Author Topic: New to Forum, Pizza, & Wood Fire Oven!  (Read 6234 times)

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Offline dellavecchia

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Re: New to Forum, Pizza, & Wood Fire Oven!
« Reply #25 on: November 18, 2012, 05:34:44 AM »
Very nicely done Sharlene! It is obvious you have bread making skills, so no wonder your first go at wood fired pizza was a success. Your oven is first and foremost a vessel for baking bread (what the French are really good at), so the heat retention capabilities are tremendous. To get up to Neapolitan temps, you will probably need to fire the oven longer. You really want a floor of 800 or so and an active flame on the coals, so your bake is 90 seconds or less. Now I know you said you were having problems with the pies scorching. Here are a few tips:

The oven will need time to even out. Over the next few firings you will notice less hot spots.

When you have the oven up to temp push the coals to the side, not the back. Right or left - does not matter. You then cook the pies on the other side, fully inside the oven. The coals should be made into a small pile and pushed as far to the side as possible. Then lay a new log on top of the coals for the cooking flame.

When rotating the pizza, keep the peel on the floor of the oven. As you make a circular motion under the pie the edge of the peel never really leaves the floor, and the pizza goes along for the ride. This helps you move the pizza quickly in place. You want to set the pizza, initially, as far from the flame as possible and then let it sit for 10-20 seconds. You will see it start to puff and set. Then gently slide the peel under and "release" it from the floor. Then start your turning. If you think it is going too fast, pick it up and turn it the mouth of the oven, and then place it back in the oven.

To get less of a rim, simply use a smaller size dough ball and stretch it thin.

Have fun!

John
« Last Edit: November 18, 2012, 05:38:18 AM by dellavecchia »


Offline Tscarborough

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Re: New to Forum, Pizza, & Wood Fire Oven!
« Reply #26 on: November 18, 2012, 02:12:07 PM »
That is a strange method of oven construction (on the interior), I have never seen one built that way.  Not the shape of the oven, but the shape of the pieces used to build it.  It is a beautiful oven, and you look to be well on your way to figuring it all out.

Offline pizzaneer

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Re: New to Forum, Pizza, & Wood Fire Oven!
« Reply #27 on: November 18, 2012, 03:15:48 PM »
BTW, love your avatar.  First time I've ever seen a self-portrait combined with a photo of an oven.  Unique and beautiful!
I'd rather eat one good meal a day than 3 squares of garbage.

Offline CopperTop

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Re: New to Forum, Pizza, & Wood Fire Oven!
« Reply #28 on: November 18, 2012, 07:47:45 PM »

When rotating the pizza, keep the peel on the floor of the oven. As you make a circular motion under the pie the edge of the peel never really leaves the floor, and the pizza goes along for the ride. This helps you move the pizza quickly in place. You want to set the pizza, initially, as far from the flame as possible and then let it sit for 10-20 seconds. You will see it start to puff and set. Then gently slide the peel under and "release" it from the floor. Then start your turning. If you think it is going too fast, pick it up and turn it the mouth of the oven, and then place it back in the oven.

To get less of a rim, simply use a smaller size dough ball and stretch it thin.

All the pizza dough recipes I have offer instructions using a home oven. These detailed instructions of baking pizza in a WFO are just what I needed! What a difference it made on my pizzas tonight.  I was twirling around the pizzas as I saw it done on YouTube, right away near the flames. I obviously didn't get the whole picture. So I did what you said, and voila.  Thank you, John

Offline CopperTop

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Re: New to Forum, Pizza, & Wood Fire Oven!
« Reply #29 on: November 18, 2012, 07:58:57 PM »
To begin with, I don't see a single thing amiss with your edges.  You may not be a fan of a large rim, though, which is fine.  If you want to have less of a rim, simply wind up with less dough in the rim. You can do this in your stretching technique by pressing out farther than seems comfortable.  A thin rim makes a flatter pizza.

The large rims I was getting made my pizzas look fat.  Want my pizzas to look healthy and trim, LOL. Needless to say, your instructions worked!  Thanks, Pizzaneer. Happy with pizzas made tonight. Pics to follow.

Offline CopperTop

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Re: New to Forum, Pizza, & Wood Fire Oven!
« Reply #30 on: November 18, 2012, 08:09:55 PM »
No fat pizzas here!

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: New to Forum, Pizza, & Wood Fire Oven!
« Reply #31 on: November 18, 2012, 08:17:59 PM »
What a difference a day makes.....very nice Sharlene! You are a quick study.... :chef:
Bob
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Offline breadstoneovens

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Re: New to Forum, Pizza, & Wood Fire Oven!
« Reply #32 on: November 18, 2012, 08:34:22 PM »
Great looking pizza there, the sides look fine to me. The oven looks really good too.
WFO cooking is about passion.

