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  • Sixto
    replied
    Returned home from almost a month abroad. Wanted to share photos of this monster oven I saw in Madrid - at the Posada de la Villa restaurant right by the front door. I have some doubts about whether they actually use it to roast, I have a feeling its more of a warming oven, since the oven is SOO BIG!!! (about 8' across at the base), and it looked like they had about 7 chunks of lamb in it when we came in at 8:00 pm. In any case, the 1/4 Roast Leg of Lamb was delicious, and it sure gave the place an atmosphere of authenticity! I did try Pizza at a couple of restaurants in Madrid and Paris that I won't mention, and was both disappointed at their offerings (ready-made crust, soggy centers), and encouraged by what I had been able to achieve in the first few attempts at making my own dough, and cooking pizza in my own little WFO.
    Last edited by Sixto; 11-19-2022, 05:37 AM.

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  • MarkJerling
    replied
    Originally posted by Sixto View Post
    Thanks Mark! - I am continuing to enjoy the journey. More pizza planned for tomorrow. I think I’ll start posting in the cooking threads just to share and make it easy to find. Today is a week after the Wedding Rehearsal party, and this is what we woke up to… Minnesota is always good for a weather surprise!

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    Lucky you! We had (very late) snow a week ago. Now, spring seems to finally have arrived.

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  • UtahBeehiver
    replied
    Congrats, now the real fun starts. Yes, I received a pic from step son showing snow in MN this AM

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  • Sixto
    replied
    Thanks Mark! - I am continuing to enjoy the journey. More pizza planned for tomorrow. I think I’ll start posting in the cooking threads just to share and make it easy to find. Today is a week after the Wedding Rehearsal party, and this is what we woke up to… Minnesota is always good for a weather surprise!

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  • MarkJerling
    replied
    Looking great Sixto!

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  • Sixto
    replied
    Success!!!
    The wedding rehearsal party worked like a charm!
    Everyone praised the Pizzas, and the real evidence was that as soon as two were pulled from the oven and cut, they were gone!

    All in all, our little team of up to 6 "amateur volunteers" cranked out 20 pizzas for the night. It was only the 4th time the oven had been fired up, and I had made less than 25 pizzas using the WFO before yesterday. Three people rotated stretching the dough and assembling the toppings, two more helped carry the pies from the house to the oven, retrieve them after they were baked, and cut them into 8 slices each. I managed the fire and the baking process.

    We had settled on Lidia Bastianich' s pizza dough recipe a couple of weekends ago. Google it! it's easy to make, super crisp and delicious! Let the 300 gram pizza balls age (wrapped separately in plastic with a little olive oil to make it easy to peel) in the refrigerator for at least a day, two is better, and then I knead each ball again to de-gass, flour and flatten them into a 5" disk, wrap them again with plastic and bring them up to temperature about 4-5 hrs before stretching into the final pizza shape at about 10"-12" diameter.

    We had two tasting events prior, which helped us fine tune the menu into the 5 pizzas described below.
    • Focaccia with Olive Oil, Fresh Rosemary and flake Sea Salt.
    • Margherita with roasted home grown Cherry Tomatoes, home grown Basil and Buffala Mozzarella. (basil added after baking)
    • Cuban pizza (our Interpretation) with Roast pork marinated in Mojo sauce, on top of black beans and sprinkled with crushed plantain chips after baking
    • Homemade Black Garlic (mashed one head (or about 8 cloves) per pizza, and spread above a thin layer of olive oil) topped with Pepperoni, goat cheese and lemon peel sprinkles.
    • Home Grown Basil Pesto with red peppers and Feta cheese.
    Everyone had a different favorite, which just goes to show - different strokes for different folks!

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    My hearffelt thanks to the Forno Bravo community for all the guidance, support, encouragement and advice!
    After all my complaining, it's been a worthwhile effort and undertaking (obsession?) for the past 16 months.

    P.S.: I make the black garlic in batches of 7 heads by double wrapping each whole garlic head with aluminum foil (wrapping it only once lets too much moisture escape, you want to keep the moisture in!) I place the 7 wrapped heads in an old used rice cooker ($10) with a Keep Warm setting (very very low heat,) and forget about it for two weeks. I keep the rice cooker outside the house, on our deck because the aroma is too strong for me! This process turns the original white cloves into a black color with a sweet. layered and unique umami taste that hints at its original garlicky flavor. (the only thing black garlic has in common with roasted garlic other than the source, is the soft, tender melts-in-your-mouth texture.)
    Last edited by Sixto; 10-10-2022, 09:44 AM.

