Creating Your Ideal Pizza

A vast majority of modern pizza restaurants stick to a stable of a few very common ingredients: dough, red sauce, mozzarella cheese, meat and vegetables. It’s this formula that creates classics like pepperoni pizza, all meat pizzas, vegetarian pizzas and other common specialties you see at most mass marketed pizza chains. This stable of ingredients works for a lot of people, but the world of pizza is so much bigger than what we have been led to believe. When you have the equipment to make your own pizzas, like a wood burning oven, then you have the chance to create pizzas with ingredients that almost no restaurant would ever offer. Below are ways you change ingredients to create more interesting and flavorful pies.

Cheeses. Mozzarella has been the king of pizza cheese for a long time, but there are so many other options. Feta cheese provides a strong aroma to pizzas looking for a bit of a punch and it goes great with other Greek ingredients. Asiago cheese has a deep nutty flavor and has a much stronger profile than mozzarella. Goat cheese offers a very distinctive flavor and will create a pizza with an almost completely different flavor than you’ve tried before.

Sauces. Red tomato sauce is very versatile and flavorful, but it’s not the only game in town. Olive oil can be used in a variety ways as a substitute for red sauce. For example, you can infuse olive oil with things like garlic and basic to create a unique and powerful flavor. You can also use a white sauce on a pizza by making a roux or Alfredo sauce for a more creamy and delicate flavor. Some people even use things like BBQ sauce or salad dressing to create their desired flavors.

Toppings. There are not a whole lot of things that don’t go well on a pizza. Open up your imagination a little and experiment with lots of different things. One of my personal favorites is artichokes and roasted bell peppers. You can also experiment with different types of meats. Use ingredient combinations from other types of food to figure out what would go well together on a pizza.

Perfecting Your Backyard with a Wood-Fired Oven

You may have looked at your backyard lately and thought that something was missing. Sure you’ve got the swimming pool, the lawn chairs and the outdoor refrigerator, but there is a certain flare that seems to be missing from the environment. A direct or indirect wood-fired oven may be just what you are looking for. If you’ve never seen a wood burning oven before then take a look through our wood fired oven gallery to see what the fuss is all about. Dolce Vita has a variety of outdoor wood burning ovens that would be a perfect addition to the decor in your backyard.

Our Forno direct and indirect wood-fired ovens can be constructed in a variety of different ways to fit in with the design concepts of your backyard. The ovens can be built into rock surfaces to maintain the same granite motif that’s part of the rest of your backyard. They can be constructed as stand alone units or as part of a larger outdoor kitchen arrangement as well. Wood burning ovens provide an elegance and touch of class that is simply unmatched when it comes to outdoor cooking appliances. Not only will these ovens make your backyard look better, but they will make entertaining and cooking a far more enjoyable experience for you and your guests. There’s no reason to consider a wood-fired oven as an addition to your backyard.

Baking Bread in Your Wood Burning Oven

Most Americans these days buy their bread at the grocery store. While some companies try to sell a fresh product every day, especially local bakers, most bread you find at the store will be designed to last a long time. This built in longevity comes with a cost, flavor. Baking fresh bread at home was once a time honored tradition that has been replaced by mass factory baking that will do anything to cut costs. Baking bread at home is far easier than most people imagine. With a wood burning oven, it can not only be easy to bake bread, but the resulting flavor will be far beyond what you could have thought was possible.

Bread recipes for a wood burning oven are abundant and can be found on a variety of sites. The basic principles involve flour, water and yeast, but beyond that there are almost an infinite amount of combinations for making delicious home made bread. One of the most special aspects of baking bread in a wood burning oven is the ability of the dough to soak in the flavors of the wood smoke and any other dishes that we baking in the oven previously. This creates a unique flavor profile that you simply can’t get from store bought bread or by baking bread in a gas oven or bread machine.

The Spectacle of Wood Burning Ovens

We spend a lot of time here talking about how great wood burning ovens are for cooking pizza and traditional Italian dishes, but what sometimes gets left behind is how excited people are to watch the workings of a wood-fired oven. Most people simply don’t have experience cooking with fire unless they are frequent campers or own a wood burning stove of their own. Cooking with a wood fire is a completely different experience than cooking with gas or coal, and the process will have people looking on in awe.

Cooking with fire is a spectacle that the whole family can appreciate. From the first phase of lighting the wood to the bubbling cheese and crust of a finishing pizza, cooking with fire is an instinctive craving that exists in all of us. Not only will your wood burning oven produce terrific results in flavor and texture, but it will be wonderful to look at in the process. Half the appeal of cooking at home comes from the aromas and sounds that result from cooking with fire. Family and friends gathering around the wood-fired stove is one of the most appealing parts of cooking with fire, and the buzz generated from the spectacle will liven up the atmosphere more than any takeout food could.