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Maximum raw dough thickness - please help

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  • Maximum raw dough thickness - please help

    Well everyone knows that wood ovens are great for neapolitan style pizza.

    However,

    I was wondering if there are general guidlines to follow with respect to the maximum dough thickness and topping quantity when cooking in a wood fired oven? Some claim that a maximum of 1/4" raw thickness is where you must draw the line as the pizza would have to cook to long?. I would like to serve both the classic Neapolitan style "thin crust" as well as offer a thicker alternative to my customers who are used to the pizza chain offerings.

    I have a basic understanding on how wood ovens cook but I have searched endlessly on the internet to educate myself on how they handle the various types of pizzas. I realize that I will not be doing chicago style type pizzas here.

    Please comment on how various oven temperatures cook in the scenarios mentioned above and whether I can get away with using only the wood oven for a variety of pizzas.

    I sure would hate having to add a second conventional oven.

    I am in the process of opening a small pizzeria and any help would be greatly appreciated at this point.

    Thankfully,
    Nick

  • #2
    you can easily cook chicago or new york style pizza in a wood-fired oven, you just have to dial in the proper temperature to do so. fire it up, get it hot, and wait for the correct temperature to roll around.

    the HARD part is getting the oven to stay hot enough for pizza napolitana.
    -paul
    overdo it or don't do it at all!

    Comment


    • #3
      thanks paul,

      with that said, do you feel there are still strong advantages of using a brick oven over a deck oven for thicker ny style pizza? or are the advantages mostly realized with neapolotana because of the high temperatures.

      Comment


      • #4
        someone else will have to answer that one. i built my oven specifically because i think pizza napolitana reigns supreme... i've never bothered with any other type.
        -paul
        overdo it or don't do it at all!

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Maximum raw dough thickness - please help

          I am also interested in how a thicker crust pizza fairs in a wfo. My wife is the thick crust person, I on the other hand love thin crust pizza. I NEED to keep the wife happy so anyone that has experience in this area will help marital bliss. LOL
          Build Thread:http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/i...ome-15521.html
          Photos: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/brick-...67884/pic/list
          Oven Blog: http://johns-brickoven.blogspot.com/...ven-folly.html

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Maximum raw dough thickness - please help

            I would think for a thicker crust you would have to take some precaution to prevent the toppings from burning while the thicker base cooked through...foil tent, cooler oven temps, etc.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Maximum raw dough thickness - please help

              I would think to help prevent topping burn is to do a chicago trick and put the toppings on the dough and then finish with the sauce on top. anyone ever try this in a wfo?
              Build Thread:http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/i...ome-15521.html
              Photos: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/brick-...67884/pic/list
              Oven Blog: http://johns-brickoven.blogspot.com/...ven-folly.html

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Maximum raw dough thickness - please help

                We've tried two ways - I'm a thin crust and she's a thck crust with tons of toppings.

                Put the dough in the oven and let it cook with only sauce on it. Keep it near the door and rotate often. pull it out before it's done and top with gobs of toppings and cheese - do the door thing again. Worked pretty good but underside of dough did not have much char.

                Second time - we made the big fat pizza toppings and all and popped it in the oven right where we do the thin ones. After dough got firm enough to use the peel, pulled it to the door way and cooked it there with frequent spins. This worked pretty good but the top of the dough under the sauce was not as cooked as I'd hoped.

                Both were very edible - my wife loved them both - no negative comments. Next time I think we will use plan 1 but start it in the main part of the oven to get the bottom of the pizza a little more cooked.
                My oven progress -
                http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/c...cina-1227.html
                sigpic

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Maximum raw dough thickness - please help

                  Thicker pizzas, and we are speaking about thicker pizza dough here, does requer lower temperatures than thin ones.
                  As lower temperatures goes on, the dough needs different approaches, like the use of oil, or significative more oil than the thin one, some sugar or honey and different mixing work.
                  As example you could compare the VPN and the foccacia (or pizza in teglia) recipes for WFO. Or NY style to WFO against home oven.
                  I hope this help.

                  Luis

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Maximum raw dough thickness - please help

                    Luis is right, thick and thin do not mix well in the same oven at the same temps.
                    A thin crust minimal topping pizza will cook in under 2 minutes at 800 degrees. Just can't do the same with a thick crust. If you try it at that temp, something is going to burn like kindling - either the toppings or the bottom - before the doughiness under the sauce cooks.

                    Think of it another way - you can sear a nice ribeye steak to perfect medium rare in a matter of a few minutes per side in 550 plus temps (800+ on a new IR grill) - try putting a 5 lb rump roast on the same grill for the same time....it will be a bloody, cold mess on the inside. Same concept, its all about the mass and heat transfer through the food.

                    All that being said, experimenting with prebaked (on the thick crust) or cooking just inside the entry will probably lead to somewhat favorable results. You will probably have a few bad pies before you work out the best way for you and your wife to eat pizza together....hey, even bad WFO pizza is better than just about anything else.....keep trying, you will find a way.

                    RT

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Maximum raw dough thickness - please help

                      Originally posted by RTflorida View Post
                      Luis is right, thick and thin do not mix well in the same oven at the same temps.
                      That was my response too! He's also right about oil in the thick dough.

                      I'd like to hear more about the difference in mixing, though.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Maximum raw dough thickness - please help

                        in our experience in the clay oven that we use, parbaking the thicker doughs before adding any toppings makes for not only an easier to manage pizza, but also allows you to cook thick and thin crust pizza at the same time in the same temperatures... throw in the dough, turn it after 2 minutes or so then pull it out and top it. Put it back in with toppings, and it should bake up the rest of the way in about 2-3 minutes per side.

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