Author Topic: First time using WFO tomorrow - any tips?  (Read 5296 times)

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Offline f.montoya

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Re: First time using WFO tomorrow - any tips?
« Reply #20 on: October 18, 2013, 11:44:42 AM »
Oh, one more little trick...

Unless you live in Arizona or Texas(or anywhere else that your lips need constant moisturizing) firewood can sometimes be "not-quite-ready-to-use", or in need of a day or two of sunlight. By that I mean it could be seasoned, but humidity of the current season may be adding moisture and your firewood's ignition and ability for sustained flame may suffer as a result of btu's spent on evaporation...or simply wet-wood lighting slowly and burning lowly. To combat this, as I said before, get ready an hour before guests arrive, then bake some firewood. Clean sweep the floor on the opposite side of your flame and place pieces of wood there in small stacks. Turn them a bit. Allow them to absorb heat and bake out moisture and then remove them from the oven and set aside. As your party goes on, have plenty of these "kiln-dried" pieces of wood ready when you need get max flame in a short amount of time.

I keep a small, separate pile of this firewood for when I just gotta have huge flame NOW...as in somebody just showed up and I wanna get a pie done and served ASAP. Keep in mind that this wood will burn hot and fast, but not for that long. Dealing with fire and firewood is all a balancing act. Nothing like a managing a living room fireplace...but much more fun!


Offline TXCraig1

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Re: First time using WFO tomorrow - any tips?
« Reply #21 on: October 18, 2013, 11:54:53 AM »
Unless you live in Arizona or West Texas(or anywhere else that your lips need constant moisturizing) firewood can sometimes be "not-quite-ready-to-use"

Seems like every day is 95% humidity here.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline f.montoya

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Re: First time using WFO tomorrow - any tips?
« Reply #22 on: October 18, 2013, 11:58:04 AM »
...
You made only 16 dough balls? ...

I've got to agree with Mmmph. You better have chips and guacamole ready, and lots of it. I baked 39 pies (12 inch) for 21 adult guests (plus my myself and family) last Spring. I prepared 48. Glad I did. WFO baked pizza is delicious, even if it's not baked by TXCraig. By that I mean that probably none, if not none, of your guests have ever been to this forum, and your party will be their first experience for WFO pizza. Even bad WFO pizza blows Dominoes out of the water. THEY WILL WANT MORE. Get back to the kitchen and prep more dough now!!!  :chef:

 

Offline f.montoya

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Re: First time using WFO tomorrow - any tips?
« Reply #23 on: October 18, 2013, 12:00:13 PM »
Seems like every day is 95% humidity here.

Lol. I stand corrected. Texas is big enough to be three countries. That Eastern area is just like NO. Tropics.

Offline JF_Aidan_Pryde

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Re: First time using WFO tomorrow - any tips?
« Reply #24 on: October 18, 2013, 01:44:30 PM »
You're making 16 pizzas in a WFO, and you have zero experience with this type of oven, and this oven in particular. Your host has experience at 700F, but not NP temps.
You made only 16 dough balls?  :-\ Dude...really? It was easy to make more. Good luck with that.

Oh, BTW...Pics, or it didn't happen.

Mmmph,
lol dude..as it is I finished that batch at 4am!! I know you're right. I should have started with more. But I actually (here goes another red flag) never made a batch this big before. I think my max was 8. So this is already 2x my ability. I have no mixer. All this is by hand. I also skipped a day's work to track down those proofing containers and caputo flour.

The host will have some pulled pork and other goodies to feed the masses. Hopefully that will cover me and my less than prepared state..

Offline JF_Aidan_Pryde

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Re: First time using WFO tomorrow - any tips?
« Reply #25 on: October 18, 2013, 01:49:26 PM »
John,
Banjo peel shield a great idea. I had done similar things with my electric setup. Will try out today. Cheers!

Fidel,
Totally agree about the "feed yourself" tip. Every time I cook I am starving and scrambling. Wood drying tip is really cool. Thanks!

Offline JF_Aidan_Pryde

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Re: First time using WFO tomorrow - any tips?
« Reply #26 on: October 18, 2013, 01:52:37 PM »
I think I already made my first mistake. The dough balls, being spaced far apart, spread out to thin pancake like forms. Should I be concerned?

[7 hours after balling at 64F]
« Last Edit: October 18, 2013, 01:58:01 PM by JF_Aidan_Pryde »

Offline Serpentelli

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Re: First time using WFO tomorrow - any tips?
« Reply #27 on: October 18, 2013, 02:35:21 PM »
Ha!

