All fired up

Pizza, flat­bread, cob­bler all de­li­cious baked in wood-fired oven

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - FOOD -

There’s noth­ing more de­li­cious than fresh pizza from your own wood-fired backyard oven.

But the ovens are also ideal for other savoury of­fer­ings, such as savoury flat­bread and sweet cob­blers.

Here are some recipes to try.


This recipe, de­vel­oped in Europe, calls for Type 00 flour, which is a Euro­pean des­ig­na­tion in­di­cat­ing very finely milled flour. It’s dif­fi­cult to find in North America, but ex­perts sug­gest the best sub­sti­tute is bread flour or, in a pinch, all-pur­pose flour. You may have to in­crease the amount of wa­ter slightly. 300 mL (1 1/4 cups) warm wa­ter 10 mL (2 tsp) dry yeast (or 20 ml/4 tsp fresh yeast) 15 mL (1 tbsp) olive oil 500 mL (2 cups) Type 00 flour or sub­sti­tute 10 mL (2 tsp) salt

To get wa­ter to right tem­per­a­ture, mix 175 mL (3/4 cup) of cold tap wa­ter with 50 mL (1/4 cup) boiled wa­ter. That will bring the tem­per­a­ture to around 36 C (96 F). Be care­ful not to go too warm or hot as that will kill yeast. Com­bine warm wa­ter with yeast and oil. In a sep­a­rate bowl, sift flour with salt.

If us­ing a kitchen ma­chine to knead, turn on sec­ond-low­est set­ting and grad­u­ally add wa­ter. Once they’re mixed, time 4 min­utes on the same set­ting. If hand-knead­ing, knead for about 10 min­utes un­til dough is stretchy and vel­vety. Cover and set aside for 20 min­utes, then hand-knead for about another minute.

Cut dough into 5 equal balls. Flat­ten slightly to make it eas­ier to stretch later. Cover with plas­tic wrap and a kitchen towel and leave to proof for 2 hours. (If you want to do cold proofing - highly rec­om­mended - use a bit less yeast and leave proofing in a fridge for 24 to 48 hours.

Cold proofing brings great, deep flavour to dough as it al­lows the yeast to work with the sug­ars in the flour longer.) Once proofed, the dough can stretched and dressed with your top­pings of choice. Makes 5 piz­zas.

Source: (Uuni is a Bri­tish-based com­pany that man­u­fac­tures portable wood­fired pizza ovens).


This Euro­pean recipe calls for “pas­sata,” an un­cooked puree of ripe toma­toes that have been crushed and strained of seeds and skins. It is avail­able at Ital­ian gro­cery stores or you can make

your own.

1 clove gar­lic

15 mL (1 tbsp) olive oil

500 mL (2 cups) pas­sata

2 mL (1/2 tsp) salt

7 mL (1 1/2 tsp) sugar

Black pep­per

Hand­ful chopped basil Chop gar­lic. In a pan, heat oil, then fry gar­lic over medium-high heat. Be care­ful it doesn’t brown. Add pas­sata, salt, sugar, pep­per and basil. Sim­mer on low heat for 20 min­utes. Makes 500 ml (2 cups).


An­douille sausage orig­i­nated in France and was brought to North America by Ger­man im­mi­grants who set­tled in Louisiana. This smoked pork sausage is a sta­ple of Cre­ole cook­ing and makes a great top­ping for pizza. 1 pizza dough 30 mL (2 tbsp) basil pesto (recipe fol­lows) 4 to 5 slices Gruyere cheese 125 mL (1/2 cup) sliced an­douille sausage 50 mL (1/4 cup) arugula Splash each ex­tra-vir­gin olive oil and lemon juice

Af­ter form­ing pizza dough, spread pesto evenly on dough base and top with Gruyere. Scat­ter sausage over top, place dough in pizza oven and bake un­til crust is golden brown and Gruyere lightly caramelized, about 90 sec­onds, de­pend­ing on oven heat. Re­move pizza from oven and top with arugula tossed with olive oil and lemon juice. Makes 1 pizza.


1 to 2 cloves gar­lic

Salt, to taste

50 mL (1/4 cup) pine nuts, toasted

1 bunch basil (about 250 ml/1 cup)

50 mL (1/4 cup) Parme­san cheese

50 mL (1/4 cup) ex­tra-vir­gin olive oil Pound gar­lic and salt, us­ing a mor­tar and pes­tle, into a paste. Add toasted pine nuts and con­tinue to pound. Once mix­ture is a coarse paste, place mix­ture in a small mix­ing bowl. Chop basil coarsely and add to mor­tar. Pound leaves to a paste. Re­turn pounded pine nut mix­ture to basil, add Parme­san and con­tinue to pound while adding olive oil. Ad­just sea­son­ing as nec­es­sary.

