October 30, 2014

BRICKS PIZZA PUT WOOD-BURNING OVENS TO GOOD USE

By Steve Dolinsky, Friday, August 15, 2014

CHICAGO (WLS) — While the recent wave of thin crust, Neapolitan-style pizzas has hit the city pretty hard, there’s a west suburban group of restaurants that has also put its wood-burning, brick ovens to good use – and the results are impressive.

With a name like “Bricks,” you’d expect the ovens to be the focal point, and the massive, copper-lined, wood-burning hearths are impressive. Fans in Lombard, Wheaton and Naperville have known about this locally-born, fast-casual concept for a while, but now it’s time to let everyone else know about them.

You can tell pretty quickly the pizzaolo knows what he’s doing, as he removes the fermented dough, presses it out and hand-stretches it, then proceeds to top it with any number of fresh toppings, including the exquisite fior di latte, or fresh mozzarella. At Bricks Wood Fired Pizza – with its three west suburban locations, including this one in Naperville – they really know how to work that pizza inside the oven, keeping it from burning, but also cooking it evenly.

The results – when you eat it immediately upon being served – are rewarding, to say the least, especially in terms of fast-casual pizza concepts. The company’s Founder says it begins with the dough, of course.

“We hand-make our dough every day. It has to rest for at least 48 hours. We use a special, high protein “00” flour,” said Bill Wilson, the company’s Founder.

That extra-long rest is key, as it develops character which results in a good chew. You could go basic, with a margherita that has hand-crushed California roma tomatoes, some chopped garlic, salt and giant blobs of fresh mozz. After about a minute or two in the 900 hundred degree oven, where it’s moved and re-positioned constantly, the pizza is cut, then topped with some fine ribbons of fresh basil and a healthy drizzle of olive oil; that’s it.

A “white” pizza is sauceless, but also contains thinly-sliced prosciutto with that cheese. After it’s baked, a healthy mound of lightly-dressed arugula is crowned over the top. The real reward, of course, is when you bite into it.

“I want a Neapolitan pizza that I can pick up, that I can eat almost immediately; after the first bite I can even fold it. But I want a very, very chewy crust. And when I say crust, the rim of that crust – the edge – is to me the best part of the pie. And I like it charred, because that’s also part of the flavor of the brick oven,” said Wilson.

Original Article

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