Every year on 9th February, the UK celebrate National Pizza Day, a whole day dedicated to celebrating all things doughy and delicious. However, here at Certainly Wood, we like to celebrate it every day! Even though it is impossible to know for sure, some people might say that National Pizza Day was founded at the beginning of the 10th century in Naples, Italy. Starting out as a flatbread and sauce to then be sprinkled with cheese, this is to be believed as the very first record of what now has become the modern-day pizza. 
At Certainly Wood, we are ever so lucky to have the opportunity to work with a variety of businesses ranging from luxury glamping sites all the way to gorgeous pizzerias. As the occasion calls, we have sat down with Well Kneaded owner, Laurence and talked about all things pizza. So, if you want to hear all his tips & tricks to make the perfect sustainable pizza, read on!
Who are Well Kneaded?
Well Kneaded was founded in 2011 in Battersea, London. Headed up by husband and wife team Laurence and Bridget, Well Kneaded is on a mission to create a safe environment for all young folk, whilst simultaneously showcasing their sustainable sourdough pizza-centered menu. Famous for their seriously delicious British-inspired sourdough pizza, Well Kneaded only uses top quality, British assured veggies along with high welfare meat and dairy. With a focus on sustainability, Well Kneaded only use recyclable materials for packaging and always take steps to reduce their carbon footprint.
How did Well Kneaded start?
Initially, Well Kneaded started with only Wendy the Wagon and a dream (as pictured to the left). Regularly attending food markets and private parties, spread the word of Well Kneaded and as a result of this, they opened their first physical store in Earlsfield in December 2018. The team at Well Kneaded has ambitious visions for the future and are on a mission to build their brand.
What is the purpose of Well Kneaded?
In 2011, Laurence and Bridget saw a gap in the market for a sustainable pizzeria. From that point onwards, they have pursued the dream of becoming as eco-friendly as possible, whilst simultaneously providing people with the elevated comfort food that is pizza. Proving so in 2019, they were recognized by the Sustainable Restaurant Association as a sustainable food business.
Additionally, providing a safe environment for young folks, especially those with disadvantages has always been one of Well Kneadeds' main purposes.
Why did you choose Certainly Wood as your supplier?
When sitting down with Laurence we asked him why, as a sustainable business owner, he has chosen to partner with Certainly Wood as his supplier. His reasons are as followed:
"We love using Certainly Wood for loads of reasons: it plays its part in cooking good pizzas, it’s produced sustainably in the UK and the team are all a wonderful and friendly bunch".
Certainly Wood supply Well Kneaded with their Grill & Chill logs as well as their firelighters, which they use the new KindleFlamers.
Grill & Chill Logs are perfect for pizza cooking as they are of smaller diameter, thus allowing more control over heat regulation. When ordering Grill & Chill logs with us, you can expect to receive a single species of beech, which is widely used by pizzerias and restaurants. Our Grill & Chill logs will get your oven up to temperature quickly, making it easy to cook that perfect pizza.
As well as Grill & Chill, we also supply Well Kneaded with their natural firelighters, specifically KindleFlamers. KindleFlamers are made of natural wood shavings and dipped in fully refined paraffin wax. They are 17cm long and are a perfect match for barbecues, stoves, pizza ovens as they do not taint the food flavour. You only need one KindleFlamer and no kindling is required. They are well suited for pizzerias and restaurants as they are natural, odourless, easy to light with an extra-long burn. Want to know more, check them out here!
Sustainable Pizza Hints & Tips from Well Kneaded:
Whilst in discussion with Laurence, one of the business owners, he shared some of his most useful tips & tricks to how to make your pizzas more sustainable and eco-friendly.
