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How to cook in wood burning pizza oven using a little fire.
Why is pizza better from wood burning pizza oven?
There is no big secret to this, at least not a world's best-kept secret. A wood-fired pizza oven heats up and cooks our meals a lot better because of the heat stored in the dense walls. This heat radiates across the dome very evenly while the floor of the oven is slightly cooler than the top under which we place our meals. When the oven gets really white hot inside, for certain type of pizza the baking temperature can be far above 300°C - 572°F or 350°C - 662°F and maintained by keeping a continuous small fire going. It's in this environment that a good pizza is made.
Quick baking creates a thin crust and nice toppings, with a soft middle! High temperature produces flavors which can't be achieved by slow cooking. High heat also adds an interesting look to our pizza, with a crisp crust and really great cheese on top.
Picture of pizza being cooked in a wood fired oven.
Heat in wood burning pizza ovens lifts pizzas into another dimension compared to conventional ovens. We do not want to cook pizza longer than 1 1/2 minutes to maximum 2 1/2 minutes for a few pizza types.
Quick check if the fire needs more firewood.
For me, all this is about eating wonderful foods prepared by our selves, cooked using a little fire in a wood burning pizza-bread traditional oven. It's visually very pleasing, interesting or captivating, also efficient and economical. Your friends get so impressed they may most probably follow you in their homes building something suspicious. Do roasts, casserole dishes, bake cakes and don't clean the grease inside the oven - never! It'll burn in the ovens hearth!
The how to prepare beautiful pizzas (for wood fired ovens) video continues in the video below; how to cook perfect quality pizzas in wood fired ovens, and how long, in real time filming how many seconds in total does it take. Easily lovely breads baking and slow-long-time poultry, lamb, etc. videos are coming! Dan is involved in taping and creating our movies.
A to Z tutorial with pictures on how to make a good pizza for a wood burning oven.
Pizza on the paddle just taken outside.
First from 3 photographs above show a dome chamber which will produce pizzas with a mild crisp or we could call them less crusty. I myself prefer to have my pizza done this way, giving them just a bit of a chewy character along with the crisp. Ah, very nice. You can easily make them this way just after the dome drops the highest heat after heating it up with firewood. You can maintain this atmosphere in the dome for a long time simply by leaving on a small flame(s) from a piece of burning wood. Here is your tutorial and pictures on how to make fire in wood fired ovens.
True spirit of pizza lays in your heart-h.
Photographs below are about making those crispy-crusty pizzas. Well not surprisingly, they have a thin base and are so yummy anyone can eat at once 2 of these properly made.
By the way we are talking about home made pizzas done in wood fired ovens, not commercial. These pizzas are placed onto the floor of a very hot oven, don't worry they will not burn.
Continuous small fire for making crispy pizzas.
Move red hot embers to the side and with a copper or bras brush sweep the floor, wait 5 minutes for floor to cool down, it's the time to put toppings on pizzas and placing them inside. But when you slide them in from the paddle don't go anywhere because in 90 seconds you must unload, cut them and eat them. Yep, that's how it is, so easy.
Burning piece of wood holds the temperature up.
It is quite possible you get too much heat from the continuous gentle fire at times. This might happen when a new piece of firewood was put in after the first one died out. When it catches fire flames could be taller and so producing more heat. Although this lasts only a short while till the outer layer of the wood burns. Then soon after it creates an ashy surface on outside which acts as a block between this piece's inside thus slowing the burning speed rate and stops releasing too much energy in a heat form.
Too much heat from a gentle fire for a while?
During this short time pizza can burn a bit on the side towards the fire. All that needs to be done is to take the pizza out in a half time of it's heat affections, turn/twist it around on the paddle 180° (or the pizza tray) and put it back in again to let the heat to finish it's job. If the heat was too intense pizza could still be placed just in the entry of the dome where it is cooler or rather wait a while-while rolling the next base in the mean time.
When you start using a wood oven, without going to the university to study about it, this is how your crispy pizzas will look like - BUT remember one logical thing "who would eat only pizza every time?" It would be too boring! I want to cook and bake and roast etc. everything when I decide. Also the same for if you contemplate building your own wood fired oven - whether simple or more advanced - my oven building workshops on cdrom with 370 (second very popular Masterly Tail oven MTo workshop disk contains 1000+) detailed large images of all construction stages will show you how and will make you to succeed.
A new oven I built recently and so I had a whole week off from work. I fired and cooked every day, it's a passion for me. Firing, cooking and among taking many pictures of various pizza toppings and other meals inside or outside of wood oven (many of a high quality photographs in a long exposition time, shame, I couldn't not to do it). That's a heaps of material for this website and visitors to come across and look at. Step by step i'll be posting the content into pages here and of course create a new pages. If you were mad about seeing them asap let me know.
Picture of a crispy pizza done in a hot wood oven.
If you happened to wonder how crispy pizzas created in that high heat may look like from the bottom, and you haven't seen it before, here is an idea. This one was done roughly 10 minutes after the dome was heated up. There were still traces from the original/initial fire going on left from the last part of a long branch slowly pushed in as it burned down heating up the dome. More on this in 'how to make or keep fire in wood ovens' tutorial. I hope these photographs helped you to answer some questions, that would make me really happy.
Bottom view of a crispy thin base pizza from a very hot dome.
Enjoy your wood fired pizzas.
After pizzas use the stored heat energy for baking breads.
In fact you can bake for 4 to 6 hours reloading batches in the oven (including slow long time roasting at baking temperatures.) My favorites are whole mixed grains breads, Sour Dough and Turkish breads, sweets of course. It's a good idea to own a proper book about baking strategies, I ordered this one from eBay and I'm enjoying reading it ever since:To order this book click here
Great as present, or must have DIY Book by Peter Reinhart: "The Bread Baker's Apprentice".
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