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Old 05-20-2006, 07:32 AM
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Location: Seattle
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Default Cooking thicker pizzas

hello all! has anyone seen a wood-fired oven used for thicker and heavier pizzas? here in seattle people are very fond of thin crust naples-style pizza... but in the farming country of eastern washington they want their pizza to be more substantial.

so i'm curious about using a wood-fired oven for pizzas with more topping, such as american style or thick-crust pizza.

1. cooking time: how much longer does a thicker pizza need?
2. temperature: do you have to cook at a different temperature?
3. technique: are there any other differences in how the pizza is made?
4. restaurants: is anyone currently doing this?

mike
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Old 05-09-2011, 12:29 PM
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Default Re: Cooking thicker pizzas

dont have any experience with this project in my oven, but it sounds like you'll need to use a deep dish pan to execute
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Old 05-09-2011, 12:49 PM
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Default Re: Cooking thicker pizzas

1. cooking time: how much longer does a thicker pizza need?
7-10 minutes
2. temperature: do you have to cook at a different temperature?
Yes, 500-550
3. technique: are there any other differences in how the pizza is made?
Bigger dough ball in relation to size.
4. restaurants: is anyone currently doing this?
None that I know of.
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Old 05-09-2011, 01:25 PM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
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Location: San Antonio
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Default Re: Cooking thicker pizzas

Hi Mike!

Making a thick crust pizza with a WFO is a bit like driving a screw with a hammer - wrong tool for the job. Oven control at the right temperature would be a nightmare. WFOs can easily be maintained at 650 or so to 800, but the temperature of open flames is not consistent with maintaining reasonable oven temp at 500 or so. That is what they make deck ovens for!

Just for grins I tried to make thicker crust "substantial" pizzas in my WFO shortly after it was finished and I never was able to cook the dough before the top burned.

Sort of like polishing your car with sandpaper!
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Old 05-09-2011, 01:34 PM
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Default Re: Cooking thicker pizzas

Well, the other two T's certainly have more experience, but we used Wolfgang Pucks dough recipe and I think it might fit this bill. We couldn't get the dough stretched too thin because it would rip, but I always thought the crust was a little thicker than I would prefer. It is an easy dough to make though, and no one ever complained about it.

Oh, I didn't do anything different with the oven than I do with my new, higher hydration dough.
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Old 05-09-2011, 02:04 PM
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Default Re: Cooking thicker pizzas

I think that if you approached the thicker pizza more like bread you will do fine. This requires you to remove all the coals and swab the floor. Or you could use the same method that you would use for a ciabatta with the fire still going but you cover your thick pizza with a cover for the first bit then remove the cover for the proper browning. I saw Dan Wing use this method in his class. But not on pizza. I think it's very doable
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Old 05-09-2011, 03:09 PM
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Default Re: Cooking thicker pizzas

I have read a lot of posts about people cooking just about anything in their WFO. I can't imagine that you wouldn't be able to do it but from what I understand (I haven't made an oven yet) you might just have to wait to the next day after doing pizza nepalitano. By the way where are you at? Eastern WA?
Bevan
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Old 05-09-2011, 03:25 PM
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Default Re: Cooking thicker pizzas

Ive done focaccia in the oven which is really only a thick pizza..
I used normal dough and they were delish.
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Old 05-09-2011, 03:34 PM
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Thumbs up Re: Cooking thicker pizzas

mike,
the other replies have pretty well hit the nail on the head.
The thicker the base and the thicker the toppings, then the longer it is going to need to get the heat into and through them to cook. Unfortunately when using a wood fired oven and at higher temperatures, you will burn the base and the top of your toppings before the dough is cooked through.
I start cooking in my oven when over 500˚C and the first pizza is done in close to 1 minute, my wife waits for a while as she prefers a thicker base and cooks hers when the temperature has dropped but I haven't measured it but would be around 440˚C. She does not load heaps of toppings on her bases.
I would suggest trying a longer cooking time when your oven is around 350˚C.

Cheers.

Neill
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Old 05-09-2011, 04:25 PM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
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Default Re: Cooking thicker pizzas

Here goes, I do all three - thin, medium (kind of like a Pizza Hut pan pizza), and thick Chicago style deep dish. I grew up in Ohio, geographically in the middle of Chicago and NY and I guess over the years everyone acquired a taste for medium thickness pizza. The mom & pop pizza shops were doing 'pan pizza' long before it became a marketing slogan.
Thin crust is where our ovens shine, fire to the side, high hydration dough, 700+ degrees F, and done in under 2 minutes.

Medium crust works pretty well, I wouldn't attempt at anything over 600 F, you will burn it before its done. Best with little or no fire and just coals in the oven. The 7-10 minute time frame is about spot on.

Deep dish I have only tried a couple of times in my WFO and can honestly say it is not worth going through the whole firing process. A true deep dish crust can't handle over 500 F, and that has nothing to with the thickness. The thickness adds more problems for high temp cooking. Your best bet is to stick with your indoor oven at around 450 F, 475 F tops. It will take at least 20-25 minutes. Some say it is bread like, I don't know about that; to me it has a density closer to pound cake.
I love it all, if you call it pizza I will eat it.

RT
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