Much Proof of Summer

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This summer has been so warm for us! Our weekends had been very action-packed since Christmas, but Big Bill my clay oven had been missing all the action. Finally I fired up Big Bill for some pizza time in the over 30C heat on Saturday.

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We had some lovely pizzas.

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Good team work!

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And more lovely pizzas.

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We even made a gluten-free (wheat-free) pizza from cauliflower, eggs and cheese for Anna.

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Finally, the pizza feast was topped off with scrumptious desserts, before everyone’s full to the rim, and I got on with my usual baking madness.

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This is our table on the Sunday morning.

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I turned the left over pizza dough into dessert breads filled with ricotta, apricots, chocolates and cashew nuts. I tried to bake the first one with embers still in Big Bill – the sides got burnt… So I swiped out all the embers before the 2nd loaf went in. And since all the embers were out, I also stuffed in a big focaccia. They only took 15 mins to cook.

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Then two ciabattas went in as well as a bacon, egg, cheese and cauliflower pie.

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Once the ciabattas were cooked, I took them out and put two loafs of sourdough in with the bacon and egg pie, which required longer cooking time.

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The sourdough severely over-proofed in the day’s heat. I even put them into the fridge while we did pizzas to slow the fermentation, but the unusual heat of this summer proves to be unstoppable. In comparison, ciabatta and focaccia are a lot more forgiving, and just generally easier while having a party at the same time (pizza eating duration can be rather variable!).

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Finally I stuffed Big Bill with a chicken in white wine, olives and thyme, a pot of sliced onions with a knob of butter to caramelise, some garlics to slowly roast, and some plump tomatoes with olives and rosemary to reduce to paste.

A selection of all the bakings were enjoyed with friends in Castle Hills on Sunday, when we also tried to fit in some rock climbing 😉 I’m so happy with my freezer fully packed with goodies again, and no cooking required for this week!

Here are some recipes you may also be interested in:

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