Heavy snow and cold temps hasn’t deterred us from ringing in the New Year with our newest friend …and that would be our Casa2G90 Forno Bravo wood-fired oven.
Sure, we’re still learning, the oven exterior isn’t finished (we ARE waiting for some decent weather for finish work), the roof that will extend to the oven still needs to be built and then with all the holiday company- who’d want to fire it up in a snowstorm? Well, this is just the thing- it made for great entertainment and delicious results. Everyone got in on the fun.
After shoveling a path a short distance to the oven (I can tell you many reasons for installing your oven close to your kitchen), tending the fire for about an hour (we were maintaining 6-700 with temperatures around 20 degrees outside), we all entertained ourselves with the process of assembling pizzas, hiking the peels to the oven, taking turns sliding them onto the hot oven floor, giving them a spin as they began to bubble up… …and, well, you get the idea.
I’m learning a number of great tips about pizza making from Peter Reinhart’s book American Pie. Without a great crust you may as well forget it- so perfecting the crust is our on-going training, sauces are really quite simple (no need to cook the sauce- as the oven brings out the best in the herbs and spices – what you want is a “bright” sauce ). On the other hand, the white sauce that I simmered made for a wonderful base to the portobellos, and red peppers. Mixing in a little fresh grated hard Asiago cheese with the Mozzarella brought everything up a tastier salty notch. Toppings- I’ve learned to follow the “rule of three” or it gets all muddled together. (This isn’t as easily conveyed to newcomers in the assembly line). I’m pleased to say that we are really very thrilled with the entire experience and what is coming out of our oven.
We really haven’t had any cooking or operational disappointments to speak of. Don’t get me wrong, a few of us in this house are constructive critics at our own pizza school, but not in the throws of lots of laughs, a little wine, and the dog running back and forth to the oven looking for a cheese dropping. In addition to our enjoyment cooking pizzas, the salmon has been phenomenal and the chicken, turkey, scalloped potatoes, even pies, have all turned out beautifully…. oh, and our newest hearth bread success by my brother Tom.
When the roof is on and we don’t need to shovel a path to the oven in a snow storm, perhaps we’ll be a little more subdued but for now the fire has us a bit hypnotized.