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Burnt Pizza and Bread

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  • Burnt Pizza and Bread

    Ok, so this contractor built a wood burning brick oven for me but here is what I can't figure out.

    After you get the bricks piping hot, including getting a "white hot" ceiling, then what do you do with the burning wood?

    Stupid question, right? Well not really. Don't we all think it is downright stupid to have the dough on one side directly in the like of fire of the piping hot wood ambers, while on the other side it is just the radiant heat from the bricks that will cook the dough?

    Obviously one side of the pizza will burn while the other side cooks more slowly, with the dough on that side often sticking to the oven floor?

    How in the world do you prevent this without having a massive often, where you can push the wood to the side and have the radiant heat from the bricks cook the pizza evenly?

    The same thing with bread. You will never be able to produce a nice loaf of bread using these ovens where the oals are right next to the dough, but only on one side.

    Anyone have a reliable technique for preventing this issue where the pizza and bread cook unevenly, and one side burns, because of the proximity of the burning wood?

  • #2
    Re: Burnt Pizza and Bread

    That's what the turning peels are for. But are a multitude of reasons as to why you are burning your pizza, but not having a giant oven isn't the reason. Spend some time searching the forum, and YouTube for some help...it can be explained but you need to see different oven management techniques too.
    Old World Stone & Garden

    Current WFO build - Dry Stone Base & Gothic Vault

    When we build, let us think that we build for ever.
    John Ruskin

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    • #3
      Re: Burnt Pizza and Bread

      allessior

      I read your post here and also your 'exploding door' posts on another thread.

      I have a suggestion for you: is there any possibility that you can visit someone with a WFO and watch what they door when they fire up their oven? It's really hard to figure some of this stuff out via the web - so seeing a working oven up close might help resolve a lot of things for you... just a suggestion! Good luck

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      • #4
        Re: Burnt Pizza and Bread

        Watch some vids on youtube. Pizzas are turned as they are cooked with a live fire in the oven.
        The fire is removed and the oven allowed to cool when bread is being baked. I let mine get down to around 230C then steam it just before and just after I put the bread in.

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        • #5
          Re: Burnt Pizza and Bread

          Watching some videos will be a start on the mechanics of loading, turning and generally cooking pizza. It really is about getting to know your oven and becoming confident with using it. I heat mine for a couple of hours and leave it to settle and equalise with a bed of coals for a while. I then push the coals off to the side or back and brush the ash off the floor (or clear it with slapping the peel on the floor). Then it is about how hot things are and keeping the pizza turning to make sure the top cooks evenly and when the base is cooked enough you can lift the pizza up to the top of the dome to finish the top (if required).

          That is the process I use but every time it is little different and that is where getting to how your oven behaves and applying that knowledge along with the standard principles of cooking should get you a result you are happy with.

          I don't have much of a fire in the oven when I am cooking and certainly not a raging inferno happening in there.

          Hope that is some help. It is all about gaining the experience. It would be good to watch someone with experience in action to get some tips. Easier to learn that way.
          Cheers ......... Steve

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          • #6
            Re: Burnt Pizza and Bread

            We've got a subtle case here.
            Originally posted by allessior View Post
            How in the world do you prevent this without having a massive often, where you can push the wood to the side and have the radiant heat from the bricks cook the pizza evenly?
            May I understand that your oven is not massive so you cannot cook after pushing the coal aside so the oven cools down rapidly after you push the coal? If your oven dome and hearth are 2"+ thick then your oven should retain heat provided it is well insulated. Henceforth, you can cook fine after pushing the coal aside.


            Originally posted by allessior View Post
            The same thing with bread. You will never be able to produce a nice loaf of bread using these ovens where the oals are right next to the dough, but only on one side.
            Bread definitely cooks at lower temperatures than pizzas. To cook bread, wait the oven to cool down a little bit.

            Originally posted by allessior View Post
            Anyone have a reliable technique for preventing this issue where the pizza and bread cook unevenly, and one side burns, because of the proximity of the burning wood?
            1-Rounded ovens are the best for 2 minutes pizzas because their geometry compacts the heat waves inside the oven. So when you cook you should keep your eyes on the pizzas because the whole mechanics happens in a short time and you should turn your pizza every 30 seconds to avoid the burns. (Youtube this: "Jamie Oliver shows you how to cook pizza in a wood fired oven")

            2-Barrel vault ovens produce more loose heat waves so they are better for those like you who want to cook bread and don't like the char over their meals. Moreover, their geometry allows you to cook far from the coals and avoid direct burns.

            3-If what you have already is a rounded oven and want to avoid burns I would suggest that you go to an iron fabricator to make a sheet of 3 mm thick steel formed like the drawing below and to bend it like a bow so it can support itself with the teeth downwards. After you push the coals aside, nest them with that sheet with the teeth downwards. This way you protect your meal from burns leaving gaps (between the teeth) in order for the air to circulate and keep the coals burning.

            Don't forget to watch Jamie Oliver burning his pizza because he was a few seconds late to turn it.

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            Hope that helps. If not ask again and I'll try again
            Last edited by v12spirit; 04-26-2014, 08:09 AM.
            Why is this thus? What is the reason for this thusness?
            I forgot who said that.

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