Making pizza

Preparations

You can of course make everything from scratch for your pizza, but there is also ready-made items at some supermarkets, eg Conad in Pallerone:

  • Ready-to-use pizza dough. 500g of dough is generally enough for 4 people. The lightest colored dough is the easiest to work with.
  • Flour for kneading the dough
  • Tomato sauce
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Ingredients to put on top. For example mixed seafood from the deli, or fresh salsicci
  • There is fresh basil, rosemary, oregano and bay leaves for use in the garden.

Prepare the oven

Start the fire already around 3 hours before you will make the pizzas. Keep it warm and add fire. It should be a really well-established coal heat.

In addition to wood, you can add an entire sack of grilling coals in the pizza oven in order to get a good fire going in a simpler way. If you dont have any wood, it works to use two sacks of grilling coals.

Once the fire is good and hot, you can push the coals to the back and sides of the pizza oven. You can use the pizza oven lid/door to fan away the ash in the area that you will set the pizzas to cook.

Homemade pizza dough recipe

If you want to make your own dough, here is our favourite. It is recommended to double this recipe, so you can cook many pizzas while the pizza oven is hot. And everyone loves leftover pizza!

4 Pizzas (rustic thin crust)

  • 7,5 gram of dry yeast
  • 500gram of strong flour
  • 325ml of luke warm water
  • 1 pinch of salt, not too much but not too little
  • Semolina (Not in the dough, but tor helping the pizza slide into the oven on the pizza shovel)

Blend all ingredients except Semolina and kneed properly. Pull and fold movements.

Cut into 4 pieces and create dough balls. Set aside under damp cloth to rise for at about two hours (keep out of direct sun, best inside the house).

Choose your toppings

Keep it simple, start with tomato sauce as base and then go for cheese, the rest of toppings on top. You’re creating a piece of art here.

Things we want on our pizzas:

Tomatosauce with rosemary, A good mozzarella, fresh basil, roasted garlic, sundried tomatoes and small bits of anchovies.

Prepare the dough

Around 1 hour before baking, you can prepare the pizza crusts. Take the large cutting boards from the kitchen and bring to the eseccatoio or the outdoor kitchen on the terrace.

  1. Take the dough out from the fridge
  2. Flour your working area well
  3. Divide the doughs in small pieces; around 8 pieces for the ready-made dough of 500g
  4. Make small floured balls out of the dough pieces
  5. Let it rest while you prepare and chop your other ingredients
  6. After about 30 mins, shape the balls into thin pizza crusts, roughly as big as the pizza shovel used to cook them. Dont be shy with the flour or it can get sticky.
  7. PRO TIP: Because it is difficult to transfer a pizza with all sauce and toppings to the pizza shovel, we have found it easier to create one pizza at a time, directly on the pizza shovel. Put semolina flour on the pizza shovel before placing the crust down, so that it will slip off easily when you put it into the oven. Dont let a heavily topped pizza rest for too long on the pizza shovel, or you will also have trouble sliding it off into the oven.

Cook the Pizzas

When the oven is ready:

  1. Build your pizzas with the ingredients you desire (one at a time on the pizza shovel if you follow our previous tips) Dont forget the semolina flour – it is your friend!!!
  2. Start with a thin layer of tomato sauce – this can be heated up on the outdoor stove with some fresh rosemary from the garden.
  3. Add some fresh oregano or basil onto the pizza
  4. Break up the mozzarella balls generously onto the pizza
  5. Put the other ingredients on top of the cheese – our favorite combo is salsicca sausage, sundried tomatoes, red onions, anchovies (very small bits), garlic (sliced into pieces), olive oil, cracked sea salt and fresh basil to finish it.
  6. You can cook up to 4 pizzas at a time in the oven but we suggest starting with 1 or 2 until you are comfortable with the woodfire oven’s heat distribution.
  7. After a few minutes, the pizza crusts have cooked and hardened enough to spin them around inside the oven to even out their cooking.
  8. Take out the pizzas and put them directly onto plates. Complete with a splash of olive oil, cracked sea salt and more fresh herbs if you desire. And a glass wine of course!

The aftermath – cleaning up 

Once you have let the fire burn out, remember to clean out the coals and ash from the oven. Use the small shovel to the right of the oven to put it into the dust pan also to the right.