Yellow Topped Pizza and Using a New Pizza Tool!

I fancied making a pizza with just one colour and for this week it was yellow.  I used some small yellow tomatoes with a sliced up yellow bell pepper.  The pepper was fried beforehand. So, this turned into a very fresh and tasty pizza that would be perfect for someone who loves yellow or just because it's a nice pizza to make.  The pizza was cooked using the Ooni 3 gas-fired pizza oven.

The Dough Recipe for this pizza was:

  • 500g Molino Grassi 00 Flour
  • 9g dissolved table salt
  • 3g yeast
  • 6 hour room temp proof
  • 5 day cold proof

I used the pizza dough option on my bread-maker

I think the Molino Grassi flour dough cooks really well under a gas flame and provides a great crust.  The stone was hot - about 460c in the middle - maybe I should have left it cool slightly down to 440c.  The base turned out well but I had to lift it off the stone a bit during the cook.

USING A NEW PIZZA TOOL!!

I had to get one of these tools.  I'd seen it on Amazon and wanted to give it a go with the dough.  I know that when I started making pizza I would have benefited from using this tool for times when things weren't going to plan.  My dough has improved since and I will continue hand-stretching with no tools.  However, back then when my dough wasn't so good I would have found this tool handy to save the day!  If you are a beginner pizza maker this tool may be useful at times but learning to stretch pizza dough by hand is definitely a better way to make great pizza!

The dough recipe for this Pizza:

  • 500g Blue Caputo Flour 00
  • 9g dissolved table salt
  • 0.2 g dissolved dry yeast
  • 300g water  (150g for the yeast, 150g for the salt)

Used the pizza dough option on the bread-maker machine.

  • 24 hour room temperature proof

The tomatoes and ham were so tasty on this cook.  The ham cooked wonderfully in the oven because the flames had given it a crispy edge.  The dough cooked really well giving the pizza a delicious crispy, bubbly crust.  The base of the pizza wasn't that great - it could have been better!  The temperature of the stone when the pizza went in was 440c in the middle which is normally good to go, but I think I should have let that increase to 450 to 460c.  The flame was very fierce at the back and yet the stone temperature right at the door was about 400c.  I kept the pizza away from the strong flames at the back but the base wasn't getting the 440c heat it needed.  If the flame at the back had been less fierce I would've moved the pizza up further into the oven and the base would have cooked just fine.

And that leads me on to one of the things I really love about the Ooni Pro - and that is the size of the oven.  You are able to move your pizza around to suit the flame cook - bring it forward - move it back.  This helps so much when you cook with real flames and gives you more control. 

See you soon!

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CIABATTA BREAD-MAKING AND PIZZA MARINARA IN A WOOD-FIRED PIZZA OVEN

I fancied making ciabatta bread rolls this week.  Only because I'd never made them before and I had some bread flour that was nearing its use by date.  I've made bread in the wood-fired pizza oven before but not ciabatta.

I found some standard wood-fired recipes off the internet.  The first thing I needed to make was "biga", the night before the bake.  It's the starter used to create those lovely big holes in the bread. That was the easy part.  It was just like making a small amount of dough and leaving it to room proof for 24 hours.

I used a US version of the dough recipe and I had to convert the Cups into Grams and this may be where I went a bit wrong!  I searched for how many Grams in a Cup and I found an answer that stated 128g for flour and 237g for water.  I'm still not sure if those measurements are correct but they are the ones I used for this recipe.  This recipe stated they used all purpose flour and I was using bread flour.  Looking back there is a difference to the Gram amount for all purpose and bread flour.  So it's 128g for All Purpose flour and 136g for Bread flour.  This explains why my dough mixture was so runny.

BIGA

  • 1/2 teaspoon yeast, 1/2 cup warm water, 1 cup all purpose flour

DOUGH

  • 2 cups water, 1 teaspoon yeast, Biga, 4 cups all purpose flour, 1 1/4 teaspoon salt

 

I placed all of the ingredients into the bread-maker and switched the dough option on.  But the consistency was so runny the blade just swished around.  There was no way the ingredients I had placed in there would form a dough.  So not to waste what I had already started I added more flour - pouring it in until it formed a very wet consistency that I'd be able to pick up.  I added at least another 1.5 Cups to the mixture.   This dough has a very high hydration level and it's very wet to handle.  It sticks to everything like glue so you'll need to get your hands floured up just to handle it!  I got flour everywhere and I had dough sticking to my sink and taps!

Whilst the dough was getting its second and final room proof for an hour  - I was busy getting the pizza oven temperature down to 250c.   I placed the dough on a metal peel covered in parchment to stop the very wet dough from sticking to the peel.  That worked and after a few turns and about 20 minutes later the rolls were ready.

What did I learn from this first cook?  

  • Try not to get flour and the sticky dough everywhere - this dough is very wet and sticks like glue to everything!
  • Biga is really easy to make and it's a fantastic starter.
  • Placing the dough balls on a metal peel/tray with parchment for the final rise is a really good idea.
  • The flour you use may affect the consistency of your dough and a bit of tweaking may be required.
  • Using parchment is a really good idea and it doesn't burst into flames in the oven!
  • Keep an eye on your bread - regular turning is needed.  Also, you will be close enough to smell it cooking or burning!

PIZZA MARINARA

Of all the pizzas I've made - this recipe frightens me the most.  I think my last attempt on video making this Pizza Marinara was a disaster and ended up in my Pizza Fail Playlist.  It's taken me at least a year to make this again.  I have bad pizza memories of the experience!  And what is my greatest fear about this recipe you may ask?  It's the olive oil.  The final set of this recipe is pouring rather a lot of olive oil onto the dough.  And if you don't get that pizza straight into the oven, the oil seeps into the dough and there you have it - a disaster in the making!

Even with this cook I didn't quite get it right.  ARGH.  My oven wasn't quite ready because I forgot to add the log 5 minutes before.  This meant I had to wait for the oven stone to increase in temperature whilst my oil was seeping into the dough!  After all of the cooks I've made I can pretty much get away with these little issues - but not with the Marinara!

The pizza cooked well and quite fast for me too which was nice.  The basil melted beautifully into the sauce and the oil prevented its delicate leaves from burning.  Those ingredients are so tasty together - a real pizza classic.  So, if you are new to making Marinara - just remember that once you pour that oil onto the dough, try and get your pizza into the oven as soon as you can.

See you next week!

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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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