Pizza made in a wood-fired oven brings a different, more enjoyable cooking experience and an even more authentic pizza flavor. But do you know how to make oven-fired pizza?
To make an oven-fired pizza, you need to start the fire with the help of kindling wood, a fire starter, and hardwood. Next, stretch the dough and add the ingredients. When the oven temperature reaches around 800 °F, add the pizza, and cook for about two minutes while rotating. Once it’s cooked evenly, remove it from the oven.
If you wish to learn more details about this pizza-making process, find out everything you need to know from the article below.
Stat Making Oven-Fired Pizza by Lighting the Fire
The first step in making an oven-fired pizza is to start the fire itself – and it’s not an easy process. If you haven’t used a wood-fired oven before, know it will probably take some practice.
First, keep in mind that it takes around an hour and a half to two hours to heat up an oven. Second, you’ll need light and dry kindling wood that can fire easily and swiftly, fire starters (such as newspapers or lighter cubes), and hardwood logs.
Place two or three pieces of kindling wood at the bottom of the oven and then another three pieces criss-cross over them. Add two rows of hardwood logs on top. Add fire starters beneath the wood and light them – you can use matches or a blow torch.
Coal will take around 20-25 minutes to establish – it’s necessary for hardwood to ignite. Once wood starts to crack, you can use a tool such as a utility hook to manage them. Only after you get enough coals should you add an andiron that will hold the log and the hardwood log on it.
Note that the smoke from the fire will leave a black mark on the dome. Before you start cooking, you also want to ensure it’s gone. With a properly working oven, it will disappear once it reaches a suitable temperature (around 700°F).
When making a pizza, remember that the fire and log should be on one side of the oven, not at the back – the pizza will be placed on the other side.
Which Wood Is Best to Use?
Oak wood is the best wood choice for many pizza makers. Not only will it retain higher temperatures for a more extended time, but it also causes little smoke and is available in many different areas of the country. Besides oak, you can also use:
Whichever you decide to use, keep in mind that it needs to be well-seasoned – it should be split and left for at least twelve months to dry so the moisture content can decrease. It’s necessary for logs to light more quickly and burn hotter.
The Next Step Is Preparing the Pizza
Once the fire is started, you need to focus your attention on making the pizza (but don’t neglect to check on the fire from time to time). Have your pizza station set with all the ingredients you wish to use. Dust your hands with flour, stretch the dough, and then add the wanted ingredients.
Since there is no point in starting the fire and preparing one of two pizzas, make sure you have enough ingredients for all the pizza types you intend to make.
How to Prepare Pizza Dough?
When making a wood-fired oven pizza, you shouldn’t use pre-prepared dough. Instead, you should make it yourself – but how? Get:
- 735 g of all-purpose flour and 735 g of 00 flour,
- 1000 g of water,
- 30 g of salt,
- Fresh yeast.
It’s the amount needed for around ten doughs – adjust the measurements accordingly if you wish to make less. Combine everything and mix until there are no more dry ingredients left. Knead it for five to eight minutes and leave it in a bowl for at least four hours.
After that time has passed, divide it into ten balls and place them into the proofing for a couple of additional hours. Since you’ll need a lot of time for this kind of preparation process, it would be best to start making the dough the night before you plan on cooking pizzas.
Once it’s ready, lay it down on your peel and begin adding the ingredients.
Place the Pizza Into the Oven
The most manageable temperature to cook at is between 800 and 850°F, so use your thermometer to check it. Once you reach the desired temperature, use your pizza peel to place the pizza inside of the oven, on the opposite side of the fire source – and make sure you do it with gloves to avoid any injury.
Note that making pizza this way won’t take long – usually around just two minutes. However, you’ll need to pay close attention the whole time. The side facing pizza is prone to burning, so when it reaches golden color and gets speckled with dark spots, it’s time to rotate it. Set your peel under the edge and rotate the finished side away. Keep turning the pizza until it’s cooked all the way around, remove it from the oven, and place it on a pizza tray – and it’s ready for serving!
How to Clean the Oven After Use?
To clean the oven’s inside, you can use a heat-resistant vacuum specially designed for barbecues, fireplaces, and wood-fired ovens. However, you can also use regular vacuums – just make sure the oven is completely cooled off beforehand.
What Are the Best Wood-Fired Ovens?
Good wood-fired ovens have excellent thermal insulation, which allows them to retain heat more efficiently and achieve better fuel efficiency. If you don’t want to make a custom brick pizza oven, take a look at the best purchasable choices:
|Ooni Karu 12
|Ooni Fyra Pizza Oven
|Gozney Roccbox Pizza Oven
Once You Start Making Pizza This Way, You Will Never Go Back
Making pizza in a wood-fired oven provides you with a more authentic experience – and the flavor as well. It’s a process that demands a lot more attention from you, but the additional effort is more than worth it. It can help you entertain and feed your family and friends easily, but also provide you with a pizza-making experience you’re bound to enjoy.