That amount of ball-to-ball contact is NOTHING!! You need a wide scraper to get them out of there. Alternatively, since they are still pretty well-formed (no they are NOT too flat in that picture) you may want to transfer them to oiled, grocery store Glad Containers a la TxCraig, Varasano, et al. This minimizes the chance that you will grossly deform the doughball when removing from tray. Believe me, this is a distinct possibility, especially if you are not  keeping the doughtray in a relatively cool environment.

John K
I'm not wearing hockey pads!

Offline Serpentelli

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Re: First time using WFO tomorrow - any tips?
« Reply #28 on: October 18, 2013, 02:36:51 PM »
I think I already made my first mistake. The dough balls, being spaced far apart, spread out to thin pancake like forms. Should I be concerned?

[7 hours after balling at 64F]

How do you usually proof your dough balls?
I'm not wearing hockey pads!

Offline JF_Aidan_Pryde

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Re: First time using WFO tomorrow - any tips?
« Reply #29 on: October 18, 2013, 02:55:47 PM »
How do you usually proof your dough balls?

I usually proof in glad containers! :-D I don't have 16 containers so I decided to invest in some "grown up" gear. Even with containers I find the dough sticks and disintegrates into strands when I dislodge them. This is despite oiling the containers. Hopefully my prying skills have improved...


Offline Serpentelli

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Re: First time using WFO tomorrow - any tips?
« Reply #30 on: October 18, 2013, 06:33:05 PM »
I find the dough sticks and disintegrates into strands when I dislodge them.

.....???

Something ain't right there.

John K
I'm not wearing hockey pads!

Offline theppgcowboy

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Re: First time using WFO tomorrow - any tips?
« Reply #31 on: October 18, 2013, 08:01:24 PM »
Restaurant supply company have griddle scrapers that are 4" wide.  That and a little flour as you work under the dough does the trick.  You can see them used in videos.

Offline JF_Aidan_Pryde

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Re: First time using WFO tomorrow - any tips?
« Reply #32 on: October 18, 2013, 08:03:24 PM »
First snag of the day—oven is just being fired now. Two hours prior to bake.  :(

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: First time using WFO tomorrow - any tips?
« Reply #33 on: October 18, 2013, 08:04:37 PM »
Build a big fire.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline Serpentelli

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« Last Edit: October 18, 2013, 09:24:41 PM by Serpentelli »
I'm not wearing hockey pads!

Offline JF_Aidan_Pryde

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Re: First time using WFO tomorrow - any tips?
« Reply #35 on: October 19, 2013, 03:25:46 AM »
Well. That was a roller coaster ride with whiplash!

Making pizza in a wood fire oven is like a dream come true, but it's very, very challenging. We made some good ones, some not so good, but it was great fun.

I was worried about lack of heat saturation but that turned out not to be an issue. Because I have no experience, high heat is much more difficult to manage than low heat. The temp range spanned 700-900 for the night and I found I made the best pies at 730. At 800+, I can't turn the pies fast enough to keep it from toasting.

I thoroughly enjoyed the rotation procedure and "doming". The guests totally dig doming!  ;D

Photos:
1. Dough was pretty spread and with little elasticity after a 17h room temp ferment. My culture wasn't active enough so I felt acidity / lack of strength setting in.
2. The oven setup. The oven is made by Mugnaini. Four quadrants put together. It's Tuscan.
3. Fire at around 750F

Offline JF_Aidan_Pryde

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Re: First time using WFO tomorrow - any tips?
« Reply #36 on: October 19, 2013, 03:37:15 AM »
Pies below. The first one was pretty malformed from dislodge error. It got better as we got more practice. Finished off with a Margherita that made us proud. :)

I want to thank everyone for their help. I received private messages offering assistance in person and live over the phone. I was totally floored. I became a supporting member yesterday. This is one remarkable community. You guys are a fountain of knowledge matched only by your heart of gold. Thank you. :pizza:

-James




Offline f.montoya

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Re: First time using WFO tomorrow - any tips?
« Reply #37 on: October 19, 2013, 04:51:54 AM »
Looks like a great success, James!!

Bravo!!

Offline MaineLotus

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Re: First time using WFO tomorrow - any tips?
« Reply #38 on: October 19, 2013, 04:53:26 AM »
Turned out great, congrats!

Offline barkonbutts

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Re: First time using WFO tomorrow - any tips?
« Reply #39 on: October 19, 2013, 08:07:07 AM »
Looks great! nice job! I am sure you are ready for a rest!!
Maken Pizza For Enjoyment at Home!!


 

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