Spring is upon us, and this is such an exciting time of the year. (Yes, even though winter temps are having difficulty letting go of parts of the country, spring will arrive at some point!)
It’s the ideal time for finally taking the plunge and buying or building your own backyard oven. You’ll be all set to enjoy the warmer weather with a wood-fired oven by your side, to host summertime pizza parties, and to make some great outdoor cooking memories with family, friends and neighbors (along with some great food).
If you are wanting to see, touch and try ovens before making any decisions, we’d love for you to stop by the Forno Bravo showroom. See more at right. You can also check out our Dealer Locator (www.fornobravo.com/dealerlocator). We have well over 100 dealers, and many of them have a Forno Bravo oven so that potential customers can see a demo in their local area.
For those who already have an oven, you know what there is to look forward to. If you haven’t done any cooking this winter, remember that you always need to be careful after a long period of an oven not being used, or a wet period. You don’t need to fully re-cure, but we recommend a complete day with a small fire before bringing the oven up to pizza heat.
For some culinary inspiration to get those ovens going again, we’ve included below a recipe for sourdough pizza dough, along with a delicious idea for eating your veggies (Brussels sprouts, in particular).
P.S. I’ve been talking about doing a triathlon since last year, and the time has come. Read more on the Wood-Fired Blog.
Peter’s Corner: Neo Neapolitan Sourdough Pizza Dough
Read more about Teresa and sourdough at www.northwestsourdough.com/
This pizza dough is a sourdough variation of Peter Reinhart’s Neo Neapolitan Pizza Dough. The dough uses a small amount of commercial yeast and sourdough starter at 100% hydration. The result of this high hydration dough is a bubbly crisp pizza crust, which is easy to stretch out once you allow it to proof long enough.
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast (or 3/4 teaspoon instant yeast)
- 1 oz/28g hot water, about 115F degrees
--Add the yeast to the hot water in a small container and stir. Allow the yeast to proof for about 15-20 minutes.
Next, in a large proofing container or mixing bowl add together:
- 8 oz/226g of ripe and vigorous 100% hydration starter (ie, wet sponge starter as opposed to a firm starter)
- 13 oz/368g warm water, around 110F degrees
- 1 oz/28g olive or vegetable oil
- .5 oz/14g brown sugar
- .5 oz sea salt
--Mix all of the above ingredients by hand or mixer until incorporated and then add:
- The yeast mixture
- 20 oz/567g bread flour
--Mix in the flour for about 1 to 3 minutes, or until the mixture forms a sticky dough ball. Allow the dough to proof in a lightly oiled, covered container for 4 hours. Fold the dough every half hour during the 4 hours for a total of 6 folds. It will firm up slightly and be less sticky.
--Once the dough is proofed, divide it into 4 or 5 pieces and form dough balls. Mist or brush the dough balls with oil, place them in a covered container, and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight. Before using, allow the dough to warm up, uncovered, but well oiled, at room temperature for at least 2 hours. One-half-hour before baking, stretch or roll dough out and allow it to set for a while until baking time. (I stretch my dough and place it on parchment paper.)
--Then cover the dough with more oil (preferably olive oil), spread on your sauce and toppings and bake (baking time varies) in your very hottest oven.
For photos and more information via the comments section, see the original post on Pizza Quest.
Recipe: Brussels Sprouts With Oven Roasted Meyer Lemons
We hope you enjoy this month's featured recipe from the Forno Bravo Community Cookbook, written by our chef moderator Dan Compton.
- 2 Meyer lemons
- 1 tsp plus 1 T vegetable oil
- 1 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
- salt and black pepper, to taste
Brussels sprouts and citrus are a great combination, and Meyer lemons are one of the true treasures of the heirloom citrus season. These extremely fragrant, sweet-sour little devils are a marvel of the citrus family, best enjoyed whole: zest, pith, flesh, juice and all. This extremely simple dish is not really even a recipe, just a perfect, delicious pairing that everyone should enjoy while Meyers are around.
Cut the lemons in quarters lengthwise. Remove any seeds. Cut each wedge into quarter-inch thick chunks. Heat a large skillet in a hot wood oven. Add 1 tsp vegetable oil. When just beginning to smoke, add the Meyer lemon chunks. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring often, until the lemons have softened slightly and taken on some char, 1-2 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Wipe out your skillet and reheat. Add the remaining vegetable oil and the Brussels sprouts. Season with salt and pepper and roast, stirring occasionally, until the sprouts have caramelized and become tender, about 10 minutes. If the sprouts are getting too dark without softening, add 1/4 cup of water to the pan and allow it to cook off. Once the sprouts are cooked, stir in the roasted lemons and cook for 1 minute more.
Remove from the oven and serve as a side dish for a roast chicken, or underneath a nicely seared fillet of fish.