Gourmet Pizza for a Wood Fired Oven

Most people are very familiar with your standard pizza: tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, sausage and a few other key ingredients make up the majority of pizzas you’ll see in your standard home. Gourmet pizzas, however, don’t necessarily follow these rules. Gourmet pies can contain almost any ingredient you can imagine and are really only limited by your imagination as a chef. These types of pizzas range from breakfast pies with bacon and eggs to vegetarian pizzas with exotic vegetables and spices from lots of different types of cuisine.
Of course, like any pizza, gourmet pies are best cooked in a wood fired oven like the Forno Premium or the Forno Classico. This is because wood burning ovens can bring enough heat to create a distinctive flavor in your pizza. When building a gourmet pie, pick only the finest ingredients. When cooking, make sure the get the temperature up high enough in your oven so that the cheese and toppings can form a nice caramelized crust that will greatly enhance the flavor. There’s no need to go out for gourmet pizza any longer when you can build delicious pies in the comfort of your own home with your own indirect wood fired pizza oven.

How to Cook with Your Wood Burning Oven

If you are new to working in a wood fired oven, the prospect of cooking for the first time can seem daunting. Cooking in a wood burning oven, however, is much easier than it may seem. The first thing you should probably do is watch a few of the videos that Dolce Vita offers on its site going through the parts and process of cooking in a Forno wood burning oven. Once you know the basics of how the oven works and how it is prepared, it’s time to start cooking.
The type of wood you choose to burn when cooking is very important. It is essential to use hard dry wood so that the oven doesn’t crack and so that you don’t get the foul taste of smoke that tends to come off more wet woods. Good choices for hard dry woods are oak, almond, fruitwood, walnut and pecan. The type of wood you select will impact the flavor of whatever you are cooking. Once your wood is burning in the oven, you can adjust the temperature by dampening or increasing the flame. This be can accomplished by adding more wood, closing and opening certain vents and other actions.

Bread Recipe for Your Wood-fired Oven

If you haven’t heard, your Forno indirect wood burning oven is great for making bread. From sourdough to whole wheat and even Challah, a wood-fired oven will turn out fantastic baked bread time after time. The following is a quick and basic recipe to get you started, but there are basically no limitations on what kind of bread you will be able to bake in your wood burning oven.

2 1/2 cups plain flour
2 1/2 cups whole meal flour
3 cups lukewarm water
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon yeast
2 1/2 teaspoon bread improver (for faster preparation)
1 teaspoon olive oil

-Place all the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix together well. Make a well in the center of the mixture and pour in the wet ingredients. Gradually incorporate the dry mix into the wet until you get consistent dough that feels consistent and a little tacky.
-Place a sheet of saran/cling wrap on the dough as well as up the sides of the bowl. Leave the dough and let it rise for about 30 minutes. It should double in size.
-Remove cling wrap and place the dough on a well-floured table surface and cover with flour.
-Using a knife or spatula, take your desired portion of the dough and shape it into a round ball, then flatten it with the palm of your hand.
-Place the dough directly onto the wood-fired oven floor
-Monitor the bread and watch it bake in a few minutes. The time it takes to bake will depend on the heat of the oven and where the bread is placed. The most important thing is to watch it and make sure it doesn’t burn.