Thunderstorm Baking

Saturday was gorgeously sunny and hot, but with an afternoon forecast of thunderstorm, I thought it may not be the best idea to invite friends around for an outdoor wood-fired pizza evening. That didn’t stop me firing up Big Bill the clay oven though. I mixed up some sourdough in the morning, and Big Bill bread is just that much nicer than electric oven bread.


I fired the oven up around 4pm. While Big Bill was getting hot, I made some pizza and focaccia dough, as well as shaped the sourdough loaves. Just when I made a giant pizza for Kiwi Bird and I for dinner around 6pm, rain started promptly.


It wasn’t too much of a bother running in and out from the kitchen to relay bakings from Big Bill. The yummy wood-fried pizza was definitely worth it! (The rain never actually got very heavy.)


Then 2 trays of fluffy focaccia baked for 20 mins at over 250C. Half of one also disappeared into our bellies promptly. Continue reading


Pizzas are just as good as Birthday Cake



But then it doesn’t hurt to throw in a cake, or TWO.


And a bunch of friends…


Especially if they make you pizzas… Continue reading

Fix an Empty Freezer with a Fire

It sucks to have an empty freezer! It almost never happens for me, but it did.

I’m so used to being able to raid the freezer when I don’t have the time or just don’t feel like cooking. So on a sunny Sunday, I put an end to my empty freezer problem with a fire! A fire in Big Bill my clay oven’s belly of course!

First we made some simple margherita pizzas with real Italian buffalo mozzarella. I was very happy when I found a pot reduced to half price at the supermarket the previous day.


Then we put some left over goat curry on and scoffed them off very quickly.


The last bit of goat curry wasn’t enough, so we topped the last one with cheese – and of course nothing can go wrong with that. Continue reading

Sunny Wintery Baking Day

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On a glorious mid winter sunny day, I decided it’s been too long since we had wood fired pizzas from Big Bill my clay oven.

We had Anna over and enjoyed a nice long catchup in the sun. Apart from pizzas, I also quickly grilled a few mackerels found at the fish mongers that morning. Diego my puss in boots happily finished off the special treats of mackerels heads, after having his littles paws smacked over the pizzas.

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Even though it was a sunny day, the temperature was low, and it had been hard to keep the oven as hot as usual. So after we finished the pizzas, Continue reading

Burning Away Autumn Gloom

After over a week of gloomy drizzle (which was very unusual for Christchurch), it was infinitely nice to wake up to sunshine on Easter Saturday! I had made some sourdough bread dough on the previous night, originally intended for baking in the indoor electric oven. With the sudden arrival of sunshine, I promptly changed the plan and fired up Big Bill the clay oven in the afternoon.


Kiwi Bird and I enjoyed an early and leisurely dinner in the late afternoon sun until it set.


One pizza really puffed up in Big Bill!


Diego puss in boots was particularly keen on the smoked salmon pizza with cashews and brie. Continue reading

Sunny Sunday Baking Day


X marks the treasure. This is how my fridge looked on Saturday.

I made 6Kg of sourdough bread dough on Saturday morning, with the plan to bake them in the evening in Big Bill my clay oven. But then I had to do some work in the afternoon, and by the time I finished work, it was 5:30pm and I got tired. I knew if I started the fire then, I’d not get into bed before midnight. So I rearranged my fridge, and was rather impressed with myself for getting 6Kg of dough into it.

On Sunday morning, I took all the dough out of the fridge to warm up before 10am, then started a fire in Big Bill close to 11am. Before we got into making pizzas for lunch (I made some pizza dough once the fire was going), I shaped the loaves and focaccia, and tucked them back into the fridge. It was a very sunny warm day, and I didn’t want the bread to over-prove. The blue bowl of ciabatta dough also went back into the fridge, because it was looking bubbly enough already.


We made some yummy pizzas for lunch, just for Kiwi Bird and I.

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Continue reading