Optima Pizza Express Napoli - Pizza Oven by Pizza United [AD]
There’s nothing quite like traditional Stone-baked Pizza. The flavour is like nothing else you’ve ever tasted. I remember the first time I had traditional Italian pizza. I was sat at a table in a restaurant in Rome. It was one of mine and Sharon’s first holidays together as a couple. We’d been sightseeing all day and ended up finding a local Italian Restaurant just up the road from out hotel.
Sharon had ordered a Pasta dish, and had been amazed at the fact that she could choose which type of pasta she could have with her sauce. I, however, had ordered a Pizza and was silenced by the sheer size of it. Italians are incredibly generous like that. Since then, I don’t think I’ve ever seen (or tasted) anything quite like that Pizza.
We’re lucky in that we have a very cute little Italian restaurant in our local area, but we’re not always in a position to get takeout and they’re not always open when we fancy one, so we’ve been trying to find alternative options. I don’t know about you, but traditional Pizza ovens take up a lot of room. Until now.
Pizza United are the biggest suppliers of Effeuno ovens in the UK. They are also the exclusive distributor of the Optima Pizza Express Napoli oven in the UK. They really know these ovens – as well as pizza – and we were delighted when they invited us to review one of their Pizza ovens recently.
The Optima Pizza Express Napoli oven is a Domestic pizza oven and is simply a miniature version of a professional oven. One that you would find in every traditional Italian pizzeria. Designed by Gabriele Ferrari and produced in the picturesque Modena in Italy, its unique design refers directly to the retro style, moved straight from the suburbs of Naples.
It’s compact and is a wonderful combination of both modern and traditional.
When our delivery arrived we saw that the generous folks at Pizza United had also included all the ingredients needed to make an epic pizza (or twelve) as well as a handy recipe. You can find this recipe on their website here.
Also included in the box was the following:
- Pizza oven Optima Pizza Express Napoli.
- Wooden spatulas that make it easier to transfer the dough to the stone base.
- Recipe for EXCELLENT pizza
- Power cable.
- Made in Italy.
- 1200W power.
- Maximum temperature of 450˚C.
- Pizza baking time 3-5 minutes.
- Stone table top.
- Thermostat with signal lamp.
- Diameter 32 cm.
- 2 years warranty.
For our first meal using the oven, we decided to make our favourite pizzas. T went with the divisive Ham and Pineapple. For Sharon and I, we went with Goats cheese and Caramelised Onion. We also wanted to try and make some garlic pizza bread as a little starter.
But first, we needed to make the dough!
Kindly included in the box was everything we needed (and then some!), but all the ingredients can be found in your local supermarket. Pizza dough is incredibly simple and easy to make – all you need is time.
For a better taste, we prepped our dough a day before we were planning to have Pizza for dinner. This also allowed us to make the dough with T.
Once our dough was ready (we also had leftover dough for the rest of the week) we then had to make our sauce – which was also super easy.
We were then ready to cook!
Within the oven are two heating elements (bottom and top). This means that the interior of the Pizza oven heats up to 450°C in just 10-15 minutes. This is the average temperature between the stone and the top heating element. This is also the temperature that professional, large pizza ovens achieve when wanting to cook.
Once your pizza is prepped, simply slide it onto the wooden spatulas and place it onto the stone (removing the spatulas!) Close the lid, and within 3 minutes your pizza will be ready. Due to the base being made of refractory stone, it takes away excess moisture from the dough, making a bottom crisp and perfectly baked. To clean, just heat the stone and gently wipe away any burnt bits.
To say it was delicious was an understatement. The dough was crispy on the outside and pillow soft in the middle. Our house smelt amazing for hours after dinner – it was like I was back in Rome again.
Not just for Pizza!
Within the instruction manual included in the box are lots of other Pizza recipes, ranging from Traditional Pizza such as Margherita and Ai Funghi, to Regional Pizzas such as Napoletana and Siciliana.
If you no longer fancy pizza, you can also prepare other Italian specialities, such as foccacia pies, grissini, small rolls. Not only that, you can also cook ready-made frozen pizzas (you just have to make sure you keep the pizza at ambient temperature for 10-15 before cooking). This is great for when we want to jazz up a frozen Pizza and make it taste even better!
The Optima Pizza Express Napoli oven by Pizza United is also designed to cook other foods (for example, vegetables, fish and chicken), but it’s advised that you use aluminium foil trays or similar for the food to sit on.
We were sent an Optima Pizza Express Napoli oven by Pizza United in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts, opinions and imagery are our own unless stated otherwise.