Sunday, January 7, 2018

Brick Oven Cooking: part six

At some point, usually in preparation for a party, I confront the delicious reality that my brick oven(s) make great pizza.  This has been proven again and again by impartial taste critics (my friends).

The brick oven's ability to reach temperatures in the vicinity of 700F coupled with an intense radiant heat from the 'live fire' (active flames), has created the oven's reputation for great crust and browned toppings. Because pizza baking is such an immediate experience, and because so many ingredients can be incorporated into the process, a word of caution is advised here:
700+ degrees Fahrenheit is hot.  Most of our other cooking never gets this hot.  This is good because a rapidly risen and baked pizza is both tender and crisp.  Long bake times at lower temps create tough crusts.  
However, it is easy to burn food at these temperatures.  That is why the pizzaiolo (pizza baker) never lets his or her attention stray from a baking pizza.

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And despite my sometimes resistance to brick ovens being called 'pizza ovens', I relish the opportunity to make and eat pizza baked in them.  The range of pizza styles and methods has expanded in our current 'foodie' world.   We've moved way beyond the simple cheese or pepperoni pizza.  

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I thank my many customers who began wanting a brick oven for pizza and discovered the many other foods that are enhanced by a wood fire as well as the experience of artisinal cooking.

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