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Interview with Ferdinando Marana, founder of Marana Forni

marana forni oven
Interview with Ferdinando Marana, founder of the Marana Forni company, pioneer and visionary who revolutionized the way of cooking pizza by patenting the first rotating oven.
 
marana logo
 

HOW WAS MARANA FORNI BORN?

“It all began at the end of the 1980s from an intuition of mine which turned out to be a winning one: to build a wood or gas pizza oven that would turn the pizzas independently and had the hob always hot.  The goal I set for myself was to shorten the waiting times and churn out pizzas always cooked to perfection.  Where did I start from?  I visited 107 pizzerias, going from pizza maker to pizza maker, to understand what the major problems of their work were.  After listening to them, I collected all their ideas and from here began the construction of the first prototype of the Marana oven, which took 6 years to complete.
 
“This is how Marana Forni was born in 1992 and with it the first patent in the world for a rotating oven for pizzerias.  Such an innovative technology first conquered only the hearts of the most modern pizza chefs, while others were initially wary of this new machine. However, within a few years, thanks to word of mouth, our revolution began, to become the reality it is today, present in more than 85 countries around the world. What can I say, I’ve seen it along!”
 
 

WHAT IS THE KEY TO STARTING A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS?

“In my opinion, to be successful in the business world it is first of all necessary to strongly believe in one’s ideas and in what one wants to achieve. We have to believe in it, this is the central factor to succeed in any workplace. It is equally essential to never remain firm on one’s own convictions but to be constantly open to dialogue, comparison and even constructive criticism, always being projected towards the future and innovation.”
 
 

HOW DID THE YEAR OF MARANA FORNI END?

“2020 ended in a very positive way for us. Despite the out-of-the-ordinary situation that we all found ourselves facing, we still managed to increase our sales. We can only be satisfied with the work done and the results obtained: we have opened a new market in Australia and this year we should be able to open one also in the United States. We therefore continue to work to bring the name of Marana Forni to the world.”
 
 

WHAT ARE YOUR NEXT PROJECTS?

“One of the projects that will be the absolute protagonist of this 2021 is the pellet oven which produces very little smoke and soot and has a high caloric yield. We designed this oven back in 2000 but it needs to be made self-sufficient in order to offer it to our new customers. The pellet oven is an ecological solution that is part of a path of sustainability and attention to nature in which Marana Forni strongly believes.”
 
 
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How to make Neapolitan Pizza at home

neapolitan pizza

How to make Neapolitan Pizza… using your oven at home!

(With short proving time on your dough at room temperature.)

RECIPE MAKES 3x 12″ PIZZAS

You will need: a pizza stone OR a flat oven tray.

 

 

 

 

 DOUGH INGREDIENTS:

(We will leave the sauce and toppings down to your preferences!)

  • 500g of 00 italian flour (medium strong)
  • 300ml cold water
  • 15g fine salt (sea salt preferably)
  • 15g extra virgin olive oil
  • 5g white sugar
  • 2g fresh yeast

When making authentic Neapolitan pizza we do not normally use any oil or sugar. However, as we are making Neapolitan pizza using a home oven (which cannot reach the usual high temperature for Neapolitan pizza), we will use these two ingredients to help colour the dough. If you don’t add these two ingredients when cooking at 220°C we will have a pale, dry crust – we are looking for a golden, fragrant crust with a soft and fluffy crumb.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

METHOD:

First, we take the large bowl and add all of the water.

Next, we stir the sugar into the water.

Add 250g of the flour and the yeast to the sugar water.

Mix it all together with a large spoon.

Once the mixture is all formed together, we can add the salt and the oil.

Now, keep mixing while adding the remainder of the flour.

Once the ingredients are all mixed together fully, remove the mixture from the bowl and place on a clean work surface.

Once the dough is consistent and smooth, you can cover with a damp cloth for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, cut and divide the dough into 3 smaller dough balls. Each dough ball should weigh approximately 260g each.

Round the dough into balls and put them in a small plastic container. (If you don’t have one you can use a damp cloth again, however make sure to keep the cloth moist otherwise the dough balls will lose moisture and get a dry skin which will ruin the pizza.)

Leave the dough to prove at room temperature for 6-8 hours before baking.

Up to 1 hour before baking, heat your pizza stone/flat oven tray as hot as you can get it.

If you have a pizza paddle and pizza stone, stretch out the pizza, load it on the paddle (dusted with flour first), add the sauce and the toppings and slide the pizza into the oven on the hot stone. Cook for 5/6 minutes until the crust is golden brown.

