One of the most romantic visions of renting a villa in Italy is the promise of making homemade pizza in an authentic wood fired oven. Blessed with quite possibly the most handsome pizza oven in all of Italy, our destiny was set: to prepare the dough using tipo '00' flour, water and yeast, then allow it to proof all day until the magic hour. Using dried twigs and some pages from 'La Repubblica', a small fire was started in the oven an hour or so before sunset, then augmented with small logs, graduating to larger ones as the fire took hold — a process that takes about 20-30 minutes. With an internal temperature of about 800°F, it was time was roll out the dough, slice the buffalo mozzarella, lay out the lovely plump Italian anchovies and ravage my basil plant. Having prepared some homemade tomato sauce the day before, we were ready to create the perfect pizza. Using a long round iron pizza peel, the raw Pizza Margherita was placed into the oven and shimmied onto the hot surface and cooked for just over a minute — and it's done. The dough was crisp and chewy, the cheese melted and the smell sublime. With enough dough to make 2 more pizzas, we uncorked a Montefalco Rosso, toasted our success and wood-fired two more hot and delicious Umbrian Margheritas.
Our very handsome wood fired pizza oven, with an ample pile of wood within arms reach
Surrounded with roses, the pizza oven house is beautiful anytime of the day
Guy's homemade pizza dough brushed with olive oil around the edge, then topped with homemade tomato sauce, mozzarella di Bufulo, fresh basil and anchovies
With ample wood and dried twigs, a lovely fire was produced in about 20-30 minutes
Once the heat reaches the correct temperature, the logs and hot ash are pushed to the side to allow the pizza to slide inside the oven
Smoke coming from chimney announces that the pizza oven is ready for our magnificent margheritas
The gorgeous pizza going into the wood-fired oven
The pizza bubbling hot and delicious — a triumph!