The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Pizza Oven bliss.. Clueless, but stoked!

BellesAZ's picture
BellesAZ

Pizza Oven bliss.. Clueless, but stoked!

We just finished landscaping our dream home.. the one taking us into retirement. We added a pizza oven and last night, we fired it up for her first bake. We added the Saputo stones and we are huge fans of Neapolitan pizza. I also used this recipe for the dough. https://www.fontanaforniusa.com/blogs/news/neapolitan-pizza-dough It made a lot of dough balls.. like 10 of them. Used one for pizza and then used 3 to make some Schiacciata (Tuscan style focaccia), for our lunch today.

The crust was delightful. I wasn’t sure how it would come out, but it is definitely on my list of all time favorites and so memorable of our trips to Italy.

Can’t wait to try some baguettes and more in this oven. Has anyone had success with breads and one of these ovens?

Bengoshi's picture
Bengoshi

What unit did you get, I am in the market for my “retirement” home as well....

BellesAZ's picture
BellesAZ

We bought the Mangiafuoco model from Fontana Forni. The ovens are made in Italy and distributed here out of California. Expensive, but shipping is free.. lol. https://www.fontanaforniusa.com/products/the-mangiafuoco-wood-oven?variant=7623457898539 We bought the model that sits atop the barbecue, in red. So far, I am in love with it!

Bengoshi's picture
Bengoshi

Nice, my neighbor has one of those and loves it. Meanwhile, I am reading “Mastering Pizza” by Mark Vetri whihc just came out (First book: Mastering Pasta!).  It’s a good read, lots of info, although odd in places.  I like the Ken Forkish Pizza book a bit better, but I think you should get them both!

BellesAZ's picture
BellesAZ

We don’t really eat tons of pizza, but the crust recipe I used from the Recipes link was excellent. I have Kens Flour Salt Water Yeast book.. it has his pizza dough recipe in that too. I have made it before, but used my oven when baking it. I bought the oven to give my breads a nice baking option and experiment with other foods. I once had a slice of Apple Pie baked in a stone oven.. have never forgotten it!

Bengoshi's picture
Bengoshi

 Nice, But btw Forkish, in his pizza book, essentially says “forget everything I said about pizza in my bread book!” It’s odd, but I guess he went to Naples and was born again....

David R's picture
David R

Also, there's more than one kind of pizza in the world. If you enjoy learning, then go ahead - learn everything! But in the end, for yourself, you should make exactly what you like. (Though since you have this great oven, it will certainly be entertaining [and tasty 🙂] for you to make the kinds of pizza that are doomed to fail in an ordinary oven.)

Redjacketswamp's picture
Redjacketswamp

I am of the school that there is only 1 pizza.

Pizza requires that alchemy that occurs at the 450Deg C.   Its weird but something happens to the ingredients that doesn't occur at lower temps.

To me, it's PIZZA with that alchemy, or its a just a pie or Welsh rarebit made with pizza toppings.

 

P.S.  Not trying to pick a fight...just trying to add to the conversation.

David R's picture
David R

"There is only 1 pizza" isn't a school at all - it's just a declaration that you like that kind of pizza better than the others. It isn't possible to consider the others not pizza - unless you're willing to also exclude the kind of pizza you like, and go right back to plain flat bread with nothing at all on top as "the one and only". Once you admit "Hey, we could put something on this bread", it's pretty silly to insist that there can only be one way of doing that. Can there be only one way that you like? Of course - you like what you like. But anything with a bread crust and toppings (or the original, bread topped with nothing at all) is a pizza, if they say it is. (There's no justification for admitting breadless/crustless "pizza", but I don't think anyone seriously wants to do so.)

I think it's a good idea for someone to specialize in what they believe is the best kind (if they want to do that), and to ignore the kinds they don't like. (Why waste time on food you're not going to like?) But not for them to say no one else can do it differently.

Redjacketswamp's picture
Redjacketswamp

I can see where you are coming from - actually I used to think that about pizza as well...but that logic only holds if ingredients alone define food and temperature has nothing to do with cooking.     

The examples of how temp changes food are everywhere: The Maillard reaction is a chemical reaction that is temperature dependant.  How many home stir fry are nothing of the kind but instead just stew in a wok because its overloaded and under temp.   We don't equate steam and ice even though they are both water.    Heck even water is just Hydrogen and Oxygen - that should be explosive mix but instead it makes water that is the antithesis of their flammable qualities.    