If you do not have a pizza paddle or pizza stone, stretch then load the pizza onto the hot flat oven tray covered with baking paper, put on your sauce and toppings and place in the oven until the crust is golden brown.

 

 

 

 

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Dough Mixer Buying Guide

In every pizzeria beside the oven you will find the dough mixer! These two pieces of equipment are essential in every pizzeria and bakery. There are three different types of dough mixers commercially available: 

–     Fork Mixer

–     Twin arm Mixer

–     Spiral Mixer

The most widely used for pizza dough are the twin arm and the spiral mixer for their ability to oxygenate the dough and create a tight gluten mesh, giving better structure to the dough and allowing flour hydration (up to 100%).

The fork mixer, despite its success in the past the is now not widely used by the pizza chef. One reason is that it is a slow mixer (increased heat energy) and it can only mix dough with water content up to 58% – 60% maximum. The other reason why the fork mixer is in decline is due to the advancements in the spiral mixer – the pizza world and market has evolved, pizza chefs now have more knowledge and approach dough-making in a different way. They are less likely to follow the crowd and more inclined to research and learn themselves.

We will look at the twin arm mixer later in a future blog and for this one we wish to concentrate on the spiral mixer.

THE SPIRAL MIXER 

Used in both artisan and industrial environments the spiral mixer is a machine that mixes flour with water, yeast and other ingredients.

The spiral mixer consists of a steel cylindrical-shaped bowl with a shaft in the middle and a steel spiral which is the main working organ. What distinguishes this machine from the planetary mixer is the double movement. Both the bowl, which rotates clockwise or anticlockwise on its axis during the mixing phase, and the spiral that rotates around its vertical axis. This double movement therefore facilitates the kneading, making it soft and homogeneous. To give greater elasticity to the dough is the fixed central shaft, that is, a dough-breaker arm that prevents the compound from becoming a single block of dough.

The spiral mixer is recommended especially for dough that needs a good structured mixing process, such as soft doughs, for example that of bread or pizza.

Which type of Spiral mixer to choose for Pizza?

There are hundreds of different spiral mixers commercially available on the market with different dough capacity and different prices. So, which one is the best mixer?

Benjamin Franklin once wrote:

“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.”

Using a professional spiral mixer has its tangible and certainly quantifiable advantages. A professional spiral mixer is certainly vital to support an important amount of work, having a more robust motor and more suitable to continuous use daily.

Other features that distinguish a professional mixer from a medium-low end one concerns the materials and strength. Weight is certainly a factor that offers an indication regarding strength and components but observing the quality of materials used in the production is an important part of an analysis that should be as accurate and thorough as possible. In a professional machine designed for use in pizzerias., the bowl, the rotation shaft, are all components produced in heavy duty stainless steel.

The spiral, which generates a pressure from top to bottom (based on the shape of the spiral itself), and the presence of a central shaft that serves to hold and better expose the dough to the spiral itself. The spaces/distance between spiral and shaft in a high performance mixer is very tight.

The round bowl in heavy duty stainless steel helps to gather the flour from the bottom of the bowl, moreover the heavy duty stainless steel bowl reduces the vibrations to a minimum, lowering the heat during the kneading phase. The more economic mixers tend to overheat the dough much more compared with a more expensive, professional mixer.

SINGLE SPEED OR DOUBLE SPEED?

Another important factor to be assessed is the speed. Professional high-performance spiral mixers have 2 speed or in certain cases there are some machines you can regulate the speed of the bowl and spiral up to 18 different speeds.

Having the option to change the speed is essential in order to produce high hydration dough or indirect method such as using “biga” or sourdough. In most top range spiral mixers with more than one speed, they will be equipped with a bowl-reverse system which allows the bowl to rotate in both directions. This is vital to create “biga” or to help take the dough out from the mixer once it is ready.

The first speed is generally used for the initial mixture of ingredients, the second for giving structure to the dough creating a stronger bond between the gluten’s proteins. Moreover, it helps to oxygenate the dough giving a bigger volume to the final products.

In summary, using a professional high-performance professional mixer allows us to:

–      Make every kind of dough easily.

–      Obtain more yield from our flour.

–      Have longer shelf life in our dough.

–      Reduce the mixing time.

–      Increases quality and consistency of our dough.

–      Increases profitability and productivity.

“For me, it is a simple recommendation to make and that is, if you want to run a professional pizza business – buy a professional mixer!”

–      Davide D’Auria

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White’s Foodservice Equipment adds the Scugnizzonapoletana Pizza Oven to its range.

electric pizza oven

The very first wood oven… without wood!

