“I was only thirteen years old when I went with my father to build my first oven to the famous Neapolitan Pizzeria Brandi and the passion prevailed over me…”
– Stefano Ferrara
Great pizzas start with a great oven. So, the focal point – and truly the heart and soul of Dacosta’s Pizza Bakery is the custom-built, wood-fired, 6,000 pound oven from acclaimed oven maker Stefano Ferrara.
Ferrara, a 3rd generation Neapolitan oven maker, crafts each oven by hand, brick by brick in Napoli, Italy. Each oven takes up to ten days to complete. Santa Maria bricks from Campania are used in the walls and dome, the cooking surface is made of Biscotto di Sorrento, a heat-absorbing material that prevents the crust from burning, the mortar which holds the structure together is from volcanic ash by nearby Mount Vesuvius.
The interior dome’s roof dimensions are 18”, perfect for Pizza Nepoletana. The oven burns dense hardwoods, creating immensely hot temperatures allowing it to radiate searing heat from above, cooking the top of the pizza in the same amount of time the retained heat in the oven floor cooks the pizza from below – usually a 60-90 second bake time indicative of Neapolitan pizza.
It is this intense heat, routinely in excess of 1,000 degrees, that plays an important role in why Neapolitan pizzas taste so great, but this heat requires constant care and attention. This ancient style of oven is a dynamic, living thing, the fire constantly in flux, always heating up or cooling down. The way the oven stores the heat, the smoky flavor imparted on the pizza from the wood and the speed at which it cooks are all key to producing true Pizza Napoletana.