Source: Chef Bart Hos­mer for Forno Bravo, a pizza oven man­u­fac­turer based in Sali­nas, Calif.


This recipe, with Syr­ian roots, calls for chili flakes and se­same seeds, but the top­ping can be var­ied based on your pref­er­ences. Parme­san cheese gives a won­der­ful salty punch and fen­nel seed and sea salt are tasty. Serve with your choice of dips.

This can be made ahead.

10 mL (2 tsp) yeast

625 mL (2 1/2 cups) warm wa­ter

1.5 l (6 cups) all-pur­pose flour

15 mL (1 tbsp) salt

30 mL (2 tbsp) olive oil

25 mL (5 tsp) se­same seeds

20 mL (4 tsp) chili flakes In a large mix­ing bowl, com­bine yeast and wa­ter to ac­ti­vate yeast. Af­ter 10 to 15 min­utes, add 625 mL (2 1/2 cups) of the flour. Mix dough un­til flour is in­cor­po­rated, then add re­main­ing flour and salt. Con­tinue to mix dough un­til flour has been ab­sorbed. Let dough rest for 10 min­utes. Place dough on a floured sur­face and knead for about 10 min­utes or un­til smooth and elas­tic. Re­turn dough to bowl, cover with a damp cloth and let rise un­til dou­bled, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Punch down dough and re­turn to a lightly floured sur­face. Di­vide dough in half, then di­vide those halves in half and con­tinue un­til you have 16 equal pieces. Roll out dough as thin as you can into a “free-form” round. Brush dough with olive oil and sprin­kle about 0.5 to 1 mL (1/8 to 1/4 tsp) of each of the se­same seeds and chili flakes over top. Place in hot pizza oven and bake un­til golden brown and crisp, about 1 minute. Makes 16 flat­breads.

Source: Chef Bart Hos­mer for Forno Bravo, a pizza oven man­u­fac­turer based in Sali­nas, Calif.


Bak­ing in a pizza oven usu­ally re­quires tem­per­a­tures com­pa­ra­ble to con­ven­tional ovens. But the wood fire gives new life to this sea­sonal dessert.

Adding corn­starch to fruit mix­ture will thicken the fruit juices. You can sub­sti­tute flour for the corn­starch if de­sired; just en­sure the cook­ing time is more than 30 min­utes to al­low flour to “cook” though so you do not have a grainy fin­ish. Fill­ing 750 mL (3 cups) straw­ber­ries, sliced into quar­ters 500 mL (2 cups) rhubarb, peeled, sliced into 2.5-cm (1-inch) blocks

30 mL (2 tbsp) corn­starch 15 to 30 mL (1 to 2 tbsp) brown sugar

5 mL (1 tsp) vanilla ex­tract

1 lime, juice and zest


500 mL (2 cups) all-pur­pose flour

30 mL (2 tbsp) sugar

15 mL (1 tbsp) bak­ing pow­der

5 mL (1 tsp) salt 50 mL (1/4 cup) un­salted but­ter, chilled

375 mL (1 1/2 cups) heavy cream

Fill­ing: In a mix­ing bowl, com­bine fill­ing in­gre­di­ents and toss gen­tly so fruit is evenly coated with corn­starch and sugar is mixed through­out. Place in but­tered cast-iron dish or sim­i­lar high-heat bak­ing dish.

Dough: In a bowl, com­bine flour, sugar, bak­ing pow­der and salt. Cut but­ter into small pieces and add to bowl. Us­ing your hands or a fork, cut in but­ter un­til it is bro­ken up to smaller pea-size pieces. Add cream and stir un­til in­gre­di­ents are com­bined. The bat­ter will be sticky and small lumps are OK. Spread dough evenly over top of fruit mix­ture and place in pizza oven. Bake at about 180 C (350 F) for 35 to 40 min­utes or un­til cob­bler dough is golden brown and fruit juices are bub­bling. Makes 8 to 10 serv­ings.

Source: Chef Bart Hos­mer for Forno Bravo, a pizza oven man­u­fac­turer based in Sali­nas, Calif.


An­douille and pesto pizza is shown in a handout photo. Backyard pizza ovens are hot, hot, hot. Be­sides be­ing de­signed to reach “op­ti­mal” cook­ing tem­per­a­tures up­wards of 435 to 540 C, de­mand has grown “ex­po­nen­tially” in the last few years.


Se­same-chili bread is shown in a handout photo.

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