The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Suggested Floor Temps

Ricko's picture

Suggested Floor Temps

I have a Zio Ciro “Subito Cotto” wood fired pizza oven that allows me to obtain a floor temp of 700-750°F for beautiful pizzas. I would like to try some bread in it, but I'm unsure of what floor temp is ideal for sliding a bread pan or free standing sourdough loaf onto. 

When using a wood fired oven, do you feed it with wood during a bread bake, or do you get the temp high, stop feeding wood, and then slide the bread to be baked into the oven on the cool down?

I suppose bread is no different than pizza, in that it constantly has to be rotated so as not to burn on the side closest to the burning wood. 

How do you find the smoke taste the burning wood imparts to your bread? 

Thanks for the info before I get started on this new venture!

therearenotenoughnoodlesintheworld's picture

It's not about floor temperature for bread. Pizza ovens are designed to keep very high heat close to the pizza... so with the fire operating, the air temp in the oven would usually be way too hot for bread.  (Bread ovens have a different geometry)

Your best bet - If your oven has some degree of internal retained heat (thermal mass) then you are really looking to cook the bread with that rather than with the fire. 

I can't talk about the specific technicals of your oven model. However, what you are looking to get a handle on, is your oven's cool down temperature curve and determine what gives you a long enough baking time to bake your loaf.   I suspect you would be aiming to ride a temperature range between about 230C and 160C. 


MichaelLily's picture

For a country hearth loaf, you will want to be done with pizza, rake out the coals, close the door, and let it cool to 500-550 floor temp before baking bread. Then close the door. Temp could be higher or lower depending on the hearth material and the size of your bread. It does not have to be rotated. Bake time likely 25 minutes for a wet sourdough. 

a live fire is too dry and too hot for loaf breads. Flatbreads are perfect in this environment but for a round bread you will not want coals in the chamber with the bread or you will get poor results.

gavinc's picture

I built my brick oven in 2005. Pictures below. I swear by these instructions - The bread oven environment is included in instructions:

Brick Oven Environments for Cooking.

These notes are summarised from “The Art of Wood Fired Cooking” by Andrea Mugnaini.

No matter what cooking method you are planning to use, you must first bring the oven up to pizza temperature and then let it drop down to the appropriate environment. Once the oven is fully saturated with heat, each of the environments can be identified by the floor temperature and the size of the flame.

The only tool to use for measuring temperatures is the infrared thermometer.  The only place to check is the floor.

Pizza Oven Environment

Floor temperature 345-400°C (650-750°F) with a flame rolling to the middle of the dome.

Roasting Oven Environment

Floor temperature 290°C (550°F) with a vertical flame extending up the wall only.

When roasting meats or poultry, start at 315°C (600°F) and then let the temperature drop slightly, maintaining 290°C (550°F).

Bake Oven Environment

Floor temperature of 180-235°C (350-450°F) with hot coals but no live flames.

Grilling Environment

Live coals only. The only time the oven doesn’t need to be preheated.  Pull some live coals towards the archway.

Bread Oven Environment

Floor temperature of 235-290°C (450-550°F) empty oven.

Regulate the oven by closing the door. The oven will regulate to an even temperature throughout.   If you need to oven to cool down faster, open the door for 10 minutes at a time. Check the floor temperature only after the door has been closed a minimum of 10 minutes, as the heat will migrate down.

fierykichen's picture

The smoke taste that burning wood imparts to bread can add a unique and flavorful element to the final product. When using wood as a fuel source, such as in a wood-fired oven or smoker, the smoke created carries aromatic compounds that can infuse the bread with a smoky flavor.


The intensity of the smoke taste can vary depending on several factors, including the type of wood used, the duration of exposure to the smoke, and personal preference. Different types of wood, such as oak, hickory, or fruitwoods like apple or cherry, can contribute distinct flavors to the bread.


To achieve a desirable balance of smoke flavor, it's important to exercise caution and avoid over-smoking the bread, as excessive smoke exposure can overpower the other flavors. Start by using a small amount of wood and gradually increase if desired. Monitoring the bread closely during the baking process allows you to control the level of smoke absorption.


It's worth noting that not all bread recipes or styles pair well with a strong smoke taste. It can work particularly well with hearty, rustic breads or breads with rich flavors like rye or whole wheat. Experimenting with different wood types and bread recipes will help you discover the combination that suits your taste preferences.


Ultimately, the smoke taste imparted by burning wood can add a delightful depth of flavor to bread, elevating it beyond the standard oven-baked experience.

gavinc's picture

My Bread environment does not have any smoke or buring/smoldering wood. The oven in empty and cleaned out. The oven is heated with the thermal mass of the bricks.