Cooking Meatball Pizzas using Ooni 3 and using All Purpose 00 Pizza Flour.

The weather is improving and it feels like Spring!  This week I had a little experiment using All Purpose 00 Pizza Flour.  I wanted to make a garlic bread and so opted not to use Caputo because it's so bubbly.  To tone the bubbles down for this type of bread I opted for the All Purpose.

When I started making Pizza I had no idea what 00 meant and the difference between All Purpose 00 and Caputo 00 flour.  One is totally stretchy and the other totally isn't.

  • 00 is the mill of the grain.  This is the finest milled grain.
  • The grain itself will determine how stretchy your dough will be.
  • Caputo 00 Flour uses soft grain - with a lovely protein balance to give that stretch you need to make pizza.
  • All Purpose 00 Flour uses harder grains and is great for making pasta.  This flour does not become stretchy in dough.

The All Purpose Flour didn't stretch as I'd expected.  I cold-proofed it for 4 days and so gave it optimum conditions for a good dough cook!  From the way it cooked I'd put far too much water in the recipe.  It was so sticky compared to the Caputo flour even though I'd used the same wood-fired pizza dough recipe.  So lessons learned from this - if you are using All Purpose 00 Flour to make pizza, maybe use less water than you would normally if you use soft-grain flour dough recipes!

For my next garlic bread or pizza bread type experiment, I'm going to use Molino Grassi 00 flour as I've used that before and it cooked really well.

MAKING TWO MEATBALL PIZZAS BUT I ONLY REALLY WANTED TO MAKE ONE!

Yeah - I only wanted to make one!  An hour before I made this Pizza I dashed out to my local homeware store and grabbed a new full bottle of propane patio gas.  Time to get the Ooni 3 Gas Burner out!  I hadn't used it for a while and have now realised that it's good practice to keep using the different fuels regularly.  Why?  Gas and wood cook Pizza very differently.  And I had pretty much forgotten my gas cooking technique.

The wood flame, whether it's from logs or wood pellets, cook pizza in a different way.  The gas took longer to cook my pizza crust with the dough that I am currently using for wood.  The outcome is the same - great tasting pizza but they do cook differently and it's handy to keep using both fuel options if you have them, regularly.

I hadn't used my gas Ooni 3 Pizza Oven since making the Not-so-Starry Pizza (that was a lot of fun!)

And so the reason why I ended up cooking two of them is that I burnt part of the top of the first pizza.  The Ooni 3 Pizza Oven is lower in height than the Ooni Pro and so the flames hit the top of the pizza and cook it very quickly.  My crusts were not cooking as fast and so the top and base of the pizza cooked quickly but the crust was still pale.  I put the gas on minimum to prevent the top cooking quickly but that did not help.

So for pizza number two, I went for it and pushed the gas to high heat for the whole cook to get the crust cooked.  This meant that I needed to use my pizza peel to protect the top throughout the cook.  It worked!  My crusts cooked better and the top didn't burn.  The base on the first cook looked better than the second.  Don't know why that happened as the stone was the same temperature.

I've been using the Ooni Pro a lot recently and the oven is a lot higher which means the flames don't reach the top of the pizza so fast.  So, not only do I need to keep using the gas regularly to keep familiar with the way it cooks, I need to keep using the Ooni 3 too because I forgot how quickly it cooks the tops of pizza!

So, to sum up this weeks cooking efforts - I had great fun using All Purpose 00 Flour but will keep that for my pasta dishes!  Getting the Ooni 3 Gas Burner out again and using it after a few months became more of a challenge than I had realised!  In the video above I said that I thought cooking with wood was easier now.  In hindsight it's probably the same, it's just that I'm used to cooking with wood more and got used to it!

See you next week!!

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SURF & TURF PIZZA AND TRYING TO MAKE A BREAKFAST PIZZA IN A WOOD-FIRED OVEN!

