Chef Kirsten Helle | Chef Kirsten Helle shares recipes and tips for your wood fired pizza oven
Chef Kirsten Helle is a Seattle area personal chef serving professional athletes and high profile clients. She lost over 100 pounds when she set out to create a healthy new family legacy. She is available as a chef spokesperson, hosting cooking shows and more. She won Food Network's Guys Grocery Games and is on the cover of Women's Day magazine.
inspiring chefs, beautiful chefs, chefs that lost a lot of weight, chefs in the media, chef spokesperson. wood fired pizza oven, how to use your outdoor pizza oven, wood fired recipes
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Fire & Flavor: Bringing Life To Your Wood Fired Pizza Oven

I am excited to bring you a series entirely devoted to the art of wood fired cooking in collaboration with my friends at Terrain Seattle.

 

Fire & Flavor: Bringing Life to Your Wood Fired Pizza Oven features 4 of my signature recipes plus ongoing recipes, inspiration, tips, shenanigans (and many, many parties) showing the versatility & experience of the wood fired pizza oven.

 

Fiamma (Italian for flame), the name I’ve bestowed on my Italian artisan designed custom masonry pizza oven built into our outdoor kitchen, is my newest obsession. Cooking with your wood fired pizza oven is primal and exciting, allowing us to get intimately involved with the act of cooking. If you love playing with your food, you’ll love it as well.

 

Get the recipes for the meals featured in the video series over at Terrain Seattle and make sure you follow along on my social media channels (Facebook/Instagram/Pinterest) as I continue to bring you more recipes, tips and inspiration!

 

Explore the options for creating your very own outdoor living experience – contact Terrain Seattle and start your own wood-fired adventure.

 

Here you’ll find the signature recipes along with my favorite pizza dough recipe and tips as well as my pizza sauce recipe I hope you’ll love!

 

 

Chef Kirsten Helle pizza oven series

 

Tips for using your wood fired oven: 

  • Use dry cherry or oak for every day use. Mesquite added to the mix adds great flavor when cooking meats.
  • To light your wood use a combustible fire starter cubes such as these from Weber. I find two cubes placed under a loose teepee of 4-5 logs of wood with a bit of thin kindling at the base lights really well.
  • Play around with your fire to get the results you’re after. For pizza you want the oven as hot as it can get. 5 logs on each side of the oven that are burning bright give you the 900+ degree heat you’ll need to cook a pizza in 2 minutes with the beautiful browned edges and crispy bottom you’re looking for. For meats, roasts, baking breads or tagines you can achieve a 300-350 atmosphere by letting the wood burn down into nice coals. When feeding more wood in to keep the temperature up add the wood to the back or sides to keep the most intense heat away from the food.
  • Get an instant-read laser thermometer to accurately gauge how hot the oven is inside.
  • For the basic tools you’ll need an oven rake to scrape coals off of the bottom and for cleaning, a large handled steel pizza peel to move the food around in the oven and removing your pizzas, a large bbq spatula for maneuvering the pizzas or other ingredients around a bit easier once inside the oven, a large wood peel for making your pizzas and sliding them into the oven, a large pizza bubble poker that also doubles as a tool for grabbing pans in the oven to move them around, a large heat proof mitt that covers your arm up to your elbow at least. I got all of my tools at Dick’s Restaurant supply for very affordable prices. I also recommend a steel paella pan that is safe for the oven for a multitude of uses. Clay pot’s that have been soaked in water over night and tempered in a low oven for 2 hours are also great to have as you expand your expertise in wood fired cooking!

 

My favorite pizza dough recipe & tips:

The key to a great, stretchy dough is to get high gluten flour and kneading it for a good long time, we’re talking 20-30 minutes. If you can’t devote that time you’ll still get a great tasting crust, it will just be a bit thicker and you won’t be able to stretch it as thin.

Makes enough for 4 medium-sized pizzas

2 1/2 cups lukewarm water

2 Tb honey

2 pouches yeast

6 cups high gluten bread flour or 00 Italian flour if you can find it

1 cup fine semolina flour

1 Tb Kosher/sea salt

1/4 cup olive oil

Whisk the yeast and honey into the lukewarm water. Let rest while you sift the flour and salt together. Add the yeast mixture once it bubbles up along with the olive oil. Start incorporating the flour into the wet mixture until the mixture can form together. Pour out onto a large work surface dusted with a bit more flour and begin kneading until you have a smooth ball. Coat with olive oil and place into a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let this rise for 1-2 hours. Punch it down and divide into 4 pieces. Roll or toss these pieces into the shape you wish. Great for traditional pizzas, rectangular flatbread style pizzas or even focaccia (which would need a second rise before baking). Enjoy!

 

My favorite pizza sauce recipe:

Makes about 2 1/2 cups of sauce

2 tsp olive oil

1/2 onion, finely minced

3-4 cloves garlic, minced

2 pinches Kosher/sea salt

1-2 pinches (to taste) crushed red pepper flakes

1 tsp dried basil

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1 Tb Balsamic vinegar

2 Tb honey

28 oz canned crushed tomatoes

Heat a saucepan over medium high heat, when hot add oil, swirl to coat. Add the onion, garlic, seasonings, Balsamic and honey to the pan. Stirring often, cook until the onions begin to caramelize a bit and all of the liquid has evaporated. Add the tomatoes to this intensely flavored base and bring to a simmer. Cover partially and stirring often, cook until thickened and rich, about 30 minutes. Cool and refrigerate until needed. This also freezes well. Enjoy!

 

Brought to you by

{Series filmed and produced by Frazer Loveman 1Love Media}

 

 

 

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