"Crispy, Hot Pizza in about Five Minutes"
My husband and I bought this oven after seeing another similar one advertised for $150 more on a Groupon. We compared the two and decided that the features of the other one didn't justify the cost.
I travel to Italy regularly and generally refuse to eat Pizza in the US, especially takeout. Even the best pizza transported in a cardboard box gets soggy and begins to taste like cardboard. It can't be helped. We used to make our pizza on the grill, but that became a hassle.
That brings us to the Pizzeria Pronto. There is always a bit of a learning curve with a new gadget. We made our first pizzas from Trader Joe's dough. They crisped up nicely in about 5 minutes and tasted OK. The packaged dough balls were a little hard to handle (they lose some elasticity), but the oven performed well, so we decided to keep it.
We made a batch of dough for our second round of pizzas. The recipe specifically said to let it ferment in the fridge overnight. We didn't think it would be *that* important, so we made two pizzas that same day and saved two dough balls in the fridge as recommended.
The pizza didn't seem to brown up as nicely, and the thermometer was only reading about 650 degrees, so we called the manufacturer. We didn't really pay as much attention to the temperature the first time, as the pizzas were coming out just fine.
The project lead spoke with my husband at length, trying to troubleshoot possible solutions. The company has upgraded the thermometer for accuracy, so they sent us one that was easily installed in about 5 minutes.
We made pizza last night again with dough that was properly fermented. I noticed three things. First, the new (calibrated) thermometer was reading at more than 800 degrees. Second, the dough crisped up perfectly. The pizza was done to perfection in about 5 minutes (we like ours a little extra crispy, so we gave it 6 minutes). Third, the dough that was fermented in the fridge TASTED better because the yeast had more time to develop.
Our friends, who also lived in Italy for an extended period of time, couldn't believe that we were able to make a PIZZERIA QUALITY pizza in our back yard. They're going to buy one!!!
I've learned a few lessons with this -
1. Follow the recipe for the dough. It does matter. Even the fermentation phase.
2. Follow the example of Italians when making pizza - less is more. Don't overload your pizza with too much stuff. It will end up soggy. It's just a function of the ingredients.
3. If you're making your own dough, use bread flour, not all purpose. There's a difference. Really. The consistency of the dough will be much better with bread flour.
4. MAKE SURE TO USE ENOUGH CORNMEAL ON YOUR PEEL. This is crucial. If you don't, you'll never slide the pizza off into the oven.
Finally, I would like to say that the company that makes this product is GREAT. They do stand behind their product and the product manager cares very much that you have great results. He offered to send us a new oven in exchange if this one really had a flaw. I personally believe that the flaw was in my dough that one time. Nonetheless, they were great, and I would recommend any of their products just because they do stand behind them.
The picture I've added is of one of our ""not so successful"" attempts. Still looks pretty darn good! The arugula was added after cooking, as they do in Italian pizzerias