Hot Day, Sizzling Pizzas, Cold Beers, Cool Friends

When one of my favourite drinking buddies was back briefly from overseas, we fired up Big Bill the clay oven for some pizza time. The day was unseasonably hot, which was just great for hanging out in the garden with a bunch of cool friends, enjoying sizzling pizzas and cold beers.

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It was one of the rare times we had the pizza party at mid day instead of the evening, and people’s appetite didn’t seem to be as large. So I turned half the excess pizza dough into 2 apricot, nuts and chocolate filled dessert bread. I baked these with embers still inside Big Bill, and the chatting distracted me from being vigilant… Despite the burnt bits, these seemed to stimulate a second wave of appetite, and disappeared quickly.

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The other half of the excess pizza dough got turn into yummy focaccia, one with caramelised onions folded in, the other one topped with thyme and sea salt.

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Then I made a batch of sourdough ciabatta.

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Followed by 2 caramelised onion and cheese sourdough loaves (I made a mess of a job shaping the first one on the top right, the second one is bottom right), and 4 “super grain” sourdough loaves made with amaranth and black, red and white quinoa. It’s the first time I used these grains in bread, and they turned out really nice, with a sour note in the aroma, but do not taste sour.

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Then I baked an apple crumble (left) and a bread and butter pudding with apples and fruit mince layered between slices of brioche.

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Finally, a big pot of beans, carrots, onions and celery, and a pot of onions and capsicum went into Big Bill for the night.

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The pot of beans and veges was like a soup, because I added water to cover the ingredients. It’s wonderful having a big pot of stewed winter vege. So far I have turned it into a creamy passata (pictured above), a spicy sauce over couscous with added tomatoes, a creamy soup, and also strained some broth to use as vegetable stock. I also froze some portions for more quick creations to come. It’s so handy for whipping up a quick hearty meal.

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The pot of onions and capsicum did not have any water added, and they slowly caramelised in Big Bill with a knob of butter. I absolutely adore slowly caramelised onions, and often do it in Big Bill. It’s the first time I tried capsicum. I turned most of it into a soup like how french onion soup is made. I’ll write the recipe out soon because it’s really really lovely. I also stashed a little pot of the onion and capsicum into the freezer which I’ll make some bread with.

Recipes you might be interested:

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5 thoughts on “Hot Day, Sizzling Pizzas, Cold Beers, Cool Friends

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