Ooni Pizza Ovens

Discussion in 'UK Wine Forum' started by Richard Ward, Oct 13, 2019.

  1. I've tried all sorts, including buying expensive tinned tomatoes from Italy etc, and I've settled on the Cirio Passata Rustica Thom mentions, with 1TB of tomato puree added to 1 x 350g bottle, plus 1tsp of red wine gastrique, which really brings out the flavour. I don't pre cook this sauce at all.
  2. Based on suggestions in Marcella Hazan's books, I put some olive oil and tinned tomatoes in a large frying pan and either crush them by hand or break them up them with potato masher. I add salt, pepper and a healthy volume of La Bomba. Sometimes I put in a very small amount of mustard too as I like what it does to tomato sauce, producing a silky texture. Then I reduce it, usually too enthusiastically and too much, having to add more liquid afterwards. If making pizza for myself, I add more than a hint of 'Nduja just before spreading it on the base.
  3. We have at least two companies here producing "San Marzano-style" tinned tomatoes. These are grown in Southern Ontario, I believe, and are surprisingly good.
  4. Margherita 'vecchia maniera'
  5. Am I correct in thinking your method is to heat a cast iron skillet on the top, flip it over and place the pizza on it before putting under the grill?

    I tried this with my steak griddle pan recently for Benjamin and went quite well, so thinking to buy a larger skillet (~12”) for the adults!
  6. I don't flip it over, Oliver, I stretch out the dough and put it into the well heated pan and let it cook for a short while before dressing it then moving it under the grill. Get a 14" one, absolutely indispensable for all sorts of uses.
    Oliver Coleman-Green likes this.
  7. I'm glad this method has your endorsement, as it's the way I make pizzas too (although I haven't made any since my wife stopped eating gluten a couple of years ago) - no fancy ovens here.
  8. I'd love the proper oven but these are just good enough to stop me feeling that I absolutely have to buy another piece of kit.
    I think I have come to realise that the things I enjoy most on pizza really are crushed tomatoes, mozzarella and basil. I have the horrifying feeling that I am developing vegetarian tendencies, though so far only between meals.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2020
  9. Thanks Tom. That will suit my ineffectual handling of the dough - I manage ok dressing the pizza on the pizza stone but trying to dress before moving I feel all hell would break loose!

    I generally prefer my pizza vegetarian (if you will allow me anchovies occasionally) and I quite agree with those that believe too many toppings is akin to treating the pizza as a dustbin...
  10. simple but superb is how I would describe that pizza. So many don’t spread to the edge !
    Indeed less is more re Oliver’s comment.
  11. What level of hydration are the wine-pages' types using? I just noticed on the side of a bag of 00 flour a suggestion of 55%, which seems impossibly low.
  12. That's low, but I've got four pizza balls proving in the fridge for tomorrow - they're only at 62%, which is what I've tended to use previously.
  13. I use the Vera Pizza Napoletana dough recipe, which is 850g flour, 500g water, therefore just under 60% hydration. The resulting dough is soft, slightly elastic and gives perfectly light, puffy results.
  14. Tasty results tonight from a 36hr fermented batch of dough (60% hydration) made with white flour 19.5oz white flour, 11.5oz water and 1oz of unrefreshed 100% hydration sourdough starter. Autolysed for a couple of hours yesterday AM and then risen with dried yeast in the fridge until removal to a warm place about 16.00 today.

    Thom's suggestion of hob and grill was a revelation- thank you.
    Thom Blach and Will Devize like this.
  15. New skillet arriving today so will be trying a pizza this weekend.

    My thoughts for the dough were to build a white starter out of a spoonful of my rye starter at 100% hydration, then when active add say 100g to 500g of strong white (no 00 in the house), enough water to make 60% hydration and 1% salt. Allow for 24 hour bulk ferment, knock back, ball and use.

    Couple of questions;
    Do proportions seem reasonable?
    Does this need kneading?

    I do have dried yeast if easier to revert to that for immediate results.
  16. 60% is a little bit low, I'd go to 65%. I just use dried yeast, a level teaspoon or so for 500g flour, when it shows signs of rising put it in the fridge, leave overnight then it will last for a week. I stretch and fold as I do for bread but it might depend on what flour you are using. If it's high in protein you will need to let it rise after shaping into balls at room temp for at least two hours to render it stretchable.
    Oliver Coleman-Green likes this.
  17. 1% salt is way too low IMO. I used 1.5% last time and the consensus was that it should have been 2%.
  18. Coincidentally, before seeing this, I started some dough this morning at 60% hydration and it jut didn't seem like enough, but at 65% it has developed nicely (going into the fridge now)
  19. Tried the Franco Manca recipe with starter for the first time this evening (65% hydration with 8% starter (75% hydration)). Hot pan, dress, then grill. Dough was more tricky to stretch and handle compared with dried yeast version but the result was much better IMO. Like Tom, I find the pan/grill method good enough not to bother investing in a wood-fired oven.
  20. With thanks for Tom and Nigel, a good first effort today. I went with 65% hydration and 2% salt as advised.

    Will have to work on my shaping a bit, but a tasty result.
  21. Having stalled Debbi from purchasing an Ooni (at least for now) by having a first attempt at Tom’s skillet and grill method.
    I need to ask if 00 flour is the right thing to seek out?
    I made a dough from strong bread flour in my bread maker using a recipe in the manual.
    I was encouraged enough to pursue the project further, my shaping though was terrible and getting it into the hot skillet was not without incident so no photos yet.
  22. I usually use strong white and it works fine, though have never done a side-by-side comparison. For me the most important thing is the age of the dough. Put your dough together and then age in the fridge. At least one day, 2 better, 4 or 5 ideal
    Raymond Tilney likes this.
  23. The "00" Molina Marino organic flour from Bakery bits makes excellent pizza. Best I have made (according to the rest of my family). Normally make the dough in the morning and let it prove all day in a cool place. It makes lovely stretchy dough.
    Raymond Tilney likes this.
  24. 00 refers to the fineness of grind rather than a particular kind of flour. Strong white is fine with the important proviso that it needs a good two hours at room temperature after forming into balls to become extensible enough, if it won't stretch then one must either wait or be frustrated. A lower protein flour(which most 00 probably is) at 60-62% rather than 65 % hydration will be stretchable earlier. Lionel is right about ageing the dough in my experience.
    As with everything in life one is pretty unlikely to get it right first time, and this definitely takes practice; so I am sure does using the Ooni!
    Raymond Tilney likes this.
  25. Caputo and Marino are widely used by pro here. It does not make sense to buy a OOni here because of how many Pizzerias dishing out excellent stuff (I believe 100x vs when I left the country in 1999). I may consider one for the house in Tuscany though making the dough not really that easy if you are commuting from Milano...
    Raymond Tilney likes this.

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