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Best style of pizza for wood ovens?

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  • Best style of pizza for wood ovens?

    I have some questions about what "style" of pizza works best in a wood oven. I recently purchased an Ooni pro which I'm hoping can reach some decent temperatures with a mix of charcoal and wood. I've never been able to cook a pizza at a temperature much beyond 500 before. I've made some good ones but am wondering what the higher temperatures can do and what is going to work best. Does oil and sugar in the dough limit how hot you can cook a pizza without burning it? Does Mr Reinhart's neo Neapolitan recipe work well at higher temps? What style of pizza do you like to bake?
    Thanks for the advice - Hopefully I can learn some tips that will save me from eating mediocre pizza experiments - although not such a bad thing overall.

  • #2
    The much higher temperatures of a WFO suit a thin base with sparse toppings (Italian style) this is because anything overlapping on the top doesn't get a chance for a decent roasting in only a couple of minutes. Same goes for cheese on top, it acts like a blanket, put the cheese on the sauce and then the toppings over it. If you want to cook pizzas with a thick base and a mountain on top then allow the oven temp to drop. This of course results in doubling your cooking time.
    Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.


    • #3
      Thanks. Totally makes sense that there couldn't be much for toppings. I watched a video where they put the cheese on the dough and then the sauce overtop. It was a NY style but the reasoning was that he wanted to insulate the cheese as much as possible so it wouldn't overcook. How about oil and/or sugar in the dough?


      • #4
        Oil and sugar are both browning agents more suited to lower temperatures. Dough should be only flour water salt and yeast. A drizzle of olive oil on top just before popping into the oven is usual, but not for stuff like pepperoni that already has lots of fat.
        Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.


        • #5
          So if I use just salt, yeast, water and 00 flour it’s Neapolitan - right? Does salt, yeast, water and bread flour have a style name? Does this work? 00 is not easy to find where I am.


          • #6
            I just starting using the Ooni Pro about a month ago and it works very well for a small oven. I have tried a few other dough recipes but the basic Forno Bravo recipe works exceptionally well using Caputo flour, RED label. Some have expressed difficulty in obtaining Caputo flour but is available to everyone on Amazon. I fire the Ooni Pro with lump charcoal and wood and can get the floor temp to well over 1000F when roaring. Make sure you invest in a small IR Temp gun to check the floor temp. I played with this last night and a floor temp, as measured in the the middle of the oven, of 750-800F produced a perfect bottom crust and allowed all the topping to cook properly. As with any other wood fired oven, it's all about heat management and learning your oven.

            Good Luck,
            Tom in Reno