A wood fired oven can be used for cooking many foods apart from just pizza. People have been cooking bread in a wood fired oven for thousands of years. There is something very satisfying about cooking with fire, and the charring and wood smoke can add great flavors to most bread recipes. In some cases the heat and charring is absolutely essential such as the Indian naan bread or the Mediterranean pitta bread.
The perfect thing about a pizza oven is the cooking time you get as it cools. You can fire it up for Neapolitan style pizzas, and then cook bread, desserts and even slow cooking dishes later on.
This article has the tastiest bread recipes from around the world that you can cook in your pizza oven. I’ve added recipes to all the breads so that you have simple instructions to follow, as well as get some great ideas.
Here is some quick guidance to cooking bread in an pizza oven.
Guide to cooking temperatures
|Fahrenheit||Celsius||Style Of Cooking||What To Cook|
|750°F +||400°C+||Pizza cooking||Pizza, garlic bread, naan bread|
|540 – 600°F||280 – 320°C||Grilling||Steak, sardines, shrimp|
|450 – 540°F||230 – 280°C||Roasting||Turkey, Roast potatoes, whole fish|
|400 – 450°F||200 – 230°C||Baking Bread||Sourdough, ciabatta, foccacia, rolls|
|320 – 400°F||160 – 200°C||Baking Desserts||Carrot cake, |
cinnamon rolls, strawberry cobbler
|210 – 250°F||100 – 120°C||Slow cooking||Pulled pork, BBQ ribs, stews|
There are a few types of breads which you can cook in a wood fired oven. At the top of the temperature range you have the types similar to a pizza such as naan breads and garlic breads which cook in minutes. Next you have lean breads which are baked at traditional temperatures around 400°F-450°F . As you add more fat, eggs and sugar they are cooked at a lower temperatures of 350°F until you are essentially baking cakes.
You need to get an infrared thermometer to accurately measure temperature so try one like this from Amazon which can handle the max temperatures of a pizza oven as not all go high enough.
How to cook bread in a wood fired oven
It’s important to fire the oven to full heat and let it cool down to your needed temperature. This ensures even temperatures around the oven, and it will retain heat while baking. Fire the oven with the wood in the center to heat the floor evenly.
You can then choose to push the embers to the side, or to rake them out to cook your bread. There are some differences in the methods and advantages to each. The main being the embers are a direct heat source so will cook the facing side faster, and so the bread will require turning.
Rake out the embers if:
- You need more space for more bread.
- You are cooking lots of bread and don’t want to turn each bread.
- You don’t mind the oven cooling down.
Bake with a fire if:
- Your recipe needs a very high heat, similar to when you cook pizza.
- You want to continue cooking after the bread, so you can add more wood to the existing fire.
- You don’t want the effort of cleaning it out just yet if you don’t need to.
Steam will help bread recipes create a crispier crust. You can achieve this by spraying water towards the dome using a mist hose or bottle, or by adding damp cloths to a pan. Steam should be visible in the oven, then you can put the door in place to trap it inside.
Some tips on cooking bread in the pizza oven:
- If cleaning out embers, sweep the oven with a brush then wrap a damp cloth around a peel to wipe the oven floor.
- Before cooking, create some steam in the oven for crispier crusts.
- Close the door and don’t open it for the first few minutes to let the bread “spring” fully.
- Remember to turn bread facing the fire.
- Don’t cook too close to the fire. Closer means more turning and charring.
- Use a wooden peel to deploy, metal to retrieve.
- When cooked through it should sound hollow when tapped.
- Let it cool slightly before you cut it open to allow the inner section to firm up.
You need a good sized peel, especially if you are making something long like baguettes. Check out my article on the best pizza peels for wood fired ovens to get a nice long handled one.
15 Breads For Your Pizza Oven:
The pizza oven replicates a tandoori oven in which these Indian flat breads are traditionally cooked in. They puff up slightly, and have charred areas and are delicious fresh and warm. They can be brushed with butter and garlic and then served with your favorite curry dish.
Get the recipe – Wood-fired Naan
A wood fired sourdough loaf is a thing of beauty and is a must for any pizza oven owner to try. This tangy tasting bread is a top choice for brunch with some eggs. If you don’t have time to form a starter, there is some simpler breads in this list like the no-knead bread.
