Big Brother Meets Big Bill


Big Kiwi Brother and his lovely wife are visiting us 🙂 They live across the wide wide ocean from us, and come visit about every other year. The previous time they visited, our intended pizza party became an indoor affair because the weather didn’t cooperate. The time before that, the Christchurch earthquake had just been, and there was a total fire ban. This time, they finally got to make their own pizzas and cooked them in Big Bill the clay oven themselves!


Big Brother’s first pizza sadly turned into a sticky cheesy mess, and got mostly sacrificed to the pizza god. His second pizza however came out perfectly and he was very happy to have redeemed himself!


It was great having our uncle and cousins also joining us on this sunny day. It’s just wonderful to have everyone together!


We also had some yummy dessert pizzas with home made grape jelly, feijoas, chocolate, almonds, and marshmallows.


After we stuffed ourselves with yummy pizzas, everyone moved inside for hot drinks, and my Tunisian sister-in-law and I started our happy afternoon bake-a-thon, hydrating with a healthy dousing of cocktails 😉


First up, I loaded Big Bill with two big fat sourdough focacce. The left one is made with caramelised capsicums I made in Big Bill at the last firing, topped with thyme. The right one is topped with olives and black peppers. I mixed the sourdough on the previous night, and left them rising slowly overnight.


Then we made a batch of Tabouna, a kind of Tunisian bread traditionally made in clay ovens.



They came out beautifully, and I was told they taste like the real deal! They were made using slightly more semolina flour then wheat flour and dried yeast into a soft but non-tacky dough. They have a little onions seeds and fennel seeds in them, which gives a very lovely flavour. I think I’ll definitely do them again and again in larger batches – they were all gone way too fast this time!



Then we loaded Big Bill with the 3rd load of baking. There were 2 loaves of cacao butter chocolate brioche I promised our sister-in-law. We added orange zest to one loaf, and it was beautiful!



With the brioche, there were also 2 loaves of caramelised capsicum, onions and cheese sourdough bread. I made it just the same way as the caramelised onion and cheese bread. The capsicum flavour is really rich, and give the bread a very attractive orange colour.


With the bread, I also put together a deep-dish quiche. I simply sautéed all the left over pizza ingredients (mushrooms, capsicums, onions, leeks, olives) then added 8 eggs, 1+1/2 cup of milk and 1+1/2 cup yogurt.


We enjoyed the quiche for dinner, along with all sorts of yummy bread and a cooling Tunisian cucumber, tomatoes and mint salad. Oh, and of course there were more cocktails 😉


Before we started dinner and wrapped up the bake-a-thon, the last dishes which went into Big Bill for the night were two pots of Moroccan lamb stew and two pots of sliced capsicum and onions to caramelise slowly under Big Bill’s gentle heat.


The lamb stew turned out melting in the mouth and as delicious as always. Even better this time because there were a little Tabouna I could dip into the rich hearty soup.

What a wonderful day with family, and thanks Leila for a fun bake-a-thon afternoon 🙂 I will look forward to do this agin and again 🙂


4 thoughts on “Big Brother Meets Big Bill

    • Thanks 🙂 Yes a clay oven is absolutely wonderful! You won’t regret building one! Have a look at how we built ours and also a few technical things I shared under the Big Bill page – Hope they’ll help!

  1. Pingback: Balmy Autumn Pizza Night | Imported Kiwi

  2. Thank you so much Jess for the lovely evening and baking session….. I wish I had a clay oven. We look forward to making more yummy pizzas next time we visit 😋😋

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