Pizza Time, Fireworks, and Big Bill’s Birthday Presents

On Sunday, we fired up Big Bill for some pizza time with friends and family, followed by fireworks for Guy Fawkes weekend.

Big Bill recently turned 4, and Kiwi Bird and I made him a new door and chimney because his old door cracked and the chimney is starting to crumble away after its flame-tested service. The new door has wire mesh in the middle so hopefully it’ll last much longer.

It was a gorgeous sunny day and our red rhododendron is in full bloom right now. Also I love the water lilies that are popping out here and there in the garden.

Pizza time started in the setting sun, and pretty soon winter layers had to be put on – every Kiwi knows how to dress for 4 seasons in a day from a young age!

After it turned dark and everyone was happily fed, we set off fireworks while huddling in front of the fire in Big Bill’s belly.

After fireworks, we moved inside the house for some hot drinks while I shovelled 3 batches of baking into Big Bill – focaccia at 270C for 15 minutes, then three loaves of bread at 240C for 40 mins, followed by two trays of berry muffins at 210C for 30 mins.

I underproofed the sourdough loaves this time to see if I could get more oven spring – and the loaves really puffed up to be taller than what I normally get, with HUGE holes here and there. Personally I think I prefer them proofed longer, but at least now I know how underproofed loaves come out.

Finally, before I went to bed, I stuck 2 pots of chicken stock, a pot of spiced daal, and a big tray of onions with a chunk of butter to caramelise in the oven overnight. The onions are a little too brown on the top, but really sweet and tender underneath. The brown bits taste almost like they’ve been candied so I ate lots of them like candy sticks… I’ll turn the rest of the caramelised onions into an onion soup another day – sure going to be amazing!

I portioned the chicken stock into lots of little pots and froze them. I also froze the chicken meat I could easily pick off the carcasses for our cat Diego. Yes I spoil him 😉 and I hope it won’t go unappreciated.

Amanda helped me made a video of how I shaped the sourdough bread. Have a look if you are interested in seeing how I shape the jelly-like high hydration sourdough 🙂

Recipes for some of the food here:


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