Get the recipe – Wood Fired Sourdough Bread
This Mediterranean flat bread works great in a pizza oven because the high heat helps it to puff up quickly and form a hollow center. When it cools, you can cut these open and fill with your favorite meats, veggies and sauces. A great accompaniment to join some other foods you’ve cooked against the wood fire.
Get the recipe – Wood Fired Pitta Bread
Garlic bread can be made in a similar way to a pizza, with the same dough and the additions of crushed garlic butter, herbs and olive oil. Or you can create a style more like a loaf of bread which is thicker. A nice way to use up left over pizza dough.
Get the recipe – Garlic Bread with Rosemary
This classic Italian bread has large holes and great flavor and is a great staple for sandwiches. It can be cut in half, filled with cheese and toasted to become a panini, or simply filled with prosciutto for a tasty lunch or snack.
Get the recipe – Simple Wood Fired Ciabatta Bread
This rustic bread with the addition of olives makes for a fantastic loaf to slice and dip into some balsamic vinegar and quality olive oil. The olives add a saltiness which pair great with a glass of crisp white wine.
Get the recipe – Wood Fired Olive Bread
Another Italian bread. It’s crunchy crust means it goes great softened with soups, or toasted to make crostini with pate or a classic bruschetta with tomatoes. The linked recipe has additions of basil, thyme, oregano and fennel for a flavorsome and aromatic loaf.
Get the recipe – Tuscan Bread
One of the most popular forms of bread around the world. The baguette is characteristic of its long length and crisp crust. This crisp crust is made by adding steam to the pizza oven, so you get a good oven spring. You can do this with a spray bottle, mist hose, or damp towels in a pan. By preparing the dough a day ahead, you develop a deeper flavor.
Get the recipe – Parisian Baguette
Rustic Bread Loaf
This rustic bread loaf with a mixture of wholewheat flour and all purpose flour adds a lovely flavor and texture. It is a simply recipe, and can be prepared faster than some of the other “day ahead” recipes on here. You won’t be disappointed cooking this one in your wood fired oven.
Get the recipe – Wood Fired Bread Loaf
A classic Italian bread that is so easy to make with the residual heat of your oven. The dough is very similar to pizza dough so you should be familiar with it, or you can use some left over dough you have. Great dipped in olive oil, or sliced for sandwiches the next day.
Get the recipe – Focaccia Flatbread
Flat breads are another super quick bread to cook in the pizza oven. They only take 1 minute to bake in the oven, and come out charred and spotted for amazing flavor. The linked recipe has sesame seed and chili additions and make great for tearing and dipping into hummus.
Get the recipe – Sesame Seed Chili Flatbread
Making bread couldn’t get simpler than this. This bread doesn’t need kneading but still gets a nice open crumb from a 12 hour fermentation at room temperature. Make it the night before, ready to be baked the next morning.
Get the recipe – No-Knead Homemade Bread
Kaiser rolls originated from Austria and have a distinctive appearance and a crisp, thin crust. This is made from the steam in the oven and a gentle mist on top before they are baked. They are versatile and go with almost anything, from soups to meat filled delights.
Get the recipe – Kaiser Rolls
A great crowd-pleaser if you are cooking for guests. These pizza rolls are covered in cheese and garlic butter and are sure to go down well. Standard pizza dough can be used and you can fill them with absolutely anything.
Get the recipe – Wood Fired Pizza Rolls
Rosemary And Seed Bread
A list of bread couldn’t be complete without some seeded bread. This interesting artisan bread has more depth to it than your average white bread. This comes from some malted seeded bread flour and rosemary for great flavor.
Get the recipe – Malted Rosemary And Seed Bread
Hopefully you now have some inspiration to get baking in your pizza oven. It’s a great tool to branch out into cooking some other foods. To get started – try one of the recipes that can be made from your left over pizza dough such as the garlic bread, focaccia and pizza rolls.
After that you can go for some of the more adventurous breads like the sourdough or the baguettes which take a little more preparation, but great rewards.
If you want to find more foods to cook in your pizza oven then check out my article 25 foods to cook in your pizza oven which covers a wider range of foods.