Cooking a pizza isn't the sole function of an Alfa oven, but it's definitely one of the most important. Fully mastering the art takes a bit of time, but the basics are simple enough.
The instructions here are for a Neapolitan-style pizza, which cooks in just 90 seconds at a very high temperature. Different styles of pizza will require other cooking temperatures and times, but the essential technique is the same.
Read our Neapolitan-style pizza recipe to get started.
If you're cooking with gas, this couldn't be simpler. Heat the oven until its temperature reaches 450°C and the cooking floor temperature is 320°C, then move on to the next step.
If you're cooking with wood, light your fire in the centre of the oven. When it's established, move the fire to the left-hand side of the oven. Using your oven brush, sweep any ash and embers to the left of the oven so the cooking area is clear of debris. Heat until the oven is 450°C and the cooking floor is 320°C.
To test if your oven is ready and to take some of the heat out of the floor, make what we call a sacrificial garlic flatbread! Roll out a small portion of dough. Melt some butter in pan, add some chopped garlic and green herbs, then spread over the top the dough. Using your peel, launch it into the centre of the cooking area. When you see the dough rise and start to blister, insert your turning peel under the crust edge closest to the fire and turn the flatbread by 45° to expose an uncooked area. Keep doing this until the crust has even char and colour. If the oven is ready, the flatbread should cook in around 90 seconds. If the oven isn't quite hot enough, you may need to add another log to the pile.
If the sacrificial garlic flatbread works out well, it's time to cook your first pizza. Carefully but firmly launch the pizza off the peel, aiming for the centre of the oven. Use the turning peel to rotate the pizza as it cooks, using the same technique as you did for the flatbread. Mastering this does take a bit of practice, but you'll be spinning those pies like a proper pizzaiolo in no time at all.
If you're cooking multiple rounds of pizza, keep your eye on the temperature gauge. If it falls below 400°C, you'll need to add some more wood or turn up the gas. If you have reheated the oven, it's best to sacrifice another flatbread before you continue with the pizzas.