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The Wood-Fired Blog

Whole Wheat Walnut Boule

May 23, 2012

60% whole wheat 20% white whole wheat 20% general purpose flour 73% hydration (going a little higher) 20 grams salt 10 grams yeast 40 grams extra virgin olive oil 30 grams honey 110 grams chopped walnuts (I will use more next time) Mix everything in a stand mixer and knead for 10 minutes on low (the two setting on a KitchenAid mixer). Then a bulk fermentation for about an hour,... Read More

Slightly Over-Proofed Whole Wheat Olive Boule

May 17, 2012

My on-going bread experiments are continuing (and are a lot of fun). One thing I am enjoying about my most recent round of dedicated baking is that the family is really enjoying my whole wheat bread—rather than just tolerating it because it’s healthy. To some  degree I think that I because we have all been eating a great deal more whole wheat bread over the past few years and everyone... Read More

TJ's Wood-Fired Pizza in SoCal

May 13, 2012

“Guide: Where to find daily food trucks lots” in the Orange County Register leads me to a Forno Bravo oven on a wood-fired catering trailer. Sunday: Where: OC Great Park Farmers Market, IrvineTime: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.Trucks: Crepes Bonaparte, Calbi, Barcelona on the Go, TJ’s Woodfire Pizza, Chomp Chomp, Rolling Sushi + 1-2 rotating trucks Check out TJ’s Woodfire Pizza. That’s our oven! Their Margherita Pizza was voted in... Read More

Innovating the Outdoor Fireplace

May 10, 2012

I’ve been thinking about outdoor fireplaces a lot recently. There is something about fire on a cool spring evening with the fog rolling in (we live near the ocean) that is really great. That, and I’ve been using my outdoor pizza oven quite a bit recently, and I’ve been moving the fire and coals from the oven to my outdoor fireplace when it comes time to bake bread. Hey, it’s... Read More

Fire and Water

May 06, 2012

I have to admit right up front that the next couple of things I am going to say are really (really) obvious. But bear with me, I might make a little bit of sense and find a bit of insight. Maybe. 1. Dry firewood, with less than 20% moisture burns fast and better and is far easier split than damp wood. 2. Firewood that has been stored properly, and not... Read More

Seasoned. Or Aged.

May 02, 2012

Writing about seasoned wood got me thinking about the Italian and English words for aging, or seasoning. Italian uses stagionato for cheeses—seasoned. A quattro stagioni pizza is a four season pizza, with olives, artichokes, mushrooms and ham. This list of toppings comes from our friend in Florence, Kyle Phillips, the Italian food editor for About.com. Photo from The Italian Dish Blog. On the other hand, in English, we use aged... Read More

Proper Seasoning. Seasoned Wood That Is.

May 02, 2012

I don’t think you can overstate just how important dry wood is to an enjoyable session of wood-fired cooking. Damp wood is hard (dare I say impossible) to light, it smokes when it burns (that’s because the fire needs to bake all the moisture out of the wood before it actually combusts) and it takes much longer to fire your oven for cooking. It can take all of the fun... Read More

Wood-Fired Pizzerias in the U.S.

Apr 05, 2012

I wrote this article in 2005 for consideration by one of the Restaurant trade magazines. They decided to not run my article, but looking back at it seven years later, I think the points that I made were true then, and are still true today. There are more wood-fired pizzerias in the U.S than there were in 2005, but still not nearly enough. We need to fix that. James Authentic... Read More

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