This has been a fun pizza making week!  Valentine's Day happened on the Thursday and so I wanted to make a heart-shaped pizza with a friendly twist too.  Not every one has a valentine and so I created this pizza for those with a palentine to share with their pals instead!

Surf and Turf is a great way to do this as it offers two types of preferences on one pizza.  The surf is for fishy food and the turf is for red meat.  So I cooked shrimps, red pepper with chili olive oil on one half of the heart and steak mince with cooked onion, mushroom and garlic olive oil on the other side.  Cut it down the middle and there you have it - two dishes in one for a special occasion!  Check out the video below!

And so that was deliciously tasty plus it was easy to make.  I used a 24 hour room proof blue caputo dough. Recipe below:

  • 500g blue caputo 00 flour
  • 310 g water
  • 0.5g dissolved yeast
  • 10g dissolved in water(from above) table salt

Process -

  • Bread machine knead for 45 minutes
  • 24 hour room raise at 18 celsius

TRYING TO MAKE A BREAKFAST PIZZA!

Last week I received a number of suggestions from viewers asking me to make a Breakfast Pizza.  I've never eaten or made a breakfast pizza before with an egg on top and the actual application of this concerned me.  One thing you should not do is get wet food on your pizza stone at a high temperature.  I don't think a runny egg would crack it to be honest but it wasn't something I wanted to test out with my first attempt!

I considered an easier option of half-frying the egg before putting it on top of the ingredients that had already been cooked in the wood-fired oven.  The reason why I made it this way was:

  • if I put a runny egg on top of the pizza at the start - how would the ingredients underneath the egg cook?
  • maybe some of the runny egg would just roll off the pizza onto the stones.

So, for me this was a much safer and easier option.  These are the ingredients I used:

  • spicy sausage
  • fried mushrooms
  • tomatoes
  • baked beans
  • mozzarella cheese
  • fried bacon
  • runny egg on top (added 3/4 way through wood-fired cook)

Check out the video below!

This came out well in the end and tasted good!  I particularly enjoyed the runny egg mixing in with the other ingredients after I had sliced the pizza up.  Maybe with practice I should feel confident enough to break the egg onto the pizza and cook it from the start but I'm still not sure how the ingredients underneath will cook properly.

The recipe for this pizza is the same as the pizza above.

Pizza making is fun and enjoyable and there is no limit to what you can cook on a pizza.

Experimenting is also a great way to learn new things and it really doesn't matter if it goes wrong.  That's part of the process.  As I've said all along - I've learnt more from things gone wrong than things gone right! 

See you next week!

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NEW YOUTUBE CHANNEL TRAILER AND COOKING PIZZA WITH THE DOOR ON!

This week I didn't feel great with a bad cold and instead of going out and braving the winter weather, I decided to stay inside, keep warm and finish off the YouTube channel trailer I'd been working on.  Last year I dropped my hard-drive and lost all footage from 2017 and early 2018 but I still had loads more available from my iPhone to use.  So here it is, the new trailer - I wanted it to give an overview of the channel in 2 minutes.  I hope you like it.  If you do please give it a thumbs up!!

Once I was back on my feet I started to prepare to make a pizza with the Blue Caputo dough with the following process and ingredients:

The Recipe:

  • 500g blue Caputo flour
  • 310g water
  • 0.5 dried dissolved yeast
  • 10g dissolved table salt

The Process:

  • 45 min pizza dough option in bread machine
  • 24 hour warm room proof
  • 3 day cold proof
  • 4 hour back to room temperature

As seen in the video above, I made a Red Pepper and Prosciutto Pizza.  It was really delicious and I did fry the red pepper beforehand.  Such a simple and tasty pizza combination.  The dough tasted great and had a good consistency.   This was also the moment of truth - where I taste tested the cooked dough with the recipe outlined above.  I wanted to taste the dough and feel the stretch difference between the 24 hour warm room proof dough I made last week and this dough that had an additional 3 day cold proof.  Honestly, I was expecting the difference to be more significant.

