The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Best WFO Pizza Yet

Sjadad's picture
Sjadad

Best WFO Pizza Yet

I've been making pizza for years with very good results. A few years ago I got a wood fired oven, anticipating to up my pizza game to a point where my pizzas would be better than anything I could get outside of Naples, Italy. Until I followed a tip from Ken Forkish's book THE ELEMENTS OF PIZZA, great WFO pizza proved to be elusive. 

The tip?  The hydration of dough destined for a WFO needs to be lower than that for a home oven. Since the pizza spends far less time in a WFO than a home oven (60-90 seconds vs. ~8 minutes), using high hydration prevents the crust from baking to the right doneness before the toppings burn. 

Being an avid home bread baker and knowing higher hydration generally yields better loaves I had always assumed the same was true for pizza. Forkish educated me. Making pizza dough with 60% hydration (rather than to 70%+ I use for bread) yielded the WFO pizza of my dreams. Here is a pie I made last night, topped with puréed San Marzanos, fresh ricotta, sautéed spinach, nutmeg, and capicola. 

 

Comments

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Man, that looks fantastic!

Sjadad's picture
Sjadad

Thanks Floyd. It's amazing what one small change makes!

isand66's picture
isand66

Are you using 00 Caputo flour?

I don't have a wood burning oven but I do have an attachment for my Weber kettle grill that allows me to get the temperature using wood and charcoal up to around 800 F.  I will have to give your lower hydration dough a try soon.

Regards,

Ian

Sjadad's picture
Sjadad

Yes Ian, 00 flour. I allow the dough to bulk ferment at room temperature (~70F) for two hours, then divide into individual balls (~275 grams each), put on a floured sheet pan, flour the tops, wrap in plastic wrap, and store in the fridge 24-48 hours. I take them out of the fridge about 90 minutes before using. I stretch each dough ball to about a 12 inch diameter pizza.  I bake at about 800F too.  

Yippee's picture
Yippee

Hi, Sjadad:

Could you please share your recipe?

I don't think my husband would build a WFO for me so I'm looking into pizza accessories for gas grills.  If you have any recommendations, please share.   If I find one, I'm going to make pizza as well at my son's birthday BBQ party, which is at the end of this month. Thanks much.

Yippee

isand66's picture
isand66

I have a charcoal Weber and I use the Kettle Grill attachment which I love.  I'm able to get the temp over 700-800 degrees.  They just came out with a gas grill version so you may want to check it out.

http://www.kettlepizza.com/Outdoor-Pizza-Oven-Kit-What-Is-KettlePizza-s/1822.htm

 

Yippee's picture
Yippee

One thing to do before ordering - measure my grill...

Thank you, Ian.  If you have a good pizza dough recipe, please share.  

Sjadad's picture
Sjadad

For pizza in a WFO the ingredients are 500g "00" flour (Caputo), 300g water, 10g salt, 3g (1/2 tsp) instant yeast. 

Mix all ingredients together in stand mixer on low speed for two minutes, then medium-high for five minutes, and back down to low for two more minutes. Cover the dough and bulk ferment for two hours at ~70F (adjust time based on temperature). After bulk fermentation, divide and shape into three balls of equal weight (~270g each). Place dough balls on floured sheet pan, flour the tops, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and put in fridge for 24-48 hours. 

Remove sheet pan from fridge 60-90 minutes before baking.  Happy pizza making!

*Please note this is not a recipe from Forkish's book.  I respect copyrights so I did not copy his recipe here. The recipe is one that I've developed over time through trial and error and will result in a very good WFO pizza. 

Yippee's picture
Yippee

Hi, Sjadad:

Would you dough double at 70F after 2 hours? Your formula is simple and straight forward enough for a pizza novice like me.  I'm very excited about starting this new adventure, all because of your good looking pizza!  Thank you for the inspiration!

