Preparing Your Brick Oven
When creating steam in your ovens, fire your pizza oven for at least one hour, bringing the dome and floor temperature to roughly 800ºF, so that the entire dome has gone white or clear. Then, after the ash has been raked out, leave your wood fired oven alone to moderate for an hour or so. While you wait, take your slow-rise dough out of the refrigerator to bring it to room temperature. Depending on the type of bread you are baking, let the brick oven temperature fall to between 450ºF – 550ºF. Then, brush and mop the hearth with a damp, not wet, towel to clean off any residual ash.
At this point, you can either put an old sheet pan loaded with damp rags into the oven, or give it a long spray with a basic garden sprayer on a fine setting. If your oven is hot, and you want a lot of steam, try doing both. When the bread goes in, there should be visible steam in the chamber. Once the bread is loaded, give the oven another long spray, pointing the nozzle upwards, not at the bread. Again, there should be visible steam in the chamber.
Remember, without proper oven steam cooking, the crust will not develop properly (allowing the gasses to expand for “oven spring”) and caramelization of sugars in the grain will be underdeveloped resulting in a tougher crust.
To retain the steam in a brick oven, it’s important that the door seals against the pizza oven opening. If your door has trouble maintaining a tight seal, try using a brick to keep it pushed tightly against the opening. (A simple, but effective solution.)Enjoy More Details on Using Steam in Bread Baking Bread Central – Table of Contents
Learn More Brick Oven Cooking Techniques
Check out these related articles about Brick Oven Cooking Techniques.
Brick Oven Cooking
Return to Brick Oven Cooking overview page and experience the joys of wood fired cooking.
Over 200 brick oven cooking recipes from professional chefs and guests. Our cookbook has both videos and printable recipes for you to try.
Try a new cooking style. Forno Bravo brick ovens can be used for roasting, baking bread or pizza, and grilling.
Forno Bravo brick ovens are for more than pizza! Learn about grilling techniques here.
Using Pizza Peels
Should you use a wooden pizza peel to build your pizza on and then set it in your oven, or make it on a flat surface, and use a metal peel to place it in your oven?
Retained Heat Cooking
Retained heat cooking uses heat stored in your oven dome and floor to bake and roast at lower, more traditional temperatures.
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