Offline CopperTop

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Re: New to Forum, Pizza, & Wood Fire Oven!
« Reply #33 on: November 18, 2012, 08:34:47 PM »
Very nicely done Sharlene! It is obvious you have bread making skills, so no wonder your first go at wood fired pizza was a success. Your oven is first and foremost a vessel for baking bread (what the French are really good at), so the heat retention capabilities are tremendous. To get up to Neapolitan temps, you will probably need to fire the oven longer. You really want a floor of 800 or so and an active flame on the coals, so your bake is 90 seconds or less. Now I know you said you were having problems with the pies scorching. Here are a few tips:

The oven will need time to even out. Over the next few firings you will notice less hot spots.

When you have the oven up to temp push the coals to the side, not the back. Right or left - does not matter. You then cook the pies on the other side, fully inside the oven. The coals should be made into a small pile and pushed as far to the side as possible. Then lay a new log on top of the coals for the cooking flame.

John

Thanks, John. I learned to make bread first - so handling bread dough definitely helps with learning pizza. The Le Panyol was highly recommended by my bread baker instructor, but find myself making MORE pizza than bread right now. Seems to be my latest obsession.  And family is enjoying it too. Really appreciate your sharing of oven expertise.  All of what I know is from reading WFO books and learning more from this forum.  Thinking of taking an intensive 2-day course on oven management at Stone Turtle Baking; they have a Le Panyol 120, ....so they can help unleash the super powers I don't know about with the oven.


Offline CopperTop

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Re: New to Forum, Pizza, & Wood Fire Oven!
« Reply #34 on: November 18, 2012, 08:46:50 PM »
That is a strange method of oven construction (on the interior), I have never seen one built that way.  Not the shape of the oven, but the shape of the pieces used to build it.  It is a beautiful oven, and you look to be well on your way to figuring it all out.

What is the usual method?  I'm even curious as to how the oven stays warm till the next day. I made pizza yesterday afternoon, and this afternoon, the dome temp was 170, and hearth was 125.  And it was mighty cold last night. Not familiar with other WFOs so I'm easily impressed.   I've been wanting to ask Maine Wood Heat what is between the copper and the terre blanche clay cement. My husband thinks there is a furry goat inside.

Offline Tscarborough

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Re: New to Forum, Pizza, & Wood Fire Oven!
« Reply #35 on: November 18, 2012, 08:53:30 PM »
Several of them.  Normally, there are only 3 or 4 wall segments if any, and often the upper dome is cast as a unit.  I would imagine that the interior of the oven you can see is about 3-4 inches thick, then there are several layers of furry goat (ceramic insulating blanket), then the outer covering, in your case copper.  Once you have the oven fully cured, if you have an insulating door you should be able to cook pizza day one, bread day 2, meat/stew/beans day three, and use it to dry food or wood for another couple of days after that.

Offline CopperTop

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Re: New to Forum, Pizza, & Wood Fire Oven!
« Reply #36 on: November 18, 2012, 08:55:38 PM »
What a difference a day makes.....very nice Sharlene! You are a quick study.... :chef:
Bob

Thank you, Bob!    It's called...great mentors and instruction.

Offline CopperTop

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Re: New to Forum, Pizza, & Wood Fire Oven!
« Reply #37 on: November 18, 2012, 08:58:58 PM »
Several of them.  Normally, there are only 3 or 4 wall segments if any, and often the upper dome is cast as a unit.  I would imagine that the interior of the oven you can see is about 3-4 inches thick, then there are several layers of furry goat (ceramic insulating blanket), then the outer covering, in your case copper.  Once you have the oven fully cured, if you have an insulating door you should be able to cook pizza day one, bread day 2, meat/stew/beans day three, and use it to dry food or wood for another couple of days after that.

What do you mean by ...once the oven is fully cured?  How do I do that?  The only instructions it came with...as how to fire the oven. Pretty basic. I have a door...

Offline CopperTop

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Re: New to Forum, Pizza, & Wood Fire Oven!
« Reply #38 on: November 18, 2012, 09:06:29 PM »
Great looking pizza there, the sides look fine to me. The oven looks really good too.
Thanks, Antoine.  I'm really happy with the oven.  Although, I now wish I got the next bigger model...shhh, don't tell my husband!  I've been telling my friends who are interested in getting a WFO for their home about Le Panyol as well as Four Grand Mere.  I think it's always good to have choices when making a purchase.