The Scugnizzonapoletana Electric Pizza Oven.

White’s are delighted to add the Scugnizzonapoletana professional electric pizza oven to their range. The Scugnizzo is the very first oven that cooks like a woodburning oven… without using any wood!

Designed and created in Naples by Giuseppe Krauss, the oven uses only high quality materials and components to produce an oven that bakes perfect Neapolitan pizza in 60 seconds time after time. The open fronted oven is designed to be a centre piece of a pizzeria. It was created not only to give the wow factor, but to be able to cope during the busiest periods in a restaurant. It is perfect for premises where the extraction of gas or wood ovens proves expensive or problematic.

The oven operates at a constant temperature of 440-460 degrees Celsius without the need for an oven door. Perfect insulation enables the oven to offer maximum performance with minimum energy.

Available in 3 sizes with chambers that hold between 4 and 9 33cm diameter pizzas. The oven can be supplied complete or in 2 pieces to be fitted together on site if access is difficult.

We shall be exhibiting the oven and cooking live at the forthcoming HRC Show at ExCel London – 3rd-5thMarch 2020. Stand number P431.

The oven is also available to test in our fully operational showroom in Redditch.

Available exclusively in the UK from White’s Foodservice Equipment Ltd.

To view more information on these ovens click here.

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A busy start to 2020! Marana Forni Installations.

marana forni

A busy week last week saw us install 2 new Marana ovens in quick succession:

marana forni

 

 

 

Back in September 2019 we installed a Marana Forni 150 rotating genius oven in Yard Sale Pizza’s new Hackney Road store. Loving everything about it, they asked us to remove their current UK manufactured oven in their Walthamstow store and replace it with yet another 150 Marana oven. With a quick turnaround in a tight space the work was finished in a very busy 18 hours, and after some time for curing they re-opened for business 2 days later, serving up their fantastic pizzas to existing and new customers alike. 

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marana forni

 

 

 

 

Last year the guys at Baz & Fred purchased the rotating Marana Forni 95 and 110 models. One was installed in one of their wedding venues, and the other in their now famous pub in the Cotswolds – The Stump. So when Baz & Fred were looking to re-locate to a new stall at Flat Iron Square they only had one oven in mind. On Friday we installed the model 95 Marana Forni rotating oven and after curing and testing over the weekend, they opened on Monday the 20th January 2020 – much to the delight of their pizza-starved patrons!

 

We wish both stores best of luck and lots of fun with their new Marana Forni pizza ovens! 

 

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How to make Detroit Pizza

pizza

The popularity of Detroit Pizza has boomed worldwide with everyone asking for these square, deep dish pizzas. If you’ve not heard of the trend until now you may be wondering ‘what makes them so special?’.

Well, we have put together a step by step tutorial so you can give them a go yourself – if you haven’t already! Detroit Pizza is a truly unique and well-loved contribution to the pizza industry from the American Motor City. Be warned, these pictures will make you hungry…

pizzaislovely1
Detroit Pizza baked with Lloyd Pans Detroit Pans.
Photo and pizza credit to @pizzaislovely on Instagram.

 

Although it’s a rectangle (commonly baked in sizes 8×10″ or 10×14″) it is referred to as square pizza. This may be confusing, but it’s all part of Detroit Pizza tradition!

Detroit pizza dough is light, airy and resembles focaccia or Sicilian-style dough as opposed to thick, heavy Chicago-style pizza dough.

Now, this is where it gets interesting… for authentic Detroit pizza you basically have to reverse the usual way to load pizza. Firstly, toppings go directly onto the dough, followed by cheese – true Detroit pizza uses Wisconsin Brick Cheese, not mozzarella. Finally, ladle on top your sauce – hence the nickname ‘red top pizza’!

pizza

______________________

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

For the dough:

– 1KG Strong Flour
– 700ml Water
– 5g Instant Dry Yeast
– 25g Salt

For the toppings:

– Pizza sauce
– Wisconsin Brick Cheese (we’ve used mozzarella)
-Your choice of pizza toppings

______________________

How to make Detroit Pizza

dough prep
dough stretching
  1. We assume you’re not total pizza newbies so let’s say you’ve got your dough prepped. (If you haven’t, we have a great video here on how to make pizza dough.) Once your dough is ready, take it from the mixer and rest it for 30 minutes in a container. After 30 minutes, pop your dough on a clean table ready to portion.
pouring oil
spreading oil

2. Make sure you oil every container that will come into contact with your dough so it doesn’t stick.

stretching dough
measuring dough

3. Measure your dough out into smaller portions. You can calculate the correct dough ball size by using your tray/pan dimensions. The following formula will help:

(TRAY LEGNTH CM x TRAY WIDTH CM) / 2 = ______

For example, this was the formula we used for our 10 x 14″ Detroit Style Pizza Pans:

(25cm x 35cm) / 2 = 437g dough ball.

kneading dough
kneading dough
kneading dough
kneading dough
kneading dough

4. Once you have portioned out your dough, fold it into a nice, round dough ball and place it into your (previously oiled) container.

