It gives subtle smoke flavour to the food
First thing that hits the mind when the word wooden oven is whispered is Pizzas. Lovely, crisp, thin, smoked flavoured pizzas. An Italian delicacy, pizzas are among the favourite food savoured around the world. If they are baked in the traditional wooden oven, they taste exceptionally good.
Wooden oven is also known as wood-fired ovens, Roman ovens, stone ovens, brick ovens, masonry ovens and Black Ovens. The origin of this oven dates backs to the Roman Era. They were widely used in Europe during the medieval period. Wooden ovens then were large in size, as food befitting the entire community would be cooked in them.
Fireproof material like concrete, stone, clay or brick is used to make a closed chamber and wood is used as fuel. A chimney is attached to release exhaust gases. It works on the principal of heat radiation. Heat released from burning of fire is spread all around and absorbed in by the base, sides of the oven, and later radiates out to cook food evenly.
Usually a fire is lighted inside and is kept burning until it reaches a desired temperature. Sometimes the fire is allowed to die down a bit and then the cooking material is put inside to cook or else once desired temperature is reached, fire is not extinguished completely instead some amount is kept burning to provide constant heat.
Baking can be Fun with Wooden Ovens
Other than pizzas, cakes, meats, bread etc can be made in the same oven once it is heated completely. As per the cooking time some foods like pizzas that cook faster go in first and breads that require slow and longer time to cook go in last.
Today better and robust versions of the conventional ovens are available and are widely used in several restaurants. They are electrically heated and food is cooked to perfection however, the delectable smoked aroma is absent that, many hanker after.
Picture via Flickr.com by Aaron Landry Some Rights reserved