Offline breadstoneovens

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Re: New to Forum, Pizza, & Wood Fire Oven!
« Reply #39 on: November 18, 2012, 09:39:39 PM »
Thank you for the referral I really appreciate it.

Antoine
WFO cooking is about passion.

Offline Tscarborough

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Re: New to Forum, Pizza, & Wood Fire Oven!
« Reply #40 on: November 18, 2012, 09:44:44 PM »
A new oven contains residual moisture that reduces it's efficiency, with use it dries out and becomes more efficient at retaining heat.

Offline CopperTop

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Re: New to Forum, Pizza, & Wood Fire Oven!
« Reply #41 on: November 19, 2012, 11:26:44 AM »
A new oven contains residual moisture that reduces it's efficiency, with use it dries out and becomes more efficient at retaining heat.

Cool!  Thanks for the great info.


Offline CopperTop

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Re: New to Forum, Pizza, & Wood Fire Oven!
« Reply #42 on: December 03, 2012, 04:15:45 PM »
What a beautiful weekend~ excited to try out the Calabria Hot Chili Peppers I picked up while in Seattle.  Thanks for the idea, TXCraig1.  A bottle of oil, and a bottle of crushed peppers. I put small dollops of the crushed peppers on top of the chorizo/red onion topping....it was hot and tasty!

So I practiced on shaping the dough...being more deliberate. Improved the shape - more round. The not-so-round ones, well, they were "rustic".   And practiced what John explained. You would be proud - no more burned pizzas.  Had a batch of Keste Clone recipe and Ken Forkish's recipe, the Overnight Pizza with Poolish.  I could not resist using all 9 pizza balls. When you spend 1-2 hours tending the fire, it doesn't make sense to make 2-3 pizzas.   I did the usual toppings...chorizo & red onion for the adults; pepperoni & mushroom as well as sausage & mushroom for the kids. 

The other day, I roasted 2 chickens, veggies on the WFO...and made focaccias in the home oven (for time management).  Next time, I will bake them in the WFO.  The focaccia recipe uses natural levain and takes about 5 hours, start to finish. It does take a long time, but so worth it.  Fresh rosemary from the garden and Maldon sea salt as topping (see picture).

I found a thread/link on roasting a porchetta in the WFO - looking forward to trying that recipe. 

I do have a question on getting the temp up on the WFO...

Do you at any time, use the door to increase the temperatures? Here's what I do:  Once the initial wood has burned 50-60% (placed towards the front), I push it back a little (towards the middle) -as soon as it turns to coal, it's pushed to the right side, add piece of wood - and burn it on the right side till the dome is white.  I then push the coals on the left side, add wood, and continue to let that burn until the left side of the dome is white. I cook on the right, since I'm right handed.  By then, the hearth is around 500-600. I did use the door yesterday...and it did increase the temperature, some...  Wondered if I need to be more patient, or I need to change the process...It takes me close to 1.5-2 hours to get the temps up to 700-800 and wondered if it's the weather or just the kind of oven I have or my fire management skills, or lack thereof.




Offline CopperTop

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Re: New to Forum, Pizza, & Wood Fire Oven!
« Reply #43 on: December 03, 2012, 05:28:02 PM »
More pics...

Offline CopperTop

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Re: New to Forum, Pizza, & Wood Fire Oven!
« Reply #44 on: December 03, 2012, 05:37:32 PM »
And more...

Will have some time this week to start the Ischia culture...will be fun to compare the flavors with the poolish method. Notice that someone posted their experience in starting the Ischia cx - thanks!

Offline CopperTop

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Re: New to Forum, Pizza, & Wood Fire Oven!
« Reply #45 on: December 03, 2012, 05:42:24 PM »
And more...

Offline JConk007

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Re: New to Forum, Pizza, & Wood Fire Oven!
« Reply #46 on: December 03, 2012, 07:56:28 PM »
A beautiful Copper top Oasis for sure !! Anxious to see your progress as you bake along !
John
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Offline Ev

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Re: New to Forum, Pizza, & Wood Fire Oven!
« Reply #47 on: December 03, 2012, 08:22:45 PM »
Everything looks really really good so far. Keep up the good work!  :chef:

Offline acbova

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Re: New to Forum, Pizza, & Wood Fire Oven!
« Reply #48 on: December 03, 2012, 10:28:53 PM »
looks really good...

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: New to Forum, Pizza, & Wood Fire Oven!
« Reply #49 on: December 04, 2012, 12:12:18 PM »
And more...

Looks beautiful! With your oven, I would say 3-4 hours is the optimal heat up time to get the dome well over 1000 and the floor in the 800's. What was your bake time on these pies?

John


 

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