November 28, 2008

Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24: Wood Fired Oven Pizza Party

There are some things that you are highly unlikely to ever find at my house. Among those things are take out, frozen or microwaveable, (*shudder*) pizza. I would much rather make my own, thank you very much. And since I’m making my own pizza I might as well go all out and make my own dough too. But really, if I’m going to the trouble of making my own dough, I’d better make sure to cook it properly and a regular oven just won’t do. That’s why I have a wood fired oven in my backyard. Sure, it might take me 3 or 4 hours to make pizza but it’s well worth the wait.

The only thing that can get in the way of my pizza making is the weather. Canada is both blessed and cursed with a climate that can range from warm and sunny to snowy and downright cold. That’s why on any given day when I head out to the wood fired oven I may find it in a variety of states such as the three photos you see below. The first one was taken mid September on a summery day, the second during a brief thaw in the snow this week and the third is a prediction photo. What’s that you say? You can only see a white rectangle where the third photo is supposed to be? That’s because there’s so much snow in that picture that white is all you can see. I suspect that’s the way things will be here very shortly. When that happens I will be forced to retire the wood fired oven for the season, but until then, it’s time for a pizza party!

There’s no need to wait for a special occasion, pizza is reason enough for a party, especially when it’s this good! There are a few routes you can go when planning a pizza party. One is to simply lay out a variety of toppings and have your guests build their own pie. Another way is to plan out a few different pizzas so that your guests need only choose a slice of each one they want to try. The second option is a good one if you have adventurous friends who will try anything you throw their way. I chose the second route this time but I made sure to have a little something for everyone.

So what was on the menu? I decided to offer 4 different pizzas which I dubbed Classic Combo, Greek Inspired, Seafood Plus and Chef’s Choice. The Classic Combo was a blend of Italian and American with tomato, basil, mozzarella and pepperoni. The Greek Inspired pizza had garlic stuffed olives, sundried tomatoes, feta stuffed jalapeno peppers and feta, (I think I should have stuffed the crust with feta too, just to keep my theme of using stuffed ingredients). The Seafood Plus pizza is not one you’ll likely see on the menu board of your local pizza place as in addition to bay scallops, shrimp, caramelized onions and a goat cheese béchamel sauce, it also contained butter fried Lion’s Mane mushrooms. I get those from my friend who grows organic specialty mushrooms at Wylie Mycologicals. And finally, the Chef’s Choice pizza was topped with homemade bacon, (yes, I make that too!) caramelized onions, halved red grapes and aged cheddar.

I think my favourite was the Chef’s Choice pizza, it’s a flavour combo I’ve had in my head for a while now and I really like how it works together. Grapes aren’t your typical pizza topping but I quite like them, especially with homemade bacon, (because everything’s better with bacon!). Unfortunately, since I can’t come to your house and build a wood fired oven in your backyard, the best I can do for you is to give you one of the easiest pizza crust recipes you’ll ever find. It requires no kneading and is from a book I’ve been using a whole lot of lately, Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois.

No Knead Olive Oil Pizza Dough

Makes 4 1lb loaves. This recipe is easily doubled or halved

2 3/4 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 tbl granulated yeast
1 1/2 tbl salt
1 tbl sugar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
6 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

Mix the yeast, salt, sugar and olive oil with the water in a 5-qt bowl, or a lidded (not airtight) food container

Mix in the flour without kneading, using a large wooden spoon.

Cover (not airtight) and allow to rest at room temperature for about 2 hours. You can use the dough at this point, or refrigerate and use over next 12 days. If you refrigerate at least overnight, you’ll develop better flavor in the dough. If you only want to make 1 flatbread, just pinch off a grapefruit sized piece of dough to use…keep the remaining covered loosely in the refrigerator.

This post is part of Foodbuzz's series 24, 24, 24, where 24 meals are posted, one each hour of the day from 24 locations around the world. Head over to Foodbuzz soon to check out the other 23 meals!

24 comments:

Jules said...

I would love a pizza oven like this. The Pizzas look delicious.

_ts of [eatingclub] vancouver said...

You had me a "wood-fired oven".

(But really?! A wood-fired oven in your backyard. WOW.)

Snooky doodle said...

I m a pizza addict and this looks delicious . yummy

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Did I miss something? When did you build that fabulous wood-fired oven?

Manggy said...

Ah, the wood-fired oven... Jamie Oliver, eat yer heart out! It's sooo hard to decide which pizza I like best but the Seafood plus pizza sounds super-awesome.

Mary said...

I LOVE homemade pizza. And I am currently insanely jealous of your wood fired oven. My husband has already vetoed us having one. (And too funny about the final photo being too snowy to see anything!)

Maria said...

I agree, homemade pizza is the only way to go! I am beyond jealous of your wood oven though! I just showed my husband your pictures. We are going to try to build one in our yard. That is so cool!!! The pizza looks perfect!

chamachama said...

Various dieting、beauty, healthy is written in this blog.

Japanese langueage バックシャン backshan

It sees instinctively turning around when it dresses, it behaves, and the woman with beautiful appearance to walk is seen.
After there is a word beautiful backing in Japan, the woman with beautiful appearance is said.
Will you think it is too good somehow though it is not used now?

Mike of Mike's Table said...

Wood fired oven in the backyard? You lucky dog! I need to be there for the next pizza party--those all sound delicious (and look awesome in the photos!)

Cynthia said...

Hey! How are you? Sorry I have not been around lately. I had lost all of my feed links and am still in the process of gathering them.

Hope you are well.

HuggingtheCoast.Com said...

Is there anything cooler than having a wood fired oven in your backyard...I think not! How delicious your pizzas look!

FYI: I'll definitely be linking to your 24, 24, 24 blog post on my blog tomorrow!

Peabody said...

Woodfire ovens are the best. I keep telling my husband I need one. :) I promise I would make him pizza.

thecoffeesnob said...

You have your own woodfire pizza oven? Lucky lucky you!

Parker said...

Wood oven pizza is honestly my favorite and I order it any chance I get. If I had an awesome stove/oven like that I would be eatin' pizza every night. Great post and congrats on the 24, 24, 24

Marc @ NoRecipes said...

Wow that's awesome! I'm so jealous of your oven (or even the fact that you have a back yard). Nice post and your pizza's look fantastic!

Kaitlin said...

that looks delicious!

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Lucky!! I can only imagine how fabulous those pizzas taste. Amazing, for sure.

TeaLady said...

A personal pizza oven. And it isn't electric!!! Fantastic! Looks delicious.

[eatingclub] vancouver || js said...

This is awesome! I'm insanely envious of your oven. I haven't had a good pizza in like forever.

Anna at Mediocre Chocolate said...

Lucky Girl! I make my own pizza most of the time too (ZPizza is a pretty good stand-in) but I have to use a stone. Yours looks amazing--and wonderfully different.

Margaret said...

Brilynn the brilliant - that's what I am going to call you from now on! Especially, after seeing this posting.

chamachama said...

The New Year ends by the early one, Setsubun ends, too and March 3 is
Hinamatsuri.

Various dieting、beauty, healthy is written in this blog.

CoolStuffForDads.com said...

I never thought about having your very own wood pizza oven at home, but what a cool idea! The pizza that comes from this looks absolutely delicious!!

curiousdomestic said...

Wood fired oven and homemade bacon. *covet*