The Wood-Fired Blog

It’s the Outdoor Fireplace Time of Year

Autumn is in full swing and everyone’s thoughts turn to outdoor fireplaces. haha.

Here’s another nice photo journal on outdoor fireplaces from Midwest Living. They show design options for 25 different categories and styles, and there they have some really creative outdoor living space design ideas. Gets your imagination going.

This is called the French Touch.

 

 

Outdoor Fireplace Photo Journal

Here’s a nice outdoor fireplace photo journal on Bob Vila Nation. There are some real beauties in there, and their intro paragraph is really good.

“The smell of leaves burning is one of those signature scents of the fall season, isn’t it? Fall is wonderful in that it still lends itself to outdoor activities, but sometimes you need a little something to keep the chill at bay. Warm cider. A cozy wool blanket. An outdoor fire. All of the above? Who can resist?”

It does exactly what it’s designed to do

We came across a nice posting on the FB Forum on a customer’s experience with the Premio2G that I think is worth sharing.

“With the oven cured we had a party this weekend and made 24 medium sized pizzas.  Some lessons learned. It does take from 60 to 90 minutes to gently bring the heat up to 900F.  We started cooking when the floor was 700F and that seemed to be good for us.  At some point the floor was close to 800F and it took very close pie management to keep things from burning.  We had one person on dough, one person on toppings, and one person at the oven.  We managed to do 24 pies in about an hour.  Less is more with the toppings.   Buffalo mozzarella is just amazing.  Olives add a nice touch.  Items like bell peppers just didn’t seem to cook in the 90 seconds to 2 minutes required to cook a pizza.  I’m going to guess more heavily loaded pies would work better at a lower temp, but I’m sure there’s a technique I have got yet.  The Forno Bravo oven is well designed.  It does exactly what it’s designed to do.  It really does work as advertized.  So few things in this world do that.  We had small bits of hardwood at the ready to toss in the fire during the process.  At piece or two every 15 minutes seemed to work best for us.”

 

Forno Bravo Expo 2012

We had an outstanding time at FB Expo on Saturday. The weather, the food and the crowd were all just about perfect. I want to extend a person thank you to everyone who traveled to comes and visit us, and to the Forno Bravo team that did a great job of setting everything up and making everyone feel welcome. We cooked, we ate, we talked and we laughed — and everyone had lots of hands-on time with our ovens.

Also, I want to give a special shoutout to Joseph from The Fire Within who arranged all of the food and directed the cooking and the teaching. You did great work. Thanks Joseph!

We’ll be sharing more photos a little later.

See you all next year — we promise to give everyone earlier notice next autumn.

Wood-Fired Pizza and Camping

Wood-fired pizza might not be quite as familiar around the campsite as smores, but maybe we are going to change that. We received a couple of fun photos from a Forno Bravo community member today, and looking a little more closely, you can see that this appears to be a public campground. What a great idea.

This is a Pompeii oven build, and I can visualize more publicly accessible wood-fired ovens going up across the country — in parks, community centers, churches, campgrounds, community farms, etc. It’s  like a barn raising, except in the end you get to eat some great pizza.

One last thought. In Italy there is an extensive network of Agriturismo’s, which are typically farms that rent out spare rooms to vacationers. The system has been very successful, in that is has almost single handedly kept a large number of small, family-owned farms in business (some people even give the system credit for saving the Tuscan countryside), and it gives us travelers an up-close and personal view into Italian country life. We have stayed in quite a few Agriturismo’s over the years, and many of them have wood-fired pizza ovens where they cook for you, and some even let you use the oven on your own.

We need more of this!

Even More on Pizza Pilgrims — a Book!

We’ve been following the rise of Pizza Pilgrims for a while — from the first time we saw that they had installed a Forno Bravo pizza oven on the back of a Piaggo Ape three-wheeler to cater great pizza on the streets of London. And they have built up a lot of press and a nice following. So what’s next?

A book deal!

According to www.thebookseller.com,

London street food stars the Pizza Pilgrims have been snapped up by HarperCollins following a heated auction for their first cookbook.

Carole Tonkinson, publisher for Harper NonFiction, bought world rights for Pizza Pilgrims from Diana Beaumont at Rupert Heath Literary Agency.

You can read the whole entire article here.

Why isn’t there more pizza innovation?

We’ve been blogging recently about innovation and pizza ovens. And today we read an article by an industry consultant in the Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) industry who is wondering why there isn’t more innovation in pizza itself; aptly titled “Why isn’t there more pizza innovation?

And he gives Forno Bravo a nice plug, which is nice in an article about improving quick service pizza.

Thinking a little more about, “Why isn’t there more pizza innovation?” is a really good question. I guess you could pose the questions slightly differently — why isn’t fast-food pizza better? Or even better — why is fast-food pizza so awful? After all, pizza takes about 90 seconds to bake in a wood-fired pizza oven. Couldn’t that be good fast food?

Here’s an excerpt:

I recently visited a large QSR and fast casual foodservice equipment distribution company and was surprised to see what the management called “pizza oven innovation.” Needless to say, it represented a watered down technology version of authentic pizza ovens labeled Acunto Ovens or Forno Bravo ovens. It was quite obvious, and disappointing, to see well-known food chains fit authentic pizza oven characteristics and functionality into watered down technology ovens.

And a little later:

…Without an oven that is able to reach 900 degrees, you will not be able to create the crust texture that you expect for a Neapolitan pizza. This extremely high temperature is mandatory to get a slightly charred, pliable crust associated with true pizza. Another well know global brand is Forno Bravo Ovens.

You can read the whole article here — it  is worth the read.

More Raisins

Or compared with a previous version of this formula — raisins in my raisin bread. haha.

And better swirls too. Everyone is enjoying this bread. One fun thing I’ve been doing is sharing a pre-ferment. I combine 800 grams of water with 700 grams of whole wheat flour, 20 grams of salt, and 5 grams of yeast, and let is rest overnight in the refrigerator. Then, the  next day, I divide it into two and make one toasting loaf and one sweet-tooth loaf. In this case, I put the pre-ferment for the Cinnamon Raisin bread back into the refrigerator for a second day before finishing the formula. And it came out nicely.

Pizza Settecento — Toronto

Forno Bravo customer Pizza Settecento (700 degrees) in Toronto had a nice article in Postcity.com, along with some really nice photos. They build a custom catering rig using a Forno Bravo modular pizza oven, and they cater and make great pizza at local farmer’s markets.

Using a Forno Bravo kit, Belviso built the oven himself, insulating it and covering it with decorative, river-rock tiles. The 1,500-pound oven is set up on a metal cart so that it can be wheeled around. The apparatus is loaded on and off a trailer using a winch.

You can read the rest of the article on www.postcity.com, and you can checkout Pizza Settecento on their web site. The oven looks really cool.

Bananas to Flour

I’ve been making a lot of banana bread recently — balancing my production of cinnamon raisin bread to compete for our family’s consumption of sweet tooth snacks in the afternoon. Tomorrow is cinnamon swirl bread day, and I have a pre-ferment going for that.

Quick breads are fast and easy compared with serious leaven bread, but I did want to add one thing. Reading through banana bread recipes on the Internet, you see a lot of common ratios — 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp salt, two eggs, 1/2 tsp vanilla, etc. But what’s interesting is that the ratio of bananas to flour is all over the place, ranging from 3 bananas to 2 cups of flour, to 4 bananas to 1 1/2 cups of flour. For one thing, this tells you that quick breads are very easy and very forgiving. You sure don’t have to weigh the water to get it right. haha.

So for today, I tried 4 bananas and 2 cups of flour. Easy to remember and easy to make.