Fire Up the Wood-fired Oven on National Pizza Day

When we talk to customers about the benefits of a wood-fired oven, we explain there are many outdoor ovens that burn wood but none hold a candle to a Valoriani oven. This is an artisan-built, wood-fired oven, which benefits from generations of Italian craftsmanship and oven design.  

We explain our world-renowned ovens are constructed using the very finest firebrick, containing exactly the right amount of alumina to make firing up a breeze.  We discuss the industry-leading cooking floor level and built-in insulation, which allows the internal chamber to retain heat consistently.

Then, safe in the knowledge that a Valoriani oven is authentically Italian, we explain that cooking with a Valoriani oven is so much more than just ‘cooking outdoors’, it’s a way of life – la dolce vita!

Wood-fired Ovens and National Pizza Day

Our ovens can cook virtually anything that lends itself to oven cooking but, with our favourite day of the year, National Pizza Day (February 9), just around the corner, we’re going to concentrate on pizza in this blog.

Wood-fired ovens across the world will be celebrating this special day, which has its origins in the USA, where pizza accompanied the arrival of Italian immigrant families after World War II.  It quickly became a hit and is now an everyday part of life, just as it is in the UK.

However, the very best way to enjoy it is the truly authentic way – by cooking it in an authentic wood-fired oven – which is where Orchard Ovens’, with its superb Tuscan, artisan-built Valoriani ovens, comes in.

To get you ready for the pizza-loving lifestyle that lies ahead, and to create a National Pizza Day to remember, here are a few of our favourite recipes for a truly authentic experience. 

Easy pizza dough recipe for use in your wood-fired oven

Every good pizza starts with a great dough and our Orchard Ovens’ owner,  Andrew Manciocchi, has his own recipe for an excellent dough base for those who love a typical ‘Neapolitan-style’ pizza  You will need, for approximately twelve 9” pizzas:

Half a litre of filtered water

1.5g/2.5g of yeast    (less than 1/8 oz)

900g/950g of 00 Flour (preferably W330 300 grade)  = 2lb

25g salt  (¾ oz)

1.5 fl oz olive oil

Mix all ingredients in a dough mixer (preferably a spiral one) for twenty minutes, adding the olive oil after 10 minutes. Leave covered with a damp towel on the worktop for one hour, in warm conditions, or two hours in cold. Create 200g balls from the mix.  Prove in the fridge at 4ºC for 24 hours and remove from the fridge four hours before use, to prove.

Pizza toppings to try out in your wood-fired oven

Now for the toppings! What better way to get inspiration than to look to some Italian chefs for their best recipes!

You could try this Alpine Pizza recipe from Gennaro Contaldo at – a delicious combination of slightly spicy salami and cooling crème fraîche.  As our owner, Andrew Manciocchi, has cooked with Gennaro, it’s great to be able to share this one.

Simple toppings work beautifully and, for depth of flavour, try adding olives.  This recipe of  mozzarella, anchovy, olive and sage, by Gino D’Acampo, is so mouth-wateringly delicious that you will be reaching for something bubbly to celebrate it!

Buy a wood-fired oven for life

If you love pizza – but also relish cooking much more than that – now is the time to start exploring your options and thinking how to incorporate a Valoriani wood-fired oven into your outdoor living space.  Cooking alfresco will become second nature for the whole family, with all ages sharing delicious food and making a lifetime of memories together.

The superb construction of our ovens means you will be cooking in your own choice of Valoriani oven for years to come.  Their versatility means that you could be baking artisan bread, concocting fantastic fish and seafood dishes, rustling up pasta dishes or even cooking your Christmas dinner in the oven in December 2023!  The world is your oyster!

Take your culinary celebrations to the next level and ask us how we help customers create their dream entertaining space, with a Valoriani wood-fired or gas-fired oven at the heart of your home.  Call us on 01772 250000 or email 

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