FREE Wood-Fired Pizza Recipe

Wood-Fired Pizza Recipe

Here's a super-versatile recipe for cooking indoors or in an wood-fired pizza oven. You’ll need to start this well ahead of time (three days) to give the dough time to ferment. Recipe yields 3-4 pizzas.

Pizza Tools Needed:

  • Stand Mixer with Dough Hook Attachment
  • Digital Probe Thermometer
  • Weight Scale (to measure grams)
  • Whisk
  • Small mixing bowl
  • Dough Scraper
  • Wooden Pizza Peel
  • Pizza Stone or Pizza Steel
  • Steel Pizza Peel **
  • Fruit Wood **
  • Laser Thermometer**
  • Ash Rake**

** For wood-fired pizza oven only. Not necessary for home oven.

Pizza Dough Ingredients:

  • 365 grams 00 Flour *
  • 96 grams 00 Flour * (set aside)                   
  • 270 grams of Ice Water
  • 30 grams Warm Water (85-95 degrees)
  • 14 grams Active Dry Yeast
  • 10 grams Olive Oil**
  • 7 grams Salt**
  • 10 grams Honey**

* If you do not have 00 flour traditional bread flour is a good alternative.
** For home oven only. Omit if using a wood-fired oven.

DAY 1 

Dough Preparation

Begin by chilling flour in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. After flour has chilled, weigh out 270 grams of ice water and add it to the bowl of the stand mixer. Add 365 grams of chilled flour. (Make sure you set aside 96 grams of flour for later). Using the dough hook attachment, mix water and flour together on the slowest speed for 3 minutes until flour is incorporated.

Cover bowl and chill in fridge for 30-45 minutes.

Yeast Activation

While dough is chilling, measure out 30 grams of warm water and 14 grams Active Dry Yeast. Use the digital thermometer to ensure the water is between 85-95 degrees. Combine warm water and yeast in mixing bowl and whisk vigorously until combined. Once combined, add an ice cube to the water and stir until temperature reaches around 50 degrees. If any ice remains, remove and discard.  

Dough Mixture

Return chilled dough mixture to the stand mixer. Turn on mixer to the lowest speed. Add yeast/water to the dough then very slowly add the flour you've set aside from earlier. Now, mix for about three minutes while slowly adding olive oil, honey, and salt to the mixture. Mix that for an additional 3 minutes until everything is incorporated into the dough. (Omit olive oil and honey if using a wood-fired oven).

Dough Test

To test if the dough is ready, pinch off a small piece of the dough and spread the dough in your fingers under a light. If you can see through the dough, the dough is ready. If not, hand-knead the dough for 3 minutes and try again. Round the dough into one large ball and cover bowl with plastic and refrigerate for 24 hours.


Balling Dough

After 24 hours has elapsed, take the dough out of the refrigerator and let the dough rest at room temperature for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, pour your dough onto a lightly floured surface. Use the dough scraper to cut the dough ball into 3-4 ‘chunks’. If desired, use your food scale to ensure each ‘chunk’ is of similar weight. Lightly oil a cooking sheet. Shape the ‘chunks’ into dough balls and place gently onto the sheet. Spray a piece of plastic wrap with cooking spray and then gently place the plastic wrap, spray side down, over the dough balls. Wrap another piece around the ‘spray wrap’ and cookie sheet to prevent your dough balls from drying out. Refrigerate for another 24 hours.


Preparing Sauces and Toppings

Toppings and sauces should be prepared at least one hour before cook time to allow the ingredients to come to room temperature. Have everything ready in an ‘assembly line’ to make for easier assembly later.

Stretching the Dough

About 30 minutes before you are ready to cook your pizza, remove the dough balls from the refrigerator and let the dough rest at room temperature for 15 minutes. Use your thermometer to test the dough. When the dough reaches about 50 degrees, lightly flour both sides of each dough ball. When you’re ready to cook your first pizza, move one dough ball to a lightly floured surface. The goal is to stretch the dough while keeping oxygen along the edge of the dough. Lightly press out the center of the pizza with the pads of your fingers while avoiding the sides of the dough. Continue to do this until you are able to place your hands in the center of the pizza. Use pressure to stretch the dough outward and not down. Make sure you have a floured pizza peel ready. At this point you’ll move the dough to your knuckles and use gravity to help stretch the dough. Here is a good example. Gently place the stretched dough onto a floured wooden pizza peel.

Tip: Although regular flour will work, using small amounts of semolina flour on your pizza peel will help you get your pizza from peel to oven. The semolina flour acts like little ball bearings to help your pizza slide onto your cooking surface more easily.

Assembling The Pizza

Add sauce and toppings sparingly and quickly. A little goes a long way. Wet ingredients like mushrooms and peppers will weigh down your pizza so use with care. Get your pizza from peel to oven as quickly as possible. When a topped pizza sits too long before going in the oven, the sauce saturates the dough which creates an undesirable gummy texture.

Cooking the Pizza in a Home Oven

Place one cooking racks in the middle of the oven. Place a pizza steels or pizza stone on the rack. Preheat your oven to its highest setting - usually around 500 degrees. Once your oven reaches temperature, use the pizza peel to carefully transfer your topped pizza to the steel or stone on the bottom rack. Shut the door quickly and keep it closed as much as possible but keep an eye on the pizza. The length of cook time will depend on how much you stretched the pizza and how many toppings you used. Check at five minutes and again every minute thereafter. Your pizza is ready when the edges are slightly browned and the cheese is melted. You can turn on your broiler for a little extra browning at the end if you’d like.

Cooking the Pizza in a Wood-Fired Oven

Heating the Oven

Cooking with an outdoor oven requires a little move preparation but will yield a much better pizza. Pizzas cooked in outdoor ovens are crispier, cook more quickly, and have better flavor and texture (in our humble opinion). Begin with some kindling to start a small fire in the front of the oven. Newspaper, dryer lint, or wax paper will do the trick. Add small, dry sticks as needed to keep the fire going. Next, add dry fruit wood logs to your fire. Once the fire is burning steadily, us the ask rake to push the coals to the back left of the oven (10 o’clock position). Continue to add logs as needed. After about 30 minutes, use the laser thermometer to check the oven temperature. Check the floor of the oven and then the dome of the oven. The average of the two numbers is the actual oven temperature. For example, if the floor is 750 degrees and the dome is 850 degrees, the cooking temperature is 800 degrees. Oven temperature is somewhat a matter of preference, but around 800 degrees is our preferred temperature. If the oven is too hot you may need to wait until the fire dies down a bit. If it is too cool, you may need to add more wood. When adding wood, place the new log in the middle of the floor for a few minutes before adding it to the coals. This will help prevent the fire from being smothered.

Cooking the Pizza

When the oven reaches your desired temperature, carefully transfer your pizza from the pizza peel to the floor of the oven using a gentle shaking motion. After about 30 seconds, use your steel pizza peel to carefully turn the pizza a quarter-turn (90 degrees). Keep doing this every 30 seconds until the pizza has make a full round. If your oven is around 800 degrees, the pizza will be finished in about two minutes. At this point you can use the steel pizza peel to pull the pizza out of the oven or you can ‘dome’ the pizza. To ‘dome’ the pizza, place the pizza pull fully under the pizza and lift the pizza toward the top of the oven. Because the top of the oven interior (the dome) is the hottest area, ‘doming’ your pizza will help your cheese and toppings to cook fully. Remove pizza from the oven and wait 2-3 minutes for your pizza to cool slightly.

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