Yippee

isand66's picture
isand66

My recipe that I use most of the time is here :https://mookielovesbread.wordpress.com/2012/07/18/pastrami-pizza-and-pulled-pork-bbq-pizza/

Since I posted that I have changed to mostly Caputo 00 flour with maybe 5% rye or WW.

If you are looking for a SD recipe I just made one last week that came out pretty good and I can send it to you if interested but I have to type it up.  I have also used a version of the Forkish one that David changed here: https://mookielovesbread.wordpress.com/2014/01/10/ken-forkish-david-snyder-pizza-pizza-and-calzones/

Good luck!

Yippee's picture
Yippee

Just measured my grill, it fits! I'll incorporate your idea of using rye/ww in Sjadad's formula in my first pizza dough.   I'll try your SD recipe whenever you put it up on your blog, so no rush.  On your blog, you made it look easy and fun making pizza.  I hope I can do it, too!  Thank you so much! 

Yippee 

isand66's picture
isand66

I'm sure you will do a great job and it is fun!

I like putting the dough balls in little ziplock bags with a little olive oil overnight.  This makes the dough very easy to stretch out the next day or evening when making the pizza.

Anyway, good luck and let us know how it turns out or if you have any questions.

Ian

Yippee's picture
Yippee

Hi, Ian and Sjadad:

From my very limited pizza making experience, I foresee challenges when making pizza on the grill.  As you can see in my pizza post, I use parchment paper to load the dough into the oven.  How can I prepare and line up several dough in advance for the grill ( when I only have ONE peel)?  I'm thinking of, first, sprinkling cornmeal on parchment, then shaping my dough on the parchment, loading the toppings, then setting it aside.  When it's time to grill, first dusting the (metal) peel with cornmeal,  sliding the dough from parchment to the peel, then from peel to the stone.   Do you see any problems in my plan?  How do you do it when you have a pizza party? If you have better ideas, please share.  Thanks much.

Yippee

isand66's picture
isand66

Hi Yippee,

I have a couple of peels but I mainly use 2-3 flat pizza pans that don't have a rim.  I line them with parchment paper, trim the excess and slide them either on the peel into the fire or right from the pan.  When the pizza is ready I either use the peel and put it on a cutting board or back onto the pan if it is empty depending on how many pizzas I'm making.

Hope this helps a little.

Good luck.
Ian

Yippee's picture
Yippee

Thank you, Ian!  Parchment paper and pizza pans, got it!

dmaclaren2's picture
dmaclaren2

CAn you share your recipe for this?

 

Yippee's picture
Yippee

Looks very pro!

Sjadad's picture
Sjadad

How kind!  Thanks. 

Yippee's picture
Yippee

What your pizza appeals to me, among other things, is what the pizza nerds call "leopard-spotting" - the little charred spots on the rim of a pizza, something you don't usually see on a home-baked pizza.  Yours absolutely looks professionally done!

Sjadad's picture
Sjadad

I should have taken a picture of the bottom crust.  It too had beautiful leopard spotting.  And the charred bits don't give the pizza a burnt taste but definitely add a desirable complexity, just like it does on a well charred steak.

Yippee's picture
Yippee

That's what I was thinking, too! Show it off next time!

PalwithnoovenP's picture
PalwithnoovenP

Looks so light and puffy. Love the charred cornicione!

EdfromWdstk's picture
EdfromWdstk

Excellent pizza!  I could not agree more in re Ken Forkish's advice re lower hydration for wfo pizza. That bit, alone, was well worth the investment in his great addition to the pizza cook book library

 

deblacksmith's picture
deblacksmith

Yep,  I agree that Ken Forkish new book The Elements of Pizza is a great book with lots of great information for both the WFO and home oven too.  In fact most of the book is directed at the home oven a 550 F.  I am not 100 % through the book yet but I would highly recommend it.

Additional note -- he takes his making of a sourdough starter down to 125 grams of whole rye - from the 500 grams in his other book -- makes a lot more sense and cuts waste by a factor of 4.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Yours looks great and makes me want to make some non WFO pizza at 68% hydration!  Well done and happy baking

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

David