This is how much I cooked with a quick fire.
I woke up on Saturday formulating a plan… I’m out of my freezer-ful of goodies. The day is and forecasted with on and off drizzle, so a spontaneous outdoor pizza party is probably not going to fly.
But I can still make a smaller, quicker fire in Big Bill the clay oven, just for baking a *few* things (compared to the usual 2 hours of firing for a pizza party + LOTS of cooking afterwards.)
I have only experimented once with one-hour firing before. Last time it gave me three hours of decent baking temperature (over 200 C down to <150 C in 3 hours).
I want to make some naan and berry muffins to replenish my freezer. Also I got a bag of apples for a apple and ricotta tart. For meat to roast at low temperature (<150 C when it’s not much good for more baking), I want to do a chicken with soy sauce and lemon juice. So in between the naan (highest temperature) and the meat, I should be able to do 2 loads of baking for breads. I decided on a batch of eggplants and Halloumi breads, 1 focaccia, and 1 challah.
12:00pm: Start fire.
12:15pm: Start kneading dough for all the breads (4 batches). Kiwi Bird peeled and sliced apples for me. I also made short crust for apple pie.
12:50pm: Realised I need more time for bread dough to rise, so I check there are sufficient ember in Big Bill and put the oven door on ajar to let the fire die down slowly.
1:40pm: Shape the eggplant and Halloumi breads, leaving a little dough for pizzas for lunch.
1:50pm: Push embers to the sides and wipe the oven floor. Start cooking some pizzas and naan. (And the sun came out!)
2:40: While I’m cooking naan, Kiwi Bird kneaded olive oil into focaccia and let it rise again.
3:00pm: Take out all the embers from Big Bill and wipe the oven floor again. At this stage I can hold fist in oven for 5-6 secs. Bake eggplants and Halloumi breads for 20 mins. Make muffins. Shape and dimple focaccia.
4:00pm: Oven temperature 170 C Focaccia done. Muffins need another 10 mins. Put apple and ricotta tarts into oven.
4:25pm: Take out muffins, oven temperature 150 C. Put challah into oven. Shut oven for 1 hour. Prepare chicken, and decides to make a baked eggplant risotto in the oven alongside chicken, as well as roast some garlic bulbs.
5:40pm: Take out challah and apple tarts. Oven temperature 130 C = my preferred temperature for cooking meat. Put chicken, risotto and garlics in.
8:30pm: Decided it’s time for dinner 🙂 Take everything out of Big Bill and devour.
So this quick fire (1 hour) gave me 3 hours to bake (3-6pm), following pizzas and naan which are cooked with embers still in the oven, and followed by meat that can roast at a low temperature. The oven temperature dropped faster than if I fired for 2 hours, but still sufficient for me to do a lot of baking.
Do you like my quick fire? 😉