Sunday Pizza Aftermath

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On Sunday, I fired up Big Bill the clay oven for baking bread. And since the oven was hot, I had a few pizza eaters turn up and make me dinner 😉 Diego, my puss in boots, wanted to help with making pizzas, but Hilary didn’t think those paws would be much good with the dough.

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Tom, on the other hand, was excellent, producing yummy pizzas after yummy pizzas, including dessert! It’s wonderful inviting a very hungry cook to party!

After everyone’s fed on pizzas, I started my baking to fill my near empty freezer. I’m so used to baking with Big Bill these days, the indoor electric oven seems so “inefficient” in comparison. My indoor oven can take at most 4 x 0.5Kg loafs at once, where as Big Bill can take 3 x 1Kg loafs in one go, and I can do 2-3 loads with one firing, and do more slow cooking over night.

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First up, I made two batches of naan bread, one batch with added cumin seeds, the other with onion seeds. I made these naans with sourdough starter this time instead of instant yeast. I mixed the dough around 2pm, and they were ready to be baked around 8pm.

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Then I baked two sourdough focaccia, one with caramelised onions and thyme, the other with roasted garlics and rosemary. The onions and garlics were slowly caramelised last time I fired up Big Bill and I still had some stash saved for baking these. The flavours are just so wonderful! After the focaccia, a red wine flavoured sourdough brioche, a strawberry and nectarine tart, and a sourdough miche went into Big Bill.

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Last time my sourdough bread all over-proofed in the warm summery weather, so this time I made the dough for the miche, brioche, and focaccia on the previous night, then left them in the fridge. They didn’t rise much at all in the fridge, so I took them out around 1pm on Sunday, expecting to bake them around 9pm. I ended up baking them around 10pm because pizza eating continued later then I anticipated. The brioche didn’t gain a lot of size before baking (probably because of all that butter), but had MASSIVE oven spring, so it probably ended up being triple the size of the original dough. The miche was a bit over proofed again I think, but not too badly. I was very impressed with the brioche’s oven spring (I was worried it would come out dense before baking), I think next time I’ll shorten both the first rise and the final proof for my sourdough bread, and see if the yeast will have more oomph when it gets in the oven.

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Finally, a pot of traditional Taiwanese stewed pork went into the oven over night, along with a pot of onions to caramelise, and a bowl of garlics to roast slowly.

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It’s wonderful pulling these goodies out of the oven when we came home from work on Monday. The pork was still pipping hot and perfectly ready for serving over a bowl of plump steaming rice – yum!

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And dessert was this wonderful strawberry and nectarine tart 🙂 The taste of having a fully stuffed freezer is fantastic too!

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