Steve Yasko’s Adventures with his Alfa Oven

This past October we bought a new house in Orlando, Florida and decided we we needed to give ourselves a "House Warming" present.   I've been a pizza cook for a long time, even owning my own shop for a while before Public Radio pulled me back into my true calling.

We decided on an Alfa One. Alfa's are made just outside of Rome, Italy and distributed across the USA by reputable resellers.  I can't tell you how much fun back yard pizza parties have become.  I generally make four pizza using the flour and recipe described in previous posts.

The thing to know about working with a wood or coal fired oven is that everything cooks faster.  A pizza will take about 45 seconds because you want the oven to reach at 600 degrees fahrenheit.  And you'll need to move the pizza around during this period a couple of times so the crust is cooked but not overly blistered with with burnt bubbles.  You'll some successes and failures in the pictures in this post.

The Alfa One oven is pretty reasonable at $2,000.  Oh, you dealer will try to sell you the $300 accessory kit consisting of metal peel, spinner and coal moving hook.  You can score pretty much the same quality at a good restaurant supply store on line.   

A lot of people get scared off making homemade pizza.  It's really not that hard when you use the right flour and you don't rush the process.

You have to think of it like life was back a hundred years ago in Italy.  You make the dough and keep it cold the night before to get the glutens in the dough to ripen properly to give you a moldable dough that worn't rip or tear .  If you find you're tearing too much you're either using the wrong kind of flour or not letting it slow rise enough.

A lot of folks may not have access to 00 flour.  If you're using a prepackaged pizza dough product or using bread flour then you need to make your dough two night before and really let come up slowly in the fridge.

Lot's more to tell but for right now, Stephen Yasko is signing off and going to plan the next pizza night menu.


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