Another Dough question for Tom Lehman

I have a gas middleby marshall conveyor oven and I want to try and achieve that wood fired oven taste. I haven’t experimented with it yet, but what would adding liquid smoke to your dough mixture do?

That really sound gross, sorry I am not trying to be rude, but that just sounds nasty with a smoke flavor in a crust

I feel would may be better off by trying to use a smoked cheese (maybe a smoked provolone?) or lightly misting the the top of the pizza with a diluted liquid smoke solution before baking.

The wood-fired pies that I have had have not had a smokey flavor except for one where the guy had fuelwood with too high of a moisture content and it was burning poorly and creating a dark pungent smoke, the wood was not even capable of generating enough heat to burn the soot out of the oven dome, so the pizza suffered all the way around.

Or, how about getting a wood-fired oven? $14K will get you an ANSI/UL rated commercial 60" oven from Forno Bravo that is ready to fire and cook in the same day it is delivered. And you can even have a gas back up burner with that too.

Well, it was an idea. But I never said it was a good idea.

The good thing about this pizza thing is, an experimental batch or two of dough to find your answer isn’t going to set you back but what, $18.00 or so? Good luck with your hunt…that’s what makes each day more interesting than the last!

We get a lot of people thinking we do wood fired by the way we cook our pizzas and the dough we use. We add a sour dough additive when making our dough. We cook at a slightly higher temperature to give a little bit more crispy edge, plus we have a “rustic” looking base - not perfectly rounded.
They are surprised when they come into the shop to see a conveyor oven and not a woodfired.
So yes, you can get a woodfired effect and taste by working the formula of your dough and adjusting your cooking.

Is your oven a new one? Is it a WOW? Most of the flavor from a wood fired oven comes from the charring on the pizza, not from the smoky flavor of the pizza itself. If you want to get a little of the smoky flavor, try using some smoke flavored Provalone cheese as part or al of your cheese topping. Then, to get the desired charring, Get a few of the Hearth Bake (cloud pattern) Disks from Lloyd pans <>. Set your oven at 500F of an olded oven, or 465F for a WOW. You may need to experiment with closing off one or more of the top fingers to control top color development. Set the baking time at 5.5-minutes, or 4.75-minutes for a WOW, You want to look for dark, slightly charred spots on the bottom of the pizzas, make slight adjustments to the baking time as needed. We have been demonstrating this baking proflie on most of the new ovens at the recent trade shows and it works quite well, so well infact, that some visitore to our booth have had to be convinced that the pizzas were not baked in a deck, or stone hearth oven, but actually watching the pizzas being baked in the air impingement oven oven. Just make sure your dough formula doesn’t contain and sugar, eggs, or milk as these ingredients will result in excessive color development across the entire crust, not just in the development of the desired charred spots on the bottom.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

That would be great if my oven was new. Got one? :wink:

…actually it is a middleby marshall js250.

That looks like an “oldie”. If it’s the one I’m thinking of, are fingers even still available for it anymore?
I do know that the 360’s will work, as parts are still reradily available to adjust the finger profiles should it be necessary. I’m just not so sure about the 200/250 series ovens. My advice would be to secure a single Hearth Bake Disk and do some test baking with it, then decise if you want to proceed, based on those test results.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Hi, Mr. Lehman Hope you doing good! I meet you at Orlando Pizza Show in 2007.
I have 2 questions:

  1. Do you recomend a natural yeast on pizzas. (natural fermentation)? It will taste good?
  2. I saw in the web site Lloyd Pans, the hearth bake disks and the hex quick disks, witch one do you recommend for a new type of gas brick oven (botton) with infra red burn (lateral and back) or the old types of pizza screens? This oven is here in Brazil. Or if you have another manufactory who does it please gime me a link.
    Thanks and sucess to you.

Best regards
William Anzai Junior

Hello William,

Welcome to the TT. I copied your post and put it over in the “Ask the Experts” thread under Tom’s area to help him find it quicker and get back to you faster.

I had a vendor visit me one time at my plant. He wanted me to introduce wood fire taste to the pizza industry. He had 2 options.

  1. He had a tinder that we put instead the oven that held wood chunks. The initial run was not pleasant with a lot of smoke.
  2. He had these re-usable wood plates that we cooked the pizza on. They did not smoke at all and did add a smokey taste to the product. Problem was that it blocked the air flow from the bottom of the pizza(gummy inside and white bottoms). We found parbakes did well. Applewood was my favorite!

Good Luck!