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First bake today - how do I...? - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community



I'm Peter Reinhart! Ask Me Anything! Monday, February 15, 2016 7:00-8:00 pm EST

To kick off our AMA feature, we have invited author, chef and master bread maker and host of Pizza Quest, Peter Reinhart, to be our first host! Peter will be in the Forum on Monday, February 15th, from 7:00 - 8:00 pm EST. If you are unable to be online during the live session, you can post your questions in the sticky post. Peter will answer those questions during the live session on February 15th. You can view Peter's answers to your questions as well as what happened during the live session in the session thread.

Ask Me Anything New Forum Feature

You will notice a new forum at the top of the main page called, "Ask Me Anything". This forum will be used for live one hour "Ask Me Anything" (AMA) sessions hosted by people who are knowledgeable in different areas pertaining to wood fired ovens. How it works:
- Each AMA will have a "sticky" thread where the community can post questions they would like answered during the live session. This will allow everyone to participate even if you can't be online for the live session. These questions will not be answered by the host until the live AMA; if you need an answer quickly, you should post it in the appropriate Forum area for the community to respond.
- Another thread will be posted for the live AMA. Registered users who are logged in during the live session can interact with the host by asking questions and receiving responses.
- The live thread will remain in the AMA forum to view after the session.

We hope you enjoy this new feature! Please let us know if there is a topic that you'd like to have as an AMA and we'll look for a host!

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First bake today - how do I...?

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  • First bake today - how do I...?

    I'm baking my first bread in my wood oven today! I've made pizza twice with great results.

    I haven't gotten an infrared thermometer yet, so I'm wondering if anyone has tips on judging hearth temp.

    After I fire the oven, dome goes white, and I rake out coals, how long should I wait for oven to regulate? I know it's total guesswork here, with lots of variables, but any guidance would be appreciated.

    If I throw some flour on the hearth, how long should it take before it browns to know that the oven is approximately the right temp.

    Thanks to all you wise bakers and pizzaiolos!

  • #2
    Re: First bake today - how do I...?

    Good question.

    As a general rule, you should bring your oven all the way up to pizza cooking heat, and then let it fall to roughly the mid 500ºs -- that way you will be baking in a good zone as the temperature of the oven falls. I think you will probably be better off putting you hand inside the oven to feel the ambiant temperature -- rather than testing the hearth with flour. Using the Mississippi method, your hand should get uncomfortably hot after about 3-4 mississippi's (3-4 seconds).

    Here is a link to a temperature guide that shows oven temperature with infrared, the associated number of mississippis, and the types of cooking you want to do. I should help.


    Also, you can download the Wood-Fired Bread and Wood-Fired Cooking e-Books. They have more oven temperature detail.

    Happy baking.
    Pizza Ovens
    Outdoor Fireplaces


    • #3
      Re: First bake today - how do I...?

      Just surfing through some old posts and thought this would be appropriate to resurrect. Some folks new to baking in their WFO might benefit. Back in the days before we started using an laser infrared therm we used to judge surface temperature with a pinch of flour on the surface...if it burst into flame instantly TOO HOT...if it took about 5 seconds or so to smoke GETTING CLOSE and if it was 10 to 15 seconds it was JUST ABOUT RIGHT and time to steam the oven before loading. We also used the Mississippi method to judge the ambient temp...
      "Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity. " Charles Mingus
      "Build at least two brick ovens...one to make all the mistakes on and the other to be just like you dreamed of!" Dutch