Spring has finally sprung and we’ve had a glimpse of warmer weather, do you need any more reasons to fire up your wood-fired oven and get cooking outdoors? Even if you don’t have a pizza oven, a fire pit or campfire will do.
If you don’t have the means to start wood fired cooking, why not take on a summer project and build your own?
IDEAL TEMPERATURE FOR YOUR WOOD FIRED OVEN
WHY USE HEAT LOGS OR HARDWOOD BRIQUETTES FOR COOKING?
Both our Hotties heat logs and Pizazz pizza logs are kiln dried and manufactured here in the UK by us. Most importantly, our heat logs and briquettes have a moisture content of less than 5%, unlike traditional firewood which typically has a moisture content of between 20 - 50%. A low moisture content means maximum heat output and less time for your oven to heat up.
Tip: It’s really important to ensure whatever fuel you use is kept dry. Be sure to look out for the ‘Ready to Burn’ symbol, this ensures the product you’re buying is ready for immediate burning and with a moisture content of below 20%.
HOW TO HEAT A WOOD FIRED OVEN
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
Firelighters - we prefer to use a natural firelighter, as they’re completely odourless and do not taint your food.
Break your heat log into three equal length pieces by tapping it against another heat log until it cracks and breaks.
Arrange the three pieces into a triangle in your fire and put one Ignite natural firelighter in the middle.
Note: If using a Pizza Oven / Wood-Fired Oven ensure you light your fire in the centre, once the fire has reached its optimum temperature you will push the embers to either the side or back of your oven.
Use another short length of broken Heat Log to stand upright, forming a “chimney” above the natural firelighter.
Light the firelighter. Once your fire is going, start to feed the fire with more fuel, to continue to build the fire.
Tip: If you’re cooking pizza, you will need to make sure you keep a large rolling flame in the pizza oven, adding more fuel to the fire as needed to keep the temperature.
Tip: Light your fire about 45 mins to an hour before you want to eat - allow enough time for your wood-fired oven to reach optimum temperature.
You’re now ready to start wood-fired cooking!
WOOD FIRED PIZZA OVEN RECIPE
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
- 500g Italian 00 Flour
- 75g Semolina Flour
- 2 tsp Honey runny
- 7g Dried Yeast
- 2 tsp Sea Salt
- 300ml tepid water
- 2 tbsp olive oil
Polenta for sprinkling
You can either make the dough by hand or use a dough hook in a food processor
Makes 4 large bases - roughly 30cm in diameter. If you don’t need that many or want them that big, you could use the remaining dough to make dough balls, cooked in your wood-fired oven.
HOW TO MAKE:
To start place the flours, yeast and salt in a large bowl. Lightly combine and follow by adding the water, honey and olive oil and bring everything together to form a rough ball of dough. Once in a ball, take out of the bowl and knead on a floured surface. Your dough shouldn’t be too sticky, if it is, add a tablespoon of 00 flour at a time until it feels and looks smooth and springy.
Next, wipe some olive oil around the inside of the bowl, place the dough back in it and cover with a damp tea towel. Leave it to prove for an hour or until it has doubled in size.
Once your dough has proved, it will then need to be knocked back on a floured surface and divided into quarters. Place these on a baking tray sprinkled with semolina flour or polenta. Cover again with a damp tea towel and leave to one side whilst you make your toppings.
Once you are ready and your pizza oven is ready, roll out each ball on a floured surface until you have four pizza bases, roughly 30cm in diameter.
Once done you are ready to add your toppings and pop in your wood-fired oven.