The stretch wasn't better, in fact I had more holes in the cold-proofed dough.  The taste was slightly better with the cold-proofed dough but nothing much and so if you are in a rush (like me all the time!) then a 24 hour warm room proof is just fine.  I'll keep experimenting with this recipe for consistency and report back if I experience any issues with it.

THE PIZZA DOOR!!

A big thing for me this week was that I actually used the pizza door on the pizza oven!  I'd received many comments from viewers asking me to cook with the door on (I know they were frustrated with the fact that I kept cooking with the door off!) and so I capitulated and used the pizza door!  The only reason why I love cooking with the door off is so that I can see the flames and the pizza cook.  It's just more fun for me that way.  Anyhow, I totally understand why the oven has a door as it improves the cooking process and reduces the time it takes to cook a pizza from 3-4 minutes with the door off to about 1 - 2 minutes with the door on! I will use the pizza door more often now I promise! 🙃

AND ONE MORE THING.......I've decided to build a cob clay pizza oven when the weather gets warmer!

I've done a load of research and I think this is something we can do 😀.  I mean what could possibly go wrong?!  So that's going to start in the Spring.  We will need to build a base with stones and concrete - that's going to be the toughest part I think.  Anyhow, we've got lots of planning to do as we want to make sure it'll last a good few years.   I'll provide more updates on the delivery of this project  - especially sharing plans for the base and location of the oven. 

See you next week!

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COOKING PIZZA IN THE SNOW! PLUS I’VE CHANGED THE BLUE CAPUTO PIZZA DOUGH RECIPE!

Another week of wintry weather and that's fine as I've been waiting a long time to cook pizza in the snow!  Ok it wasn't a full on blizzard snow  - it looked more like polystyrene beads but nonetheless, we very rarely get snow so anything was a bonus! And it's not cold out there when your oven is firing off heat at 550 Celsius!

This week we made two salami pizzas.  The first one I topped with delicious salami with fresh mushrooms and chopped spinach.  In the Spring/Summer/Autumn season I would've used basil but....basil does not survive well in my house in the Winter!  It's just too cold.  If you have any tips on growing basil in the Winter and keeping them alive then please leave a comment either here or on the YouTube video - many thanks! 👍

The salami was so tasty - the nicest salami I've tasted in a long time.  It tasted so good with the mushrooms.  I like mushrooms quite springy and fresh so I hadn't pre-fried them.  Is it just me who likes them like that!  The other significant change I made this week was the dough recipe.  The dough recipe I used for this cook was:

  • 500g blue Caputo flour
  • 0.5g dry dissolved yeast
  • 10g dissolved table salt
  • 300g water

And the other important change I made was to the dough making process:

  • kneaded the dough with the bread machine using the 45 minute pizza dough option (the best way I think!) 👍
  • left the dough to rise for 24 hours in a warm room
  • rolled the dough into balls and used straight away.
  • NO cold proof.

The reason why I experimented using only a little yeast and just a 24 hour warm room proof was that the Blue Caputo flour gets very bubbly with just a little yeast.  And because of this I thought it would be good to test how little yeast I needed to get the dough to rise.  As can be seen from the resulting dough - you don't need much at all!

The second salami pizza we made was the spicy salami, potato and onion pizza and this was like eating a whole dinner!  It was very tasty.  The spicy heat from the salami kicked in after 30 seconds and wow it was hot!  I loved it!   I used the same dough as above and therefore didn't;e expect any significant differences to the cook of the pizza.  Also, this was the second pizza cook and I always tend to burn the base of the pizza on the second cook but this time it came out really well! 

I'm very happy with the new dough recipe and process for the Blue Caputo flour and will continue to make the dough like that.  However, I am going to make my next pizza with the same process as above but I'm adding a 3 day cold proof to the pot just to see if it really adds anything to the flavour and consistency of the dough.👍

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