5. Wrap the container using cling film or a lid, and leave the dough resting for another 2 hours so it can prove.

6. We are using Detroit Pans from Lloyd Pans, distributed in the UK by White’s Foodservice Equipment. It has a special Lloyd Pans PSTK coating which makes it totally non-stick, metal utensil safe and there’s no need to season your pans before use. Take a look at Detroit Pans in the UK by clicking here. Proving/stacking lids are also available.

oiling pans
stretching dough

7. Generously oil the pan you are using. Then, take the dough ball and roll it out inside the pan. If it shrinks back just leave it for a couple of minutes, after which it should be easier to stretch.

pizza pans
dough in pan

8. Once the dough is rolled out in the pans and covering the whole surface, cover with the Detroit Pans lid. Give the dough one final prove before loading your masterpiece. We recommend at least 1 hour.

9. After an hour, dock your dough to get the bubbles out, or gently pinch any bubbles that have formed during your prove.

Once this is done add your toppings! We’ve gone with pepperoni – you can add anything you like (straight onto the dough!).

mozzarella

10. Then, add your cheese. Authentic Detroit Pizza is made with Wisconsin Brick Cheese. This is famously hard to get hold of in the UK, so we’ve gone with good old mozzarella (it was still delicious, may we add!).

To finish off, load your sauce on TOP of the cheese for that gorgeous red-top pizza look.

11. Bake in the oven at 250°C for 14-18 minutes (depending on your oven).

pizza
pizza
pizza
pizza
pizza dough

12. Cut into squares in true Detroit pizza style and enjoy!

 

We would LOVE to see pictures of your Detroit Pizzas so please send them into nicole@whites-foodequip.co.uk or tag us on social media!

Facebook: www.facebook.com/WhitesFoodserviceEquipment/

Instagram: www.instagram.com/whitesfoodequip/

Twitter: www.twitter.com/whitesfoodequip

 

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New Restaurants! Franco Manca & Yard Sale Pizza Openings.

yard sale pizza opening

We celebrate Franco Manca’s 7th store opening this year (all with Marana Forni ovens!) and Yard Sale Pizza opening their brand new store with a GENIUS® Marana Forni oven system.

Friday 20th September 2019… A busy 24 hours!

Thursday night was spent in London celebrating the opening of the latest Yard Sale Pizza store. Their new shop is in Hoxton and it is their first one with a Marana Forni 150 Genius® pizza oven system.

This innovative oven allows Yard Sale to cook their famous 18” pizzas perfectly without the need to turn them in the oven! This new Yard Sale Pizza opening is guaranteed to be a success with an oven that helps keep kitchen operations run smoothly.

Next stop was Manchester to visit the latest new Franco Manca store – this will be the 7th opening this year! All of which are kitted out with stunning Marana Forni ovens. 

This store has the 130 Rotating oven with the Su&Giu® function. Opening next week it is sure to be a success, and the good people of Manchester get to sample the same delicious Sourdough pizzas that diners have enjoyed in the other 49 existing restaurants. 

We are honoured to be part of their new store openings and wish both of these established and respected operators every deserved success.

If you’d like to know more about either of the ovens in these stores call us on 01527 528841 or visit the Marana Forni brands page on our website. There you can see endless images of those that are part of the Marana Forni family enjoying their ovens.

Take a look at the Yard Sale Pizza website here.

Take a look at the Franco Manca website here.

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Marana Forni Traditional Ovens

Marana Forni White's

Marana Forni Traditional Pizza Ovens

Marana Forni began in the late 1980’s, thanks to the intuition of it’s owner Ferdinando Marana. The company began producing and selling wood, gas, pellet and combo-fired traditional pizza ovens for baking pizza and foods in general. Today, the company is synonymous all over the world with prestige, quality and innovation. The Marana Forni brand represents innovative technology, hand in hand with tradition. Their beautiful ovens were soon installed throughout Italy, Europe and more than 70 other countries worldwide. For the most part, this was achieved by word of mouth – the result of satisfied pizza chefs relying on products built using materials and technology of excellent quality. Marana Forni ovens have been chosen for the most important events dedicated to pizza, such as the World Pizza Chef Championships since 1995, as well as the French and Spanish championships. 

