The Washington Post recently profiled amateur baker Tish Hall and the wood-fired oven she built in her back yard. Although the article focuses on bread, there are a couple mentions of pizza + the details about the oven should be relevant to any pizza connoisseur:
When the temperature of the cob oven’s back wall reaches 900 degrees or so, the countdown begins. Like other wood-fired oven cooks, Hall follows the order of the heat: Pita breads made from her cornmeal white bread recipe go in first. A three-ounce ball of dough puffs and bakes in 65 to 75 seconds. When her family or a friendly crowd is on hand, Hall will transfer the hot, chewy pillows to a carving board on the table with a dish of butter nearby. The pitas’ undersides have bits of char; nobody can eat just one.
Flatbread pizzas and calzones go in next. They take less than two minutes to bake. “I’m not a tomato sauce person,” she says, preferring to adorn them with homemade mozzarella, fresh basil and a sparse application of tomato slices, or the olives and mushrooms that Conor prefers.
Hall’s baking days begin around 8AM. And the oven was built for about $200 with materials that included bricks her father had salvaged from a 1976 Bicentennial exhibit on the Mall. Pretty cool!
You can read the entire piece here.