Top Five Tips for Successfully Firing A Clay Pizza Oven. » Transition Culture

4 Jul 2006

Top Five Tips for Successfully Firing A Clay Pizza Oven.

p2 There was a song in the charts when I was a kid called “ You ’ ll Always Find Me In The Kitchen At Parties ”, by Jona Lewie. preferably than being found in the kitchen, I tend to be found tending the clay pizza oven. Having built a few of the things, and besides having arrived in places where a cadaver oven has been made but no-one quite knows what to do with it, I tend to end up being the one with the whistle eyebrows. Having spent last Saturday making pizza at my kids school fair in their clay oven, I thought I might pass on my thoughts as to what ensures a successful arouse and a estimable hanker baking school term .
p1 A cadaver pizza oven makes the best pizza you will ever eat. Being baked directly on the stone and with the beaming heat from all around they cook quickly and systematically, and somehow manage to retain more moisture than any other oven allows, meaning that the dough remains idle and downy, like a cloud plucked down from the flip. If you have never had pizza cooked like this you won ’ thymine know what I mean until you try it, and if you have had it you ’ ll presently be nodding in recognition .
p4 Kiko Denzer ’ s script Build Your Own Earth Oven is an excellent guide to the subject, with which I built the first pizza oven I ever made. Subsequently I did a course with Ianto Evans, who showed some extra techniques which allow you to build such an oven that you can bake in the lapp sidereal day as you make it ( my beginning one took weeks to dry sufficiently to fire it ). anyhow, this part is more about how to fire them correctly than to build them, sol here we go .
**Timing. **
Start 3 hours before you want to cook, aim for the last half an hour of that time being a bed of embers which you don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate feed.

**Feeding the Fire – little but often…**
Start the fire with some scrunched newspaper and kindling, as you would for a normal open fire. Get a good fire going and build it up. You should be aiming to feed it small and frequently, with woodwind no larger in property than a couple of inches wide. No log or chunks of wood. Your forest must be dry, and if you are using offcuts, be careful not to put in anything with paint or varnish, or any kinds of plywood or chipboard. In italian ovens they use faggots of willow, which burn fast and hot.

**Don ’ triiodothyronine Overload the Oven. **
If you over load the oven the flames all start to pour out of the doorway, and over prison term this will weaken to top of the arch, so is best observe to a minimum. besides, depending on the stature of your roof covering, it can be a base hit issue to have lots of flames pouring out of the door. small and often is the rule. I ’ d chuck 5 or 6 bits of woodwind in every 10-15 minutes, and if excessively much flame start pouring out precisely give it clock time to calm down before you feed it any more.

**Aim for a Bed of Embers. **
Your aim is that after 2½ hours you have a bed of embers 2 -3 ” deep across the entire base of the oven, right up to the sides. Rake it flat and for that half an hour don ’ t feed it with any more wood. It is one of the most beautiful phases, the way it glows and pulses makes it seem about active .
**Keep it Flaming…**
then, after half an hour, skin about two-thirds of the embers out, dispose of them safely, and rake the rest over into one side of the oven. When I first used these ovens I thought you should take out the whole displace, and use a door to keep the heat in. I did this for the beginning few times, but found after an hour or sol the temperature started to fall, and it took longer and longer to cook the pizza. An italian friend of mine told me how it is done in Italy, and it has stood me in good stead ever since. The tip is childlike, you want to keep the bed of embers at the side fire. It is amazing how long it will extend the bake time. This Saturday for model, I had a box of very dry wood I had slip gloomy to the size of pencils which I equitable kept feeding in, and kept a good flare going. After about an hour and half to two hours, the heat starts to drop, then you fair move your bed of embers to the inverse side, get it flaming again, clean the foundation fix for baking again and off you go .
p3 That ’ s about it very. Another nice thing you can do is when you take your embers out, and before you put in your first pizza, put a big bunch of newly cut rosemary in to saturate the inside with the oils and to flavour your baking. This is specially good if you make a batch of foccacia before you make pizza ( recommended ), you can besides put rosemary on the top of that. Remember besides to make your pizza with thin bases, and don ’ triiodothyronine put excessively a lot sauce on them ( that makes the dough excessively inert and it can stick to the penetrate ), and always flour your peel off ( the big spatula thing for taking pizza in and out of the oven ) to allow you pizza to well slide off the skin and into the oven. glad broil !