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nphorizon 09-07-2005 12:53 PM

Maximum raw dough thickness - please help
Well everyone knows that wood ovens are great for neapolitan style pizza.


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.


paulages 09-07-2005 06:47 PM

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.

nphorizon 09-08-2005 01:01 PM

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.

paulages 09-08-2005 06:24 PM

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.

Aegis 01-12-2008 03:28 PM

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:D

Mojoe 01-12-2008 08:06 PM

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.

Aegis 01-12-2008 08:12 PM

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?

christo 01-13-2008 11:08 AM

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.

arevalo53anos 01-13-2008 11:11 AM

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.


RTflorida 01-13-2008 08:21 PM

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 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.


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