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Making Wood-Oven Pizza in Paute, Ecuador

Posted in: Ecuador Food, Ecuador Travel

During our recent visit to Hacienda Uzhupud we were kept very busy.

One of the activities that they planned for us was making pizzas in the wood fired oven. In Cuenca, there are a few pizza shops that use wood ovens and the flavor is amazing.

Update (January 1, 2018): Hacienda Uzhupud closed a few months ago. Although there is a listing on Airbnb to stay there, it doesn’t appear to be open. And while the major booking engines continue to show availability, their site is offline. Many of our readers have stated that the Hacienda is permanently closed.

Pizzas for the Whole Family

Uzhupud has a pizza expert on staff that oversees (and teaches) this activity. He is from Paute (where the hacienda is located) and spent years working at a New York City pizza shop. His pizza dough tossing skills were insane.

We were taught how to mix the dough, spread it out and to toss it. Drew loved getting up to her elbows in the dough – and spreading the sauce and ingredients.

The sauce was made beforehand with tomatoes and spices grown on Hacienda.

As you will see from the video, we were first taught how to do everything and then we did it ourselves. While our pizza was a little uglier than his, it tasted just as good. He also made a dessert pizza with a mild cheese sauce and freshly sliced pear – amazing!

Our Pizza Making Experience at Uzhupud

The whole experience was relaxed and well prepared. When we arrived for the activity the ingredients were set out and the oven was hot. The manager of the Hacienda was waiting to meet us and we were offered a glass of wine.

The climate in Paute is noticeably warmer than in nearby Cuenca. We prepared the pizzas in an outside kitchen, overlooking the open dining area.

Watch Us Make a Wood Oven Pizza From Scratch

Watch on YouTube

Preparing the Pizza Dough


Out of the Wood Fired Oven


Pizza Being Served Up


The Finished Product: Scratch Pizza from a Wood Oven


Candied Walnuts and Salad 

The homemade pizza wasn’t the only food we enjoyed at Uzhupud. I loved the higos con queso – a traditional Ecuadorian dessert.

What About You?

Have you ever made pizza in a wood fired oven? What is your best pizza making story (disaster)?

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Meet the Author

Bryan Haines is co-editor of GringosAbroad - Ecuador's largest blog for expats and travelers. He is a travel blogger and content marketer. He is also co-founder of ClickLikeThis (GoPro tutorial blog) and Storyteller Travel.

11 comments… add one
  • Mike Rearic Jan 26, 2014, 8:09 am

    Loved the video. It adds a great new dimension to your site. I am on a diet right now and i’d swear
    i could actually smell the pizza. Maybe someday we’ll get to Ecuador. Have fun and keep up the videos.

  • Anthony Jan 18, 2014, 6:02 pm

    Very nice article and video. It was cute. I had a chance a few years back to enjoy a pizza baked in a wood oven in Ixtapa, Mexico. It was very good.
    Can you send me a piece?

    • Bryan Haines Jan 19, 2014, 12:29 pm

      Would love to – but not sure it would make it through customs…

  • Carole Jan 18, 2014, 12:14 pm

    We recently joined Club Correa on the advice of many expats here. My question is this. Once you have an item sent to your Post Office Box in Miami, how much does it cost you to forward it on to your PO Box in Cuenca? That was not mentioned in the information that you put in my newsletter.
    Also, does the Miami office wait til they get a certain amount of mail to be delivered to Cuenca?
    If they don’t receive the amount they need to have before sending your mail, it could take weeks for us to get what we ordered.

    Could someone clarify this for us?

    Our son in CA sent a package to our post Office Box in Cuenca by Priority Mail last September. We never got it! As an experiment, we mailed a letter to ourselves IN the post office mailbox just outside the door of the PO, and we mailed it ten days ago. Never got that either. When we were in the states in November of last year, we mailed a letter to our own PO box number by Certified mail. We never got THAT.

    Are we expats singled out for some reason and so they decide we are not to get our mail? I would hate to think that we will never get any mail here for that reason.
    Bah Humbug.

    • Bryan Haines Jan 21, 2014, 8:04 am

      The prices for shipping are noted on the website where you signed up. For more detailed information from other expats you might want to check out: How To Avoid Problems With Club Correos (8 Lessons Learned). They are moving a high volume of packages – the only delays that we’ve experienced are because of Ecuadorian Customs – not from the mail service.

  • Joyce Uzcategui Jan 18, 2014, 12:06 pm

    Sounds like a great place to visit. I love pizza and love to cook-what a great combo. I’m still living in Ecuador vicariously. Can’t wait for the big move! Thanks for your interesting blog.

  • John Jan 18, 2014, 11:22 am

    The best cooking experience I’ve ever had while traveling was attending a cooking school in Chiang Mai, Thailand. There are dozens of cooking schools in each of the major cities in Thailand, and we found a good one. They offered a three-day course that included visits to the local markets to learn about selecting good ingredients; three days of hands-on practice, where two people shared a nice gas cooktop and food prep area; and, of course, tasting all the delicious dishes we had just prepared. Fresh curry pastes, green mango salad, phad thai – all my favorite Thai dishes. I still use the cookbook that they gave us.

  • fred Jan 18, 2014, 9:12 am

    I have traveled quite a bit and as a cook it has not been particular meals( lamb and cous cous , parilla, fish caught and cooked native style, etc) but the fun of teaching people how to cook on the road, especially in hostels.

  • tony zannino Jan 18, 2014, 8:11 am

    I have been cooking since I was 14 and now at 61, I would consider myself a very good cook. Pizza, Huh, been making my mothers bread/pizza recipe for about 20 years. Can’t wait to get to Ecuador to learn new stuff. Only 8 more months. And counting the days.
    Tony Zannino

  • tony zannino Jan 18, 2014, 8:04 am

    Once after taking a private fishing going from St. Thomas to St. Johns we fished along the way. We caught to yellowfin tuna about 22 in. After the guys on the boat fileted them I gave one to the our guide/driver. I took the other back to the house and baked it with red bell peppers, onions, tomatoes and some white wine. Truly incredible.

  • Fred Collins Jan 16, 2014, 11:12 am

    I had pizza made in a wood fired oven in Otavalo, and it was very good. But making it yourself must have been a blast. Not to mention customized to your taste.

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