Use Sourdough: Naturally-leavened pizza dough is more healthy, tastes better and is a way more real connection to food than a yeasted dough. Where ‘normal’ pizza or bread would rely on strong commercial yeast to develop the dough quickly, sourdough uses natural yeasts and bacteria to do this job. Because they’re natural they take longer to ferment the dough (24 hours works well for a pizza dough but 72h is very doable if you control the conditions). The advantage is that they yield a more interesting flavour and process the components of the dough (starches/sugars, proteins, fibre) more thoroughly. Fermentation is a natural process and your gut will thank you for anything you give it that has been fermented. If you don’t have the patience/capacity to keep a sourdough starter, allow your dough a long ferment with natural yeast; the same processes of breaking down carbs and converting them to nice CO2 for puffy crusts will apply, and you’ll be eating food that’s ready to be eaten (where quick yeasts can give you a ‘food’ that isn’t really ready to be eaten).
Make your own passata: If tomatoes are in season it’s a great time to make the most of the abundance and produce your own passata where you might otherwise use tinned tomatoes.In the summer, Well Kneaded buy a whole load of organic cherry tomatoes from their suppliers and roast them slowly (4 hours or so) on low heat (<140C) with olive oil, salt and, occasionally, some bay or oregano (garlic also works). Once they’re roasted we blend them and use them for pizza specials or freeze them for use through the winter. Home or UK-grown cherry toms often have a really excellent flavour: using them when they’re available is a great way to eat the seasons and to think outside the box around staple foods. It supports local producers and takes the pressure off areas that can’t sustain the demands/pressures/collateral of industrial processes.
Value your ingredients: Buy a few really good ingredients- you’ll enjoy and savour them more. Look for sustainable assurances or organic certification where possible: in a lot of cases you’ll pay more for sustainable food- think of it as an investment into the future of the planet; you get to impact the wellbeing of people you might never meet! Olive oil might be a good place to start: get a decent tin and use it sparingly; enjoy its character and distinct flavour profile. Chocolate, wine and even vegetables are also worth considering this way.
Think of alternatives: It’s easy to understand why pizza is so popular: it’s difficult to make a pizza that tastes fundamentally nasty- even the shrink-wrapped economy pizzas from the supermarket are hard to turn down on occasion. We can sometimes assume that all pizza toppings are created equal, but they’re not. Even when it comes to legit Italian products, it’s worth checking twice sometimes: from the point of view of both flavour and care for the environment, there are some great alternatives to classic pizza ingredients that are worth considering.
Staple toppings can be replaced with UK-produced ones in many cases- check out Laverstoke Park Farm for British buffalo mozzarella, Tempus Foods and Cobble Lane Cured for the best British charcuterie, consider artisan hard cheeses in place of imported ones. You could even consider using rapeseed oil in place of olive oil..
If you’re willing, try swapping out items in favour of seasonal/local alternatives. In the winter you could make a white pizza (no tomato) or use a puréed squash base. Lots of winter food is sympathetic to earthier flavours and would work nicely on either of these, especially with some winter herbs. If you’re a fan of ham and pineapple, try swapping out pineapple and using pickled rhubarb in its place. There are plenty of herbs, leaves or veggies that could work nicely in place of the ones traditionally used. Consider getting a veg box to help you eat seasonally!
Don’t assume white flour is the best: Strong white flour is usually processed in a way that maximises protein content (to make gluten) and purity (to create a very fine flour, usually with zero nutritional or fibre content, which causes the least interruption to the gluten network and makes the strongest dough possible). It’s efficient but wasteful: it has no nutritional value, a bland flavour, wastes a significant amount of the grain (a bit like peeling the skin off a strawberry for the sake of a smoother smoothie!).
If a recipe calls for white flour, use stoneground or a blend of stoneground and white flour: stoneground flour tends to retain more nutrients and thus more flavour, by virtue of being milled and sieved less intensively. Try swapping in some wholewheat flour for part of the dough you’re mixing: at WK we use organic semolina and, currently, 5% wholemeal heritage flour as part of our pizza dough. The latter is milled in-house.
If you want to check out Well Kneaded, take a look here!
 Days of the Year Website - Available Here: https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/pizza-day/