My advice would be to steer clear of using a gas-fired pizza oven on a windy or breezy day unless you are in a sheltered spot outside for these four reasons:

  • a little gust of wind can blow the gas out without you realising.
  • the flames are more erratic and blow backwards and sideways - this prevents the stone from heating up
  • linked to the above, the stone takes a lot longer to heat up
  • the cook can be more of a challenge when the flames are whipping up at the back of the oven.

The stone heating up or not heating up due to the breeze was the biggest issue for this cook. As I was making up the pizza the gas blew out without me realising and the oven auto-cut out.  It happened only a few minutes before the cook but still reduced in temperature to 370c in the middle.  I waited another 12 minutes for the oven to warm up to 420c.  From my previous cooks that would normally have taken just a few minutes as I'd already reached 430c on the stone before the gas below out.  However, once the stone was back up and running the actual cook in the oven was fine.  The breeze subsided and even the few gusts didn't impact on the crust cook.  The forecast that day only showed a breeze of up to 12 mph so if you decide to use a gas-fired pizza oven on a day with forecasted wind of 15mph plus, it would be best to find a secluded spot for it.


For this cook I switched back to my 9" metal turning peel.  Going back to the old square peel where you turn outside the oven using fingers was not ideal.  If you are starting out with pizza making and you are currently using the square metal peel I would suggest getting a small turning peel.  It will take a bit of time to adjust and learn to use and turn but you'll pick it up in no time.  A 9" peel which I use for the Ooni Pro and Ooni 3 does not fit in the Koda so I've just ordered a 7" Roccbox turning peel and I'm looking forward to using that next week!

I kept the Ooni Koda on a high heat for this cook, something I've never done before.  This was my fifth cook with this oven.  To be honest, for me, cooking on full gas high heat was more stressful!  It took away the fun of cooking as I was on edge that the crust would singe so fast - and it can, so even though this does cook the pizza really fast and cooks the crust quicker, it doesn't really change the outcome - fast or medium, the outcome is pretty much the same for me.  It's just that with the faster cook I turn it less, play around with it less and finish the cook fast and get more stressed about the whole thing!  I will keep it on high-heat though for any future cooks just to see if my skill level improves with high-heat gas fired cooking and whether my stress levels will ultimately reduce!

I used my experimental dough for these two cooks.  Currently I am testing a new process: 

  • as standard - the dough is made in the Panasonic Bread Maker - that is a must and is the reason my dough turns out as I would like it to be!
  • I then place the dough straight into the fridge for 24 hours
  • I remove the dough from the fridge and place in a warm room for 24 hours.
  • I then either ball it up and use it or freeze it.

Next week I'm going to discuss Autolyse - something I should be doing but keep forgetting to!

See you next week!

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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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