I think I am finally (really) done building my oven. My final tweak - I used wood from one of the pallets that was used to deliver the bricks for the oven to make a faux door. $5 fake hinges and door handle from Amazon. It keeps the wood dry but still lets me stow my peels on a shelf that I installed in the back of the pedestal.
My pizza making skills are a WIP, still trying to get a consistent dough. I always seem to burn the initial launch side facing the fire, maybe too close to the fire?
Really nice setup…enjoy your pizza!
Look solid Now fire that F’er up and cook some pizza
tip build the fire in the center then push it to the back, saturate the floor in the back half of the oven with the red hot coals, then push the fire to the left. At that point the roaring fire is flaming left to righ in the oven. Clean the floor and cook the pizza in the right back side of the oven
The deeper in the oven you can get it the better the pizza will be
That is my preference
Thanks very much for the tips. I have been making the fire in the middle, pushing it to the back then making the pizza in the middle. I find that it’s hard to see if the crust is burning since the fire is at the very back of the oven. I’ll try your method next.
Looks like a magazine cover!! Excellent job!
You’ve got the basics down; now it’s a matter of timing and feel. Whether you continue to push the fire all the way to the back (my preference) or go with @Dinovmakingpizza ’s method of pushing it to the side, which I use for roasting but have also tried for pizza—the key is to get your hearth very, very hot.
With a properly fired oven, as you seem to have, the total baking time for a pie is under 5 minutes. That means your first turn is coming pretty quickly, about a minute or so into the bake, and you have to stay on it.
Apart from all of that—you’ve got yourself a gorgeous outdoor room now that feeds body and soul. Congratulations on your build!
I’d like to recommend a book. The elements of pizza by Ken Forkish. It’s an excellent book explaining pizza crust, dough hydration, and oven temperature for the best results in pizza. I’ve been using his recipes they’re all very flavorful. His Neapolitan crusts I’ve been able to have a finish pizza in 90 seconds. The whole book is all about pizza, I definitely enjoyed reading, and rereading several times.
The Elements of Pizza: Unlocking the Secrets to World-Class Pies at Home [A Cookbook]: Forkish, Ken: 9781607748380: Amazon.com: Books
I’ll second @Bill 's recommendation. Making a flavorful, “digestible,” stretchy thin dough that is properly fermented and carries your pie through a hot oven takes a grand total of 7 minutes, all by hand, with no special equipment apart from a Camco food container and only 4 ingredients.
Before I discovered Ken’s method, I was putting sugar and other ingredients into a dough that I started an hour before baking. I went back recently and made a batch of that dough. All pizza is good in some sense, and that recipe didn’t produce garbage, but nothing like the tasty simplicity of Ken’s stuff.
@bikerbudmatt @BrickWood @Bill Thank you all for the kind feedback and very helpful tips! I used a dough recipe that is made with poolish and did a 24 cold ferment. It made a huge difference in the airiness of the dough and its flavor. We did a pizza night last night and this was my best pizza to date, plus they were round this time too!
Regarding placement of the fire, I did a hybrid. The burning wood was at the back and I also piled hot embers along one side. It seemed to result in a better bake for me. I definitely agree the best results are when the bricks are really hot, above 700 degrees F.
You are most welcome, I just want to share my experiences of making pizza hoping it will help others on their journey
We really enjoy the 48-72 hour Biga starter dough from Kens book, the longer fermentation time make a very flavorful, and tender crust that bakes quickly. Just make sure your dough hydration is 60% or less for a fast baked pie, or it may get soggy
Thanks @Bill, I haven’t tried Biga yet (I’m using a poolish and bulk cold ferment). My hydration is 65% and the dough is very nice to work with once the gluten has begun to develop. One of the keys for me is making sure that the dough balls are tucked tightly on the bottom so the gas is retained. I do want to try Biga soon to see how it compares with poolish, will post when I do.
Same here with the cold fermentation, I haven’t tried poolish yet but I plan to soon. I swear I could stand in front of my oven and make pizza all day long. It’s just plain fun
I’ve standardized on the poolish technique. Works well and gives good results. I’ve tried hydration levels from 62-70 and have settled on 65 (ok sometimes I’ll bump it up to 68). The type of flour you use, humidity and temperature all play into it so there’s no set formula that works every time. Wish I paid more attention when grandma was trying to teach me the proper feel of dough…