A readymade oven can be purchased from numerous outlets or chefs can opt for a kit, wherein the oven parts have to be assembled. Pizza ovens are constructed of two almost dissimilar shapes, circular floors and parabolic ceilings. The curvature of the ceiling reflects the heat downwards while the circular floor offers more working space. The pizza is baked with the oven door open so you can turn and remove the pizzas. You have to keep a fire burning continuously on one side of the oven, where the roof slopes down. There is a storage space for wood to maintain a steady fire. Cooking a pizza in an oven heated by a wood fire yields a tasty treat with a delicious distinct taste.
A. Pizza dough
Making the dough does take extra time, but the end result is so worth. Using a bread machine takes about 90 minutes. The alternative to save time is to buy premade dough, however it will definitely taste different than the pizza prepared by hand.
Complexity level: Easy
Time taken: 3 hours
1/2 kg 4 cups bread flour
250 ml 1 cup warm water
2 teaspoons active dry yeast, dissolved in the water
1 tablespoon olive oil
A pinch of salt
Start by making a mound of flour; create a well in the middle to add the salt and olive oil.
Blend in the water yeast mixture, and then knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic or for about 10 minutes. You should be able to remove it easily from the work surface afterwards.
Curl the dough into a ball and put it into a bowl lightly swabbed with oil. Cover the bowl before placing it in a warm place for two hours, giving the dough time to rise. Punch the dough down; knead it for a few seconds after which you divide it into four balls. The balls are moved to a floured surface, covered and allowed an hour for them to rise.
Use your hands, instead a rolling pin to shape the dough into a thin tough disk. Be careful not to overhandle the dough as it toughens it. Cover your hands with flour. Moving from the center, spread the dough into an even disc shape, 8 inches (20 cm) in diameter.
Proceed to handle the disc in both hands, flip it and rotate it from one hand to the other. Return it to the work surface. Stretch the disc some more, containing the expansion of the dough to 12 inches (30 cm) across with a little thick rim.
B. Pizza toppings
As a chef, you have the choice of pizza toppings. Add your favorite toppings, or go according to the recipe. Do not overload the pizza with toppings. It will only become heavy and the taste will be compromised. The classic pizza is Margherita is very popular.
Complexity level: Easy
Time taken: 3 min
1/2 lb Chopped plum Roma tomatoes
6 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 tsp of salt
6 fresh basil leaves cut into julienne strips
Extra virgin olive oil
1 crushed and finely chopped clove of garlic
1/4 cup of shredded parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
Blend 2 tbls olive oil, tomatoes, garlic and salt in bowl. Give the mixture time to marinate. Brush the dough crust with a little splash of olive oil. Sprinkle the top with cheese and tomatoes, followed by a drizzle of olive oil. Add more parmesan cheese and a small shower of basil.
It is time for you to cook the pizza. Slip it onto a pizza peel which has been dusted with a hint of flour.
C. How to make pizza in wood fired oven?
A swift jerk transfers the pizza from the peel to the floor of the pizza oven. The pizza will start cooking immediately above the flames and you notice the crust puffing up. After 40 seconds, slip the peel under the pizza and rotate it 180 degrees for the heat to be spread evenly across the pizzaâs surface. The peel must remain in a fixed position. Changing it will affect how the pizza is cooked. It may even burn.
You will find cooking on a wood fired oven, a lot faster than on a kitchen-type oven. The pizza should be cooked well in 60-90 seconds. The crust has darkened to a nice brown color, the cheese has melted to coat the pizza and the other ingredients to create an attractive outer covering.
Allow the pizza to cool on a wire rack for 2, 3 minutes before cutting it into wedges and serving it.
There is a chance the pizza may receive too much heat from the fire. This may occur especially if a new piece of firewood has been inserted in the storage space when the old one has died out. In this situation, rest the pizza on the entry of the dome where it is cooler or wait a few minutes till the fire ebbs a little.
D. Why is pizza better from wood burning pizza oven?
The reason is due to the heat stored in the dense walls of the dome. The heat radiates across the space in the dome, whilst the oven floor is slightly cooler than the top. The meals are situated in the middle. The oven reaches a baking temperature above 300Â°C to 572Â°F or 350Â°C to 662Â°F, maintained by the continuous small fire. The environment offers the perfect temperature for the pizza to cook. Thus, the pizza is baked well with a thin crust, crispy toppings and a soft middle. The high heat also contributes to a tasty appearance of the pizza.