A company that has won awards for it’s innovations such as the patented SU&GIU® pizza oven, with a rotating deck which can also be lifted up and down to capture the heat in the oven, and the GENIUS Fast Casual oven (an oven that can be set to cook pizza with just one turn of the pizza deck, without the manual intervention from a pizza chef); Marana Forni also keeps it’s faith in traditional pizza ovens, with the Marana Fisso 120 and the Marana Napulé ovens:

Marana Fisso 120

This static pizza oven is constructed with traditional techniques and materials combined with the technological innovation and passion unique to a Marana Forni. Cooking quality is guaranteed by the choice of materials used and the specific way in which they are mixed. There are no other pizza ovens like a Marana – the result of painstaking development and meticulous testing, strictly performed at the Verona headquarters. The cooking surface has micro-perforations for easier expulsion of moisture from the pizza, and for better, more fragrant cooking – no burning and of course no cooking of surplus flour. Special technical features ensure that this oven complies with legal requirements on quality and safety. 

Marana Napulé

The wood- and gas-fired professional Static oven, certified by the AVPN (Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana). This is the outcome of Marana Forni’s intensive cooperation and development programme undertaken in association with the master Pizzaioli of Naples. Impressive teamwork, in which the experience of the Neapolitan Pizzaioli and the technological skill of Marana’s craftsmen, together created a unique appliance certified by the AVPN, the Genuine Neapolitan Pizza Association, for both wood- and gas-fired operation. Vesuvian lava stone is included in the exclusive mix of materials used for the ovens construction. 

 

These beautiful, innovative ovens can be covered to match your restaurant, either with a bare or coloured steel cupola, or a mosaic tiled steel cupola; the cupola can be customised with the colour of your choice, choosing from more than 2000 colours on the RAL, or metal brush colours – vibrant metal colours emphasising the hand-made brushed finish of the cupola. To see more, go to our Marana Forni gallery by clicking here or read more about Marana Forni ovens here.

 

traditional pizza ovens - mozzarellas

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Which Dough Mixer do I choose?

When creating your dough, you probably put a lot of time and effort into choosing the correct ingredients, as well as ensuring that you give each batch the time and love it deserves. However, that’s just not enough – in order to achieve a perfect product, the right equipment must also be used. There are two types of dough mixers available – professional and commercial. It is definitely worthwhile investing in a professional dough mixer, and here’s why:

Pizza after dough mixer

Dough Mixers are an essential element for ensuring success – they’re not just for mixing raw ingredients, but to also push water into flour and increase absorption through mechanical action. The better the dough mixer is at achieving this, the more water will be absorbed into the flour, increasing the quality of your dough.

A professional dough mixer always has double speed, and sometimes a double engine too; the double speed oxygenates the dough very well and much faster by increasing the mechanical action of pushing water into flour, therefore increasing the hydration. In addition, professional models give a thoroughly mixed, homogeneous batch of dough with significant elasticity. Having two motors increase these capabilities even more because, when double speed is activated, it accelerates the spiral, allowing the bowl to rotate at the same speed and increase the friction between the spiral and dough. It has been found that with the commercial mixer less hydration occurs and, overall, they produce relatively inelastic dough.

Following this, professional dough mixers have rounded bowls, and commercial dough mixers often have bowls with sharp corners where dough can get stuck and become unreachable, especially when the quantity of the dough is small. The material of the bowl is also important – professional die-cast bowls are made of a material that reduces vibration and heat conduction, and thus it doesn’t heat the dough as much as a commercial mixer by a fair amount. Commercial mixer bowls often vibrate a lot, conducting heat and warming the dough which leaves the chef with difficulty when handling the product once mixed.

The size and shape of the spiral is very important also – professional mixers have spirals with a radius that is smaller at the end and with the smallest distance between the end of the spiral and the bottom of the bowl. The commercial mixers sometimes have the same shape and size spiral, but often with larger distances between the end of the spiral and the bottom of the bowl, giving a lower quality knead, sometimes unsatisfactory, compared to professional mixers.

In summary, a professional dough mixer is a definite worthwhile investment if you wish for your product to be adequately hydrated, not over-heated, and if you wish your dough to be correctly kneaded without manual intervention.

Some facts and quotes in this blog post were taken from the book ‘Let’s Start From the Flour’ by Luigi Ricchezza.

If you’d rather watch and not read, here is Davide D’Auria from Eurostar Commodities, an Italian Pizza Expert, showing why he prefers a professional mixer: