Perfect Pizza Dough

To make the dough

  • Combine yeast, sugar and 2 tablespoons of warm water and set aside in a warm place for approximately 15 minutes.
  • Place flour and salt in a large mixing bowl and make a well in the centre.
  • Add remainder of water to yeast and whisk through.
  • Add yeast mixture to flour mix and combine thoroughly to form a rough ball.
  • Add small quantity of flour if your mixture is too wet.
  • Turn out onto a lightly-floured board and knead for 5-10 minutes until smooth.
  • Place tablespoon of olive oil in a clean bowl, coat dough all over and cover with clean tea towel and put aside for 1-2 hours allowing the dough to double in size.
  • Place dough back onto floured board and knead a few times.
  • For thin base pizzas divide your dough into 4 parts. Shape each ¼ into a round ball.
  • Take one ball of dough; keep others covered so they don’t dry out.
  • Use a small amount of flour to dust the rolling surface and the rolling pin, to prevent dough sticking. Roll out to required size. (about 30 cm / 12 in)
  • Place on pizza stone or tray and add your favourite topping – remember not to overdo it.
  • If you use a pizza paddle leave the base on your surface, you can slide it under after all toppings are on the base.

Preheat your Fornetto oven to at least 200 C / 400 F and maintain the heat. You can also make this recipe on a hot grill (using a pizza stone) or in a kamado or smoker.

TIP: Sprinkling (uncooked) polenta meal onto your pizza spatula or stone will prevent it from sticking when you place on the pizza stone and also gives a delicious crispier texture to the base.

Suggested Toppings:

  • Margarita – spicy homemade tomato relish and shredded fresh mozzarella or bocconcini, fresh basil leaves to garnish
  • Mushroom pizza – sliced sautéed mushroom and basil leaves – served with crème fraiche
  • Pancetta – rashers of pancetta, sautéed onions, shredded mozzarella
  • Pescatoro – fresh salmon chunks, prawns, baby mussels or clams, scallops and calamari
  • Salty pizza – black olive tapenade, salt flakes and chopped rosemary. Drizzle with olive oil and garnish with extra rosemary
  • Tandoori – tandoori paste, tandoori chicken (cooked) fresh chopped tomatoes and mint yoghurt

Wood Smoked Trout

Placing baking paper in the base of your oven proof dish will help with the removal of the fish once its cooked.

  • Preheat your Fornetto oven or your conventional oven to 160° C / 320° F
  • Clean and scale the fish. Rub with salt and sprinkle with pepper. Stuff the cavity of each fish with slices of onion, garlic, lemon and fresh bay leaves. Place a dish of water on the ventilation rack in the bottom of your oven. Place the fish in the oven dish lined on the base with baking paper. Place in the centre of your Fornetto wood fired oven and open the Smoker Slide. Cook for around 10-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to stand. Serve hot with lemon wedges, a simple salad and a dressing of crème fraiche and grated fresh horseradish.
  • The fish will be beautifully moist with a mild smoky flavour and is delicious served hot or cold.

Tip: Any firm-fleshed fish can be substituted for the trout such as salmon or snapper. Cooking times may vary depending upon the size of the fish. When buying your fish always look for shiny skin and clear bright eyes. The fish can also be eaten cold with crusty bread or as a centrepiece in a pre-dinner anti-pasta platter. Placing hickory, mesquite or other scented woods, sawdust or shavings (that have been soaked in water) in the removable smoker box adds a wonderful depth of flavour.

A perfect accompaniment to your fish is sweet roasted vine tomatoes. The heat of the oven enhances the natural sugars and acids in the tomatoes – the perfect counterpoint to the smoked fish or served with fresh baked crusty bread.

Select plump and sun ripened tomatoes (for maximum flavour) still attached to their vine. Place your tomatoes in an oven proof dish and drizzle with olive oil and then season well with salt and pepper.

Placing in the hot Fornetto oven and cook for 10 -15 minutes – just until the skin begins to split.

How sophisticated: smoked salmon pizza with dill and sour cream

  • Preheat your Fornetto oven, or your kamado or smoker to 250℃*. If using your conventional oven or barbecue, heat it to the maximum and monitor your pizza for doneness.
  • Prepare the dough following the Fornetto perfect pizza dough recipe.
  • Toss the dough and stretch as thinly as possible without tearing it.
  • Top with thinly the sliced smoked salmon, the grated Mozzarella, the slices of red onion and the capers.
  • Cook for 12 minutes or until the desired doneness is achieved (this will all depend on how thin or thick the dough is).
  • Garnish with fresh dill and a dollop of sour cream in the centre and serve immediately.

*You can also cook a pizza on a grill using a pizza stone. Slide your pizza onto the preheated pizza stone and cook over direct medium heat, with the lid closed, until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted, 9 to 11 minutes.

Puff Pastry Shrimp and Smoked Salmon Vol-au-Vents

  • Using a small cookie cutter begin by cutting out 48 small circles of puff pastry, roughly 3 cm (1.2″) in diameter. Leave 24 whole and using a sharp knife, cut smaller holes (about 1.5 cm (0.6″) out of the centre of the remaining 24 circles, leaving you with a ring shape.
  • Brush the 24 whole circles with the beaten egg and place a ring on top of each. Then brush the beaten egg on the top of the ring as well. Bake on a baking stone or sheet at 190C (375F) for about 15-20 minutes or until the pastry has risen, is flaky and lightly browning. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  • Fill all 24 pastry vol-au-vents with a dab of cream cheese. Top 12 with the shrimp and then top with the grated cheese and set aside. Top the remaining 12 with small rolls of smoked salmon, a slice of red onion, a caper and sprinkle with grated cheese.
  • Place all the vol-au-vents back on the baking stone and continue to bake for a further 10 to 15 minutes or until the pastry has turned golden or the cheese has melted to your liking.
  • Top the shrimp vol-au-vents with a dab of the cocktail sauce and a piece of red apple and the smoked salmon ones with a tiny wedge of fresh lemon and dill if you like. Serve immediately.

Mixed Paella (Seafood and Meat-Lovers)

As I mention in almost all our my posts and without wanting to sound repetitious, use the freshest ingredients you can find! When making a Paella with seafood, try buying fresh but if you need to buy frozen, be sure to defrost them properly in the refrigerator. Never leave your seafood standing out on the countertop to defrost.

Seafood paella

  • Begin by sautéing the onion and garlic in half the olive oil. Add in the red bell pepper, peas and beans when the onions begin to become translucent.
  • Add in the rice and the rest of the olive oil and continue to sautée until the rice becomes translucent.
  • Add in the spices and stir well.
  • Slowly add in the wine and then the fish stock. Stir well to evenly distribute the vegetables through the rice.
  • Add all of the seafood to the top of the rice while the mixture simmers lightly.
  • Transfer the paella to a 225C (440F) preheated Fornetto for 25-30 minutes or until the rice has absorbed all the liquid and the seafood is cooked.
  • Serve sprinkled with chopped parsley and fresh lemon wedges.

Meat-lovers paella

In this, our Meat-Lovers Paella, everything is prepared in the ceramic Fornetto roasting dish:

  • Using half of the olive oil, coat the bottom of the Fornetto Roasting Dish or any other oven safe dish.
  • Add the onion, garlic, bell pepper, peas, beans, rice and the remaining olive oil. Mix well to coat all the rice with the oil.
  • Add in the spices and mix thoroughly.
  • Add in the wine followed by the Chicken broth and stir well to evenly distribute the vegetables through the rice.
  • Lie the meat and poultry on top of the rice.
  • Bake in a 225C (440F) preheated Fornetto for 45-55 minutes or until the rice has absorbed all the liquid and the meat is cooked through.
  • Serve sprinkled with chopped parsley and fresh lemon wedges.


Whole Spicy Fish Baked “En Papillote”

This recipe is for deliciously moist whole baked fish done “En Papillote” style, a French technique that bakes fish in a parchment paper package.

  • Preheat your Fornetto Oven to 190C (375F) and place the rack in the centre position of the oven. You could also bake the fish in your Fornetto kamado or smoker at the same temperature with heat deflector plates in place (if available).
  • Prepare your fish by first, scoring the flesh on either side three times. This will ensure that the flavours from the seasonings will reach the inside of the meat.
  • Second, rub the fish with a small amount of olive oil. Then salt and pepper the stomach and gill cavities of the fish and stuff them with the sliced rings of onion, the lemon and the fresh parsley (leave the stems of the parsley on for a more aromatic parsley flavour).

Papillote technique 1 (ideal for smaller fish)

  • Take a large piece of parchment paper and fold it in half, making sure that it will be large enough to fit the entire fish once all the edges of the paper are folded tight.
  • On the parchment paper, starting at one end of the fold, trace a half-heart shape, remaining as close to the loose edges of the paper as possible and cut away the excess. (When you open the folded paper, you should end up with a whole heart with two bumps at the top and a point at the bottom.)
  • Lay the heart open on the kitchen counter and place the fish running length wise along the fold roughly 3/4’s of the way up one side of the heart.
  • Season both sides of the fish with the reserved lemon half and season with the chilli, dried parsley, onion powder, and salt and pepper.
  • Fold the other half of the heart back over the fish and beginning at the rounded edges of the heart at the fold, start folding the edges together in small folds making sure to overlap each last fold with each new fold until you reach the pointy end. When you reach the pointy end of the paper, twist it off tightly.

Papillote technique 2 (ideal for larger fish)

  • The concept is the same in this technique however, instead of folding the paper along the widest part of the paper, pull double the amount of paper off the roll and fold it in half. There is no need to cut the heart shape using this technique. Instead, cut all 4 corners to form an oval instead of a heart (see image above), season as directed above and fold the sides in the same fashion.
  • Place the papillote on your spatula and place it in the oven. Remove the fish after about 30 minutes and allow to steam inside the paper for a further 10 minutes. This will ensure juicy fish. Serve the whole fish in the opened packet directly at the table with fresh lemon wedges.
  • You’ll know your fish is done right if it flakes with ease all the way to the centre and is moist and tender. Be sure to watch for small bones!
  • Serve the fish with a fresh garden salad and cool glass of Chardonnay. You’re in for a treat. Enjoy!