Epic Pizza Time

It’s been very hot and dry ever since Christmas. Thankfully the urban fire ban does not include pizza ovens, so we could still have awesome Big Bill pizzas.

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Jenny took this little clip of the fire dancing in Big Bill – isn’t it cool?

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We had quite a few friends turning up on this hot and sunny day.

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We started off making a classy smoked salmon pizzas with dill and red onions. 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.

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

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One pizza really puffed up in Big Bill!

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

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 Continue reading

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. Continue reading

Celebrating Spring with a Fire, a Duck, and a Lamb

What do you think about Big Bill’s new season fashion? I think the red hat really brings out his lips, and doesn’t he just look so pretty in front of the neighbour’s cherry blossom? (His chimney top burnt out a while ago…)

On Saturday, with a storm raging along the alps, but giving Christchurch a warm though windy day, Big Bill was screaming to me for a good fire. I was given a wild duck and a shoulder of lamb a while ago, and it was good to finally get them out of the freezer, so I can fill the freezer up with loads of bread instead! 🙂

I fired up Big Bill at around 2pm after I shaped my sourdough breads. Because it was really windy, I chucked in two big logs so the fire would not burn too quickly. After 1.5 hrs, the flame died down enough for me to push the embers to the rim and start cooking naans, followed by some pizzas for our late lunch.

Continue reading