground’s woodfired pizzas, Chef Peter Ayub can’t help but share his passion for food. Which is why he’s gladly supplied us with his pizza base recipe and his top tips for the perfect pizza. Take a look below:
Chef Peter Ayub’s pizza dough recipe
Yield: 6 x pizza bases
- 1360g Millstone Farina “00” Flour
- 30g fine salt (Sense of Taste Chef School uses Oryx Desert Salt)
- 60g normal granulated sugar
- 800ml lukewarm water
- 10g fresh yeasts
- 110g extra virgin olive (Sense of Taste Chef School uses Morgenster)
- Mix all Ingredients in a standard mixing bowl (Sense of Taste Chef School uses Kenwood) for 30 min until the dough stretches without breaking.
- Proof the dough overnight.
- The next day, knock down and shape into 360g ball portions.
- Now, you are ready to hand stretch and make your pizza bases!
Chef Peter Ayub’s Top Tips for the Perfect Wood Fire Pizza
- Use Millstone Farina “00” Flour to increase gluten content for more elasticity in your pizza dough.
- When rolling out your pizza bases, take shaped round dough balls and, one at a time, place into a bowl of Millstone Farina “00” Flour. Gently push it down in the centre using the palm of your hand then take out of bowl and shake off the excess flour. It should be roughly 15 cm in diameter at this point.
- Before placing on a surface remember to sprinkle some Millstone Farina “00” Flour on the surface. Now you can start to stretch and pull the dough, gently forming “a not perfect round bas” (our style is rustic). You should end up with 30 cm diameter base and if you feel brave enough you can give the base a few spins in the air to give it a bit of extra shape.
- Sprinkle your pizza paddle or pizza stone dust with flour and carefully place the base onto the paddle or stone.
- Spread your Napolitano sauce all-round the base, stopping 2cm before the base edge for the crust. Next you will need to add your mozzarella – we like to use little 20 x 2cm blocks of mozzarella instead of grating it.
- Then it’s into the pizza oven with your base, which must be beautifully hot (around 500°C to 600°C). Keep a close eye on it. Don’t forget to turn the pizza gently to prevent burning. All in all, it should take about 3-4 minutes to cook your base.
- Now for the fun part! Add your toppings. Our personal Urban Playground favourite is sticky pulled pork with coriander and garlic infuse umkomaas – or our teriyaki beef with wild rocket and toasted sesame seeds and our homemade pepperoni and pepperdew!
- Enjoy and have fun – we believe in food cooked with heart.
For more information on Sense of Taste Chef School courses, enrolment or culinary experiences visit https://senseoftastechefschool.com/. While you’re at it why not check out the Urban Playground menu and offerings on https://urbanplayground.capetown/