How to Achieve Perfectly Crispy Crusts in Your Brick Pizza Oven
How to Achieve Perfectly Crispy Crusts in Your Brick Pizza Oven
The magical aroma of a pizza baked in a brick oven drifting through your backyard is like no other. If you’re a pizza enthusiast, investing in brick pizza ovens can take culinary experiences to a new level.
It’s not just about making delicious pizzas but also about every element combined, from lighting the fire to feeling the warmth of the bricks. It brings people together, making pizza-making a shared joy with loved ones.
Once you have a home pizza oven, the next step is mastering the art of baking to achieve that perfectly crispy crust in your little pizza haven. Here are some essential pizza tips to help you on this delicious adventure.
Building Your Pizza Toolset
One of the secrets to a great pizza is your pizza toolset. From the dough to the toppings, having the right equipment can help you achieve that perfect, mouth-watering result.
Invest in a Good Brick Pizza Oven
The world of pizza owes much of its magic to the humble yet remarkable brick pizza ovens. These ovens are responsible for crafting the most beloved pizzas worldwide. Their clever design ensures impeccable heat distribution, resulting in a crust that perfectly balances crispy and tender, representing artisanal pizza perfection.
Our store is your destination for a diverse range of backyard brick ovens, including options like the Forno Bello Neapolitan and the Forno Grande Oven. Each of these ovens is meticulously crafted to transform your outdoor space into an authentic pizzeria haven.
Choosing the right home pizza oven involves considering several crucial factors. Start by evaluating the oven size based on your typical pizza-making needs and the available space in your outdoor area. You also want to remember that our woodfired ovens are not just for pizza. You can cook multiple food items like steak, chicken, fish, bread, and many other great dishes. The family oven XL is the best oven for multiple family cooking, perfect for entertaining parties.
Lastly, consider your available space when selecting a brick pizza oven and ensure it seamlessly integrates into your outdoor setting. Whether you prefer a standalone or countertop home pizza oven depends on the layout of your space. Consider adding a pro table for prepping multiple pizzas and wood storage. See our incredible professional pizza tables to choose the best one for your needs.
Uplevel Your Pizza Toolset
Besides having a top-notch brick pizza oven, a few other must-have tools can take your pizza-making skills to the next level.
Consider investing in serving platters and cooling racks to serve and cool your pizzas with style. You will want some artisan dough trays. And, of course, remember to have a cooler handy for refreshing drinks to accompany your mouth-waterings. Lastly, you’ll want a good pizza cutter and a nice oil can for topping some of your gourmet pizzas with olive oil.
Preparing Your Pizza in Brick Pizza Ovens
You’ve assembled your pizza toolset and are ready to dive into baking your masterpiece. Let’s explore the steps of home brick oven baking, one delicious turn at a time.
Selecting the Right Pizza Dough Recipe
The foundation of a perfect pizza starts with the dough. To achieve a crispy crust, choose a dough recipe with higher protein.
Opt for a recipe that uses bread flour or Tipo 00 flour, as these flour have a higher protein content than all-purpose flour. The protein helps create a chewy texture, allowing the crust to develop that desired crispiness.
Use fresh yeast and premium olive oil for your pizza dough. Fresh yeast adds a distinct flavor and contributes to the dough’s leavening process, resulting in a light and airy crust.
Meanwhile, premium olive oil enhances the overall flavor and contributes to the dough’s texture and moisture content, creating a more delightful eating experience.
The Perfect Pizza Dough Recipe
Here’s a simple and easy dough recipe to get you started: For two Pizza Doughs 12″, you can double it for four.
- 300 grams 00 flour or bread flour (2 cups plus three tablespoons)
· 8 grams fine sea salt (1 teaspoon)
· 2 grams of active dry yeast (¾ teaspoon) or 10 grams of Fresh yeast
· 4 grams extra-virgin olive oil (1 teaspoon)
· 200 grams of water, 7 oz
In a small mixing bowl, stir together 200 grams (a little less than 1 cup) of lukewarm tap water and the yeast, then pour it into the flour mixture. Knead it with your hands until well combined, approximately 2 minutes. This is how you form the gluten; then add the oil and knee for another 4 minutes until combined well. Then, let the mixture rest for 15 minutes.
Note: If your dough feels too sticky, sprinkle a little flour on it and your hands.
Knead the rested dough for 3 minutes more. Cut into two equal pieces and shape each into a ball. Place on a heavily floured surface, cover with dampened cloth, and let rest and rise for 2 hours at room temperature before you use the dough.
Place the dough balls in your refrigerator for 24 to 72 hours after the above for better flavor. (If you refrigerate the dough, keep it in a dough box or covered in a lightly oiled bowl. Remove the dough balls 30 minutes before you begin to shape them for pizza, but keep them covered). You want them to relax and warm up a bit so that they are easy to open and won’t make a lot of bubbles.
The longer you ferment the dough, the better the flavor; you can let it sit for three days with no problems for a great-tasting dough.
Preparing Your Home Pizza Oven
Before baking, prepare your home pizza oven well for the best results. Here are some critical steps to follow.
Heating the Oven
Heat your brick oven to the right temperature for a perfectly crispy crust. Preheat the oven to a temperature of around 700°F (370°C) or higher. This high temperature will allow the dough to cook quickly and create a crispy exterior while keeping the inside soft and chewy. Be sure the floor is hot first. Top heat is easy to attain with any oven and fire. The trick is to put the hot floor first and then manage your top heat with fire high. Practice makes perfect; get to know your oven and how it cooks.
