HEATING AND LIGHTING THE OONI 3 PIZZA OVEN
Thought it was time to bring the Ooni 3 Pizza Oven out again to show how I light it and heat it up with wood pellets.
There are many brands of wood pellets you can use for the oven. I started off using Ooni wood pellets. They are great quality pellets and produce vey little black soot in the oven.
However, once that big bag finished I found it more cost effective to move onto another brand called Balcas Brites. These pellets do produce a lot more black soot in the oven but the cook time and heat intensity is the same so it was a compromise I was happy to make!
It took me a while to get a hang of using the wood pellets - especially when cooking in the wind. I'd never previously cooked with wood pellets outside and it took a while for me to learn how to keep the pellets topped up on a breezy day.
I did buy a vessel - a metal funnel - that I popped into the pellet holder to hold additional pellets. This was useful to help keep the wood pellets topped up. It saves you re-stocking every 5 minutes. The only issue with the funnel I used were the air gaps between its round spout and the square pellet holder.
This did affect the cook somewhat as the air got sucked up slightly towards the spout rather than moving forward into the oven area.
MAKING BREAD FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THE OONI PRO PIZZA OVEN
For me, baking bread in the Ooni Pro Pizza Oven this week was one of the most challenging cooks I've attempted so far. I had done some research to ready myself for this but many of the wood-fired bread cook pro's mentioned that it does take a lot of practice to get it right! My Panasonic bread-maker cooks me a lovely loaf of bread every week.
I alternate between wholemeal and white. The white tends to rise better than the wholemeal and so for my first cook in the wood-fired oven, white became the safer choice.
So, I started the cook off with the normal white bread recipe I use in the Panasonic:
550g strong white bread flour, 1.5 tsps dissolved dry yeast, 1.5 tsps dissolved table salt and 360ml luke-warm water (I use that to dissolve the salt and yeast in separately).
The dough option on the bread-maker takes 2h 20 minutes and in that time it fully kneads the dough and also gives the dough it's first proof.
Once the dough was ready in the bread-maker I placed it in a banneton for the second proof. I'd never used one of these before but my aim was for it to give the bread a nice, fancy circular rim pattern on the outside.
Due to bad weather outside which delayed the cook, the dough proofed in the banneton for 1 hr 30 minutes when my plan was to only allow it to proof for 50 minutes. I didn't want it to double in size. But over that time it did and if it hadn't been for the cling film tightly wrapped around the outside of the banneton it would have tripled in size!
I should have really and I mean really floured the banneton. I sprinkled it which wasn't enough. So the dough stuck to it like glue and now I can't get it off! I pulled the sticky dough out of the banneton and moved it onto the floured wooden pizza peel with no fancy, circular lines!
I cut a cross into the top of the dough and placed it into the Ooni Pro Wood-fired Oven.
Before I started fiddling around with the dough, I had already heated the oven right up and was waiting for it to cool down to a stone temperature of 260 c. The air temperature should be around 100c to 180c. My air temperature was a bit low - about 120c and so it took longer to cook. After about 12 minutes the oven had cooled down too much and so I had to add a few pieces of kindling to heat it back up a little without creating too much of a flame.
Adding the kindling worked a treat and the oven quickly finished off the bread in a few minutes and gave it a lovely brown wood-fired crust.
Overall, I was really pleased with the result. The easiest part was creating the dough in the bread-maker and the hardest parts were waiting for the stone to get to the right temperature without the air temperature being too hot. The other challenge was knowing when the bread was cooked inside. I read somewhere to measure with a thermometer and if it hits 96 c inside then it's cooked! Yay!
WE HIT 1000 SUBS THIS WEEK!🥳
That's a big milestone for us and I want to thank each and every one of you who have supported the channel, watched our videos and subscribed!! Also, thank you for the fantastic advice you have given me when my cooking has gone wrong (which seems to be more often than not at the moment - lol!)
Plus, the channel also got accepted onto the YouTube Partner Programme this week and so adverts will start to appear! The channel really needs some funding to grow and to do bigger and better things!