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  • Mr. Slowhand
    replied
    Originally posted by Sixto View Post



    Roasted Garden Tomatoes, Salami and Burrata on the left - Chicken Italian Sausage with Pesto and Sauteed Purple Onions on the right.

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    Looks excellent Sixto, will try something similar for the weekend!

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  • Sixto
    replied
    Originally posted by MarkJerling View Post
    Your first pizzas look great Sixto! Well done!
    Thanks Mark! - still lots of testing and learning to do, and enjoying every step.

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  • MarkJerling
    replied
    Your first pizzas look great Sixto! Well done!

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  • Sixto
    replied
    Originally posted by UtahBeehiver View Post
    Look at a thread by Karangi Dude out of Aussie land. He does all kinds of WFO foods and use to teach WFO cooking to mates in Queensland or Victoria.
    Got it, thanks! Lots to look through. https://community.fornobravo.com/for...i-dude-cooking

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  • UtahBeehiver
    replied
    Look at a thread by Karangi Dude out of Aussie land. He does all kinds of WFO foods and use to teach WFO cooking to mates in Queensland or Victoria.

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  • Sixto
    replied
    Originally posted by david s View Post
    You will probably notice the oven continuing to improve in performance (shorter time to clear and longer time retaining heat) for around another dozen firings or so. You may be interested in cooking other foods. In my oven I fire until it starts to clear at the crown, which takes exactly one hour of flame, if the oven is in normal condition, it will then be around 270C. I let the flame die, push the coals aside, place the roast and seal the door. A good guide (from Weber) is one minute per mm of the thickness of the roast. So for a 120mm thick roast you'd give it two hours.
    Thanks David, I will be trying lots of different foods, and will continue to report on my progress, both here, and on the Cooking threads. A dozen firings is within sight, but then it will also be winter here from November through March or April...I'm not sure how much I will use it during that period, since I don't have a roof over the dome...and my little tent will not hold up to a significant snow... We'll have to see how much cold and snow I can stand to work-in for the rewards promised by the oven.

    By the way, the crack on my dome arch is camouflaged behind a layer of black soot. Only I can see it now, and I don't even look for it anymore... Especially when I'm too busy cooking!

    I finished the plaster/render on the dome today (doesn't look any different than the photo above, just added some layers). I will wrap it with plastic tonight for a week before I try firing up the oven again. In the meantime I'll be perfecting my Pizza Dough recipe in my gas oven...not as hot, but good enough to get a feel for what I like.

    I know it's early, but I'm quite happy with my Pompeii Oven so far.

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  • david s
    replied
    You will probably notice the oven continuing to improve in performance (shorter time to clear and longer time retaining heat) for around another dozen firings or so. You may be interested in cooking other foods. In my oven I fire until it starts to clear at the crown, which takes exactly one hour of flame, if the oven is in normal condition, it will then be around 270C. I let the flame die, push the coals aside, place the roast and seal the door. A good guide (from Weber) is one minute per mm of the thickness of the roast. So for a 120mm thick roast you'd give it two hours.

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  • Sixto
    replied
    Saturday morning, my buddy Nick and I started adding the stucco/render to the exterior of the dome, got a couple of coats on, then decided to call it quits till we had enough energy to finish. (Plastic cover is on) so far, so good! Also a photo of the dome when it finally cleared last Friday at over 800F.

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  • david s
    replied
    I recall firing a new electric kiln some years ago and the schedule recommended was to fire it unloaded, but with the kiln furniture in place, up to service temperature with a very conservative temperature rise. I was surprised to see a puddle of water ( around a cupful), pool at one front corner of the kiln at 400C. I would have expected it to happen at much lower temperature. I think what happens is as the water vapour is pushed away from the heating elements, it travels through the insulating fire bricks, hits the cooler stainless outer sheeting, condenses back to water and falls to the bottom, with some steam pressure forcing it out at the base.
    Regarding rain entry, our oven gets a bit wet from driving rain in our wet season from tropical storms. On one occasion the oven was wet even though we hadn’t had any driving rain, because in really high humidity the refractory and insulation will pick up moisture from the atmosphere alone. The outside of the oven was hot to the touch after an hour of firing which is an indication of moist insulation. Also I once opened the oven door after wet weather and was surprised to see mould growing on the inside of the oven. I now prefer to leave the door off in really wet weather to allow air to circulate. A couple of slow fires always restores the oven to normal working condition.

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