 

Redjacketswamp's picture
Redjacketswamp

Pizza is just so different to breads...Sure they are both dough based but that temp means is like comparing quantum physics vs physics.   Cutting edge physics is a little trippy..but quantum physics is just a total mind Fu*#.

I have only been at neapolitan pizza making for 3 years...but my current thinking is that it is all in the crust...if thats on point, toppings take care of themselves.   The crust seams to have such a critical role in the alchemy that makes toppings just pop and makes every bite give you that pizza high.   It has to have just the right amount of rise and moisture to transfer the heat and add that little bit of steam to the ingredients as they super heat.

Its weird - even though its all about the crust...its only in relation to what the crust does to the toppings.

 

BellesAZ's picture
BellesAZ

Ken Forkishs new book, The Essence of Pizza has helped a great deal and he made that very interesting distinction.

 

BellesAZ's picture
BellesAZ

The Fontana Forni Mangiafuoco outdoor wood oven. The challenge has been building a fire and waiting patiently while the floor and internal dome to get hot enough. It’s been fun and with every bake, we get better results. It is an investment though. These are beautiful ovens, made in Italy and distributed here in the US.  We have done vegetables in a steel skillet, steak in the same pan, I tried a one pound loaf of 5 minute artisan bread as a test run.. oven was a bit hot and I think loading it towards the rear would have helped. I also think being patient and understanding your fire is key. https://www.fontanaforniusa.com/collections/outdoor-pizza-ovens

Redjacketswamp's picture
Redjacketswamp

Just offering some trouble shooting (based on your photos) to try and propel you to better pizzas.  Of course the following comments are speculative from what I can see on the top as there is no photo of the underside of the base of your pizza.

Issues:

OVEN TEMP IS TOO LOW:

To me this looks like your pizza has cooked too slowly.  The reasons for this observation:

  • The crust is even colour (like bread) rather than leopard print.  .
  • The crust doesn't have that  telltale cylindrical tyre section it has risen more like a bread loaf

You really need to have the stone base at 430Deg C (810 F for USA peeps) before you put the pizza on it.  At the beginning I recommend getting an infrared thermometer- you need one that goes to over 500Deg C (900 F).    Later you will be able to read the signs when your oven is hot enough - but when new, a thermometer is a must.

WHAT YOU SHOULD SEE

When you place the pizza on the stone at the beginning - its original footprint will stay connected to the stone and almost instantly the base should start both rising and expanding outwards - this gives an almost cylindrical tyre edge to the pizza. 

This telltale sign helps with your cooking process....Just before the crust edge that is cooking fastest is done, you want to turn it to expose the slower edge to the higher heat...repeat until fully cooked edge

In your oven, the stone base should be cooler than the top of the dome.   Ideally the base will finish cooking before the  toppings so just raise it on the peel up towards the dome for a couple of seconds.  That final burst of heat will fully activate all the toppings without affecting the crust.

 What you should end up with is the upper crust with even leopard printing around it and the under side to the crust a light colour with small leopard marks on it....ie a flat version of the upper curst.

TOP: https://slice.seriouseats.com/images/2010-1-15-Moto-finito.jpg

BOTTOM: https://slice.seriouseats.com/images/20090805-upskirt.jpg

 

DOUGH 

FLOUR

Be carefull when recipes say "Caputo flour".  Caputo is just a brand and their range of flours are very purpose specific.   For pizza you want "Caputo - Chef" or even better is "Caputo - Pizzeria.   (We can only get the Pizzeria in 25kg bag here)

WATER

Your recipe looks a little wet at 75% hydration and a little low on salt.  For a beginner that would be very hard to control.  Most Neapolitan pizza dough recipes I have seen are about 60% hydration...60% is also the level Caputo flour specifies on their data.

YEAST

Try fresh yeast.  We always get a better flavour with fresh yeast over dry yeast.

RECIPE OPTION 

We use Vito Iacopelli's dough recipe and always get a great leopard edge.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xA-mwJcNBzA 

 

Happy Pizza :D

Redjacketswamp's picture
Redjacketswamp

P.S.   "00" just referes to the grind of the flour.   Nearly all the Caputo flour types are "00".    

Each type of Caputo flour has a different  protein level and makes very different products.  Below is a quick guide:

  • Pizzeria - specially for pizza and high temperatures in the oven
  • Chef - Breads...but a good substitute for pizza
  • Classica - Cakes (will work for roti prata aka Roti Canai)
  • Manitoba - Panettone (very high protein level @14%)
  • Pasta - Pasta (also goes very crispy when fried so great for dusting deep fried items)