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The History of Brick Oven Pizza

The history of brick oven pizza is a fascinating journey that spans centuries and connects various ancient civilizations.

Let's explore this flavorful tale:

  1. Ancient Egypt: The technique of baking bread and pizza in brick ovens can be traced back to ancient Egypt. Scenes from Egyptian tomb paintings dating back to the Old Kingdom (around 2600 BCE) depict the use of brick ovens. These ovens were constructed with clay or mud bricks and fueled by wood or charcoal. The ancient Egyptians recognized the benefits of cooking in these wood-burning ovens, which were often made from clay collected along the banks of the Nile.
  1. Greek Influence: The Greeks contributed significantly to the development of brick ovens. They introduced the classic "cupola" or round top design that brick ovens are still known for today. This innovation improved heat retention, reduced fuel costs, and ensured even temperature distribution. 
  1. Sicilian Origins: The oldest known predecessors of modern pizza hailed from Sicily, which was ruled by Greece at the time. Archaeological discoveries reveal remnants of 3,000-year-old flatbreads and baking tools in Sicily. These early flatbreads were akin to what we now recognize as pizza. 
  1. Ancient Rome: The ancient Romans embraced pizza as an everyday food. The ruins of Pompeii provide evidence that pizza was made in brick ovens with various tools and an array of toppings. Street stands and bakeries sold these pizzas to hungry patrons. 
  1. Distinct Neapolitan Ovens: In Naples (part of modern-day Campania, Italy), brick ovens were crafted with a distinct center dome ventilation system. This design enhanced heat retention, reduced fuel consumption, and ensured consistent temperatures. Neapolitans enjoyed a variety of pizzas from these ovens. 
  1. Colonial America: Brick ovens gained popularity in the Americas during the colonial era. They were versatile cooking tools used for baking bread, roasting meats, and creating delicious pizzas. 
  1. Modern Era: Today, brick ovens continue to thrive. They are found in artisanal bakeries, pizzerias, restaurants, and even residential backyards. Wood-burning brick ovens are certified for producing authentic Neapolitan pizza. While the materials and technology have evolved, the style, shape, and purpose of brick ovens remain rooted in tradition.


At The Great Outdoor Pizza Ovens Company, we offer ovens that blend artisan craftsmanship with technology to create high-quality, energy-efficient home and commercial pizza ovens.

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