Using the Right Wood
When fueling your home pizza oven, choose hardwoods like oak or maple. Be sure the wood is dry. Kiln-dried is highly recommended with variable thickness so you can control the burn. These woods burn slowly and consistently, providing a steady heat source throughout baking. Avoid softwoods like pine, as they can release toxic chemicals that may affect the taste of your pizza.
Cleaning and Preparing the Pizza Stone
Before placing your pizza on the stone, ensure it’s clean and debris-free. Use your brass bristle brush to remove any leftover ash or residue from previous bakes. This will ensure your pizza cooks evenly, preventing unwanted flavors from transferring to your crust. The fire will likely burn off any debris. Then, lightly brush whatever remains into the fire.
Shaping and Topping Your Pizza
Once your oven is ready, it’s time to shape and top your pizza. Here are some tips to follow.
Stretching the Dough
Start by dusting your work surface with flour and gently place the dough on it. Press the dough into the bowl and turn it over, ensuring you coat it well. Then, put it on the table and press down on the dough using your fingertips to create a small rim around the edges.
Gradually stretch the dough by rotating it and gently pulling the edges outward, and be careful not to tear it. You want to start round and work the dough carefully to stay round with a slight crust.
Aim for a thin and even crust to achieve that perfect crispiness. This ensures quicker cooking and promotes a delightful contrast between the crispy exterior and the tender inside exposed for that direct heat magic.
Choosing the Right Toppings
When it comes to pizza toppings, less is more. Avoid overloading your pizza with too many ingredients, resulting in a soggy crust. Stick to a few high-quality toppings that complement each other. Opt for thinly sliced vegetables, cured meats, fresh herbs, and a light layer of sauce to avoid excess moisture. Don’t pile the toppings on top of each other. The oven is hot and cooks quickly. If the toppings are piled on each other, they won’t cook correctly. Remember, fewer toppings allow each of their flavors to shine through.
Baking Techniques for a Crispy Crust
Now that your pizza is ready to bake, it’s time to master the baking techniques that will give you the crispy crust you desire. Here are some expert tips.
Sliding the Pizza onto the Stone
Be sure to flour your pizza peel well. We recommend using some “semolina number 1.” It’s a granular flour that lets your pizza come off the peel quickly! It’s like a corn meal; you can also use corn meal if you can’t find the semolina.
Keep your pizza from sitting too long on the peel when it is topped. Give it a little shake to see it’s loose; top it on the peel and get it in the oven.
Use your pizza peel and carefully transfer your pizza onto the preheated stone in the brick oven. Make sure to slide it off quickly and smoothly to prevent any sticking or misshaping of the dough. This will help ensure an even bake and a crisp crust.
Rotating the Pizza
Rotate the pizza as soon as you see it start to cook on the side facing the fire. Then, keep turning it so it cooks evenly. The hotter the oven, the more turning you need to do, so practice with a slightly cooler oven. Then, you can increase your heat and cook pies as fast as 90 seconds for Neapolitan-style blistered pizza. You can also create a crispier pizza by cooking it slower with less fire.
Keep the pizza in the same spot, and check the bottom as you move it. If it’s cooking well, you are good; if not, move it over to a hotter place. Moving the pizza around helps balance the oven floor’s heat.
Moving the pizza will help prevent any hot spots in the oven from causing uneven browning. Keep a close eye on the pizza to avoid overcooking or burning, and remember that practice makes perfect!
Adjusting the Flame
During baking, pay attention to the flame in your brick pizza oven. You can adjust the flame intensity if you notice the crust browning too quickly or the top not cooking evenly. Adding or removing wood can help control the heat and achieve the desired level of crispiness. Remember to always take safety precautions when working with an open flame. If you add wood to the fire, let it flare up and burn first to see the maximum flame it will produce.
Checking for Doneness Perfectly Crispy Crusts
Determining when your pizza is perfectly cooked can be an art. Here are a few signs to look for.
Crispy and Golden Crust
The crust should be golden brown and crispy on the edges. Use a round-turning metal pizza peel, lift the pizza, and check the underside. It should be evenly cooked with a slight char in spots, indicating a well-baked crust. You can find a hotter spot if you have to move it again. But if you let your oven floor get hot to start with, you can cook it in the same spot. Just check the bottom as you cook to ensure it’s cooking along with the top.
If you’ve added cheese to your pizza, it should be melted and bubbly. The cheese should have a slightly golden hue, indicating it has reached the perfect level of meltiness.
Aromatic and Sizzling Toppings
When your pizza is ready, it should give off a tantalizing aroma. Any toppings you’ve added should be sizzling and cooked to perfection.
Create the Perfect Crusty Pizza
You can achieve the perfectly crispy crust you crave with the proper techniques and a well-prepared brick pizza oven. Remember, practice makes perfect, so don’t be discouraged if your first few attempts aren’t precisely what you envisioned. With time and experience, you’ll become a master of brick pizza oven baking and delight your friends and family with your delicious creations.
Visit our blog to continue learning about brick pizza ovens and how to perfect your pizza-baking skills. Your backyard may just become the hottest pizzeria in town. To start making homemade delicacies today, check out our shop.
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