Pedalling for a pizza
- Credit: Archant
Becky Alexander samples the new pizzas being served at St Albans market...
We now have a great collection of food stalls at the Wednesday Charter Market in St Albans city centre. If you head to Market Square at lunchtime on a sunny day, there is a real buzz about the place, with queues of locals buying a freshly prepped lunch.
I was intrigued by the Peddling Pizza ‘stall’ that appeared recently; it really is a pizza oven on a bike, so I went along to find out more from owner Adam Atkins.
Adam has been at the market for just a few months now, and started the business to fit alongside looking after his young son Charlie.
The bike and trailer is a customised design and Adam cycles the Electra Cruiser bike in to town, and fits everything you see on the ‘stall’ inside the trailer or on his back!
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The Roccbox pizza oven itself bakes just one pizza at a time, but it produces such a heat (over 400C) that Adam can bake a pizza in 90 seconds. This means that every pizza is made to order, and Adam hand-stretches the pizza dough, adds toppings and bakes it while you wait.
I put this to the test and ordered a classic margarita; busy people on their lunch break don’t want to queue for ages, and I was really impressed: in the time it took for me to pay for the pizza, it was ready to come out of the oven!
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Adam makes all his pizzas following Neapolitan guidelines. He makes the dough himself using Caputo flour from a mill in Naples, and proves it for 72 hours to develop flavour and texture.
Adam makes the tomato sauce that forms the base of his toppings using San Marzano tomatoes: he explained that there is so much flavour in the tomatoes he doesn’t need to add anything to them, so there is no sugar or additives.
I like that Adam uses some local ingredients, including St Albans Honey (from the Walled Garden Apiary), although of course, most are imported from Italy. He is looking for locally produced charcuterie, so do get in touch if you are a supplier.
Adam sells three or four varieties each week.
Classic margarita is baked with San Marzano sauce, fior di latte mozzarella, Parmesan, basil and olive oil. You can add Salsiccia Napoli Piccante pepperoni for an extra £1.
The Angry Bee pizza is topped with nduja (spicy sausage paste), red chilli, fior di latte mozzarella and a drizzle of St Albans honey. Mellow Yellow has a creamy pumpkin sauce base and is topped with prosciutto, rosemary, Parmesan and fior di latte.
Prices are from £5.50 to £7 for a 10 ins pizza, which makes a generous lunch, or can be sliced to share.
I like that Adam serves the pizzas on biodegradable sugarcane plates; very eco-friendly and that if Adam has any dough leftover at the end of a market he bakes it into pizzas and delivers them to local charity Open Door.
You can find Peddling Pizza most Wednesdays at the Charter Market and Adam also does events and parties; if you can order 20 pizzas or more he can come along and do the food for your party, which would be very cool.
We talked about the logistics of getting the bike into a garden, and Adam explained the bike and trailer are thin enough to fit through a standard home or office doorway, so he can bring Peddling Pizza into your garden without knocking down fences or bringing in a crane!
Adam is due to take the bike to Oaklands College Lambing Weekend on March 18-19 so look out for him there. He is also booked to go to the Mermaid Pub’s beer festival on April 28-29. If you want to contact Adam, email him on firstname.lastname@example.org or ring 07971 081 189.