Blog

Our Oven-Fired Pizzas

Urban Pi celebrated its 4th year of business at the end of 2016. We are proud of all of our team members that helped us achieve this anniversary and for a supportive group of regular patrons.

As many of our regular guests know we have had a couple menu changes and updates, but over the last four years we have never wavered from our commitment to high quality ingredients resulting in what we feel is one of the best Pizzas in San Diego.

We started our pizza adventure almost 5 years ago. Touring pizzerias and bakeries around the U.S. and Italy to taste and test the best of the best. We visited many amazing spots and what we noticed was a lack of freedom to easily create your own pizza with high quality and scratch made ingredients at an affordable price. After consuming many pizzas we honed in on what we wanted Urban Pi to be for the community; a convenient restaurant with reasonable prices, excellent ingredients, and casual environment with the option to be creative with your pizza.

Our menu is designed with a wide variety of choices to satisfy an indulgent craving, a health conscious guest and even provide choices for special dietary requirements.

We have had many requests and questions about our recipes and ingredients over the years and so we’ve decided to start a blog to highlight what Urban Pi is all about!

Dough, Sauce, and Cheese….A Seemingly Simple Pizza

We believe it really does start with these three simple ingredients, the dough, the sauce, and the cheese. In our years of tasting and searching for the best pizza our Chef still always starts with the Margherita. For some people this sounds silly as you might think: Well I can get that anywhere, why would she do that?

The philosophy is that if the ingredients are excellent it will be the best pizza on the menu. It is so simple that there is no room for poor ingredients to hide. We have held ourselves to this standard and used this thought process to guide our ingredient sourcing and choices since day one of recipe testing and opening our doors.

Our Dough is made from 5 simple ingredients: organic 00 pizza flour, filtered water, yeast, organic extra virgin olive oil, and sea salt. This pizza dough is inspired by the traditional Napoli style we came to love and crave during our pizza tasting adventures.

We start fresh every day at the crack of dawn. Measuring temperatures of the water and air to hit the sweet spot that activates the yeast and creates our puffy crust.

We mix the dough gently to keep it tender with just the right amount of chew. We then let it bulk ferment to allow the yeast to break down the starches, sugars and gluten which in turn creates a beautiful lightly fermented flavor and makes our crust easier to digest.

Once the dough has properly fermented we divide each dough ball by hand and roll it by hand. Carefully creating a beautiful dough ball ready for the final stage called proofing, the final rise.

By 11am the pizza dough balls are perfectly proofed and we are ready to start making your favorite pizzas.

After the dough the second most important ingredient is the Sauce! Our recipe starts with the tomatoes. We spent a couple of months testing recipes with almost 20 different brands of tomatoes. We landed on Bianco DiNapoli Rustic Crush tomatoes. This brand is a collaboration between Chris Bianco, a James Beard award winning chef and founder of Pizzeria Bianco, and Rob DiNapoli, a third generation packer and producer. Bianco DiNapoli tomatoes are organically grown and harvested on Cliff Fong’s family farm in Yolo County, California. Long summer days and fertile soil produce these very unique and delicious tomatoes. Within hours of harvest, the tomatoes are washed, steam peeled and hand selected at the Olam tomato cannery in Williams California. Each can is packed with a touch of sea salt, organic basil and topped with its own juices.

The care and attention to detail put into these tomatoes make our sauce. We leave the tomatoes chunky so you get bursts of bright and lightly sweet tomatoes. We add only a few other ingredients: organic olive oil, wild organic Sicilian oregano, a hint of organic sugar and sea salt. We leave the sauce uncooked as we feel the cooking happens in our hearth stone oven at 600° Fahrenheit. This keeps the flavors bright and lightly acidic with a hint of sweetness.

One of our favorite ingredients, as many of you will agree, is the cheese. We have quite a few different cheeses at Urban Pi, but our favorites are the fresh mozzarella and organic cheese blend. We feel that if a guest were to make a pizza with only our dough and cheese these two cheeses would satisfy this very basic creation.

Our fresh mozzarella is made in Northern California by Belfiore. This is one of the few remaining small family-owned cheese making operations in the Bay Area. Founded in 1987 Belfiore was one of the first pioneers producing hand crafted Italian-style mozzarella made in America. Our fresh mozzarella is 100% natural with no additives or preservatives. We use the fresh mozzarella curd, as it has only been processed once and we feel that the flavor and texture is more preserved by cooking it a second time on the pizza. This maintains the rich, creamy and lightly sweet pure milk and cream flavor.

Our Organic Cheese blend is made for us by another Northern California Cheese Company called Rumiano. Rumiano Cheese Company is the oldest family owned cheese company in California. The cheese we use is made with a blend of Rumiano Organic Mozzarella and Organic Provolone cheeses. The milk used to make these cheeses is organic, non-GMO and grass fed. Rumiano Cheeses are the world’s first non-GMO verified cheeses. All ingredients are carefully sourced and the company uses only small family owned farms located in Humboldt and Del Norte counties in Northern California. We worked closely with John Rumiano to get the perfect blend and ratios for our Organic Cheese Blend. All of this makes for a highly flavorful cheese with a unique profile, unlike any pizza restaurant cheese we’ve tasted.

We hope you have enjoyed our first Urban Pi blog and got a little bit closer to understanding how we think about food and ingredients and how important they are to us. We look forward to sharing more about our food philosophies and hopefully hearing from you soon!