No bread is an island

...entire of itself. (With apologies to John Donne!)
I live and breathe breadmaking. I’m an evangelist who would like everyone to make his or her own bread. I want to demystify breadmaking and show it as the easy everyday craft that it is. To this end I endeavour to make my recipes as simple and as foolproof as I possibly can.

I call my blog 'No bread is an island' because every bread is connected to another bread. So a spicy fruit bun with a cross on top is a hot cross bun. This fruit dough will also make a fruit loaf - or Chelsea buns or a Swedish tea ring...
I'm also a vegan, so I have lots of vegan recipes on here - and I'm adding more all the time.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Two more wood-fired pizzas

It was a beautiful morning, earlier today, "A great day for firing up the chiminea I thought! And a chance to practice my cooking skills on it!" (More chiminea tales here.)

We had visitors during the middle of the day, so I didn't get to start the process until 4.00pm by which time the sky was overcast and not very inviting at all!

However, the forecast was for a brilliantly sunny evening, so I began...As I usually do, making the dough for the pizza.

I stuck to the same pizza base recipe I've been using for the past few weeks - 200g flour, teaspoon Marigold stock, teaspoon herbs and a teaspoon of curry powder - except that I added 25g of tomato puree to the liquid. When the dough was made I divided it into 2 - one half was to be a pizza, and the other a sort of rolled up, slit and shaped into an S shape pizza (haven't really got a name for it!)

Once the dough was made I went out and started the fire. Hadn't really got it going when it began to rain - but it wasn't much, so I carried on. I'd just about added the heavier chunks of wood when it began to rain in earnest.

So, back to the pizzas. I rang the changes a bit with my pizza topping - first of all a mixture of mushroom pate, vegan pesto and tomato puree spread over the top, then I added roasted peppers, sun-dried tomatoes and Kalamata olives.

Before rolling out
The other half of the dough I rolled out into a long rectangle and covered it with chopped polony, bottled mushrooms and grated Sheese (a vegan cheese). I then rolled it up, cut a slit in the top and pushed it into an S shape. (I only realised when it came out of the oven that I'd forgotten to include some fresh basil!)

And after shaping

When this was done, the downpour had stopped and I was able to cover the fire with charcoal.

After the charcoal had taken hold I put another layer of charcoal on top. When this layer was well alight I put the pizza in the oven.

Conscious that heat escapes through the door I propped up an oven tray against the hole.

Note the welder's gloves and a small kneeling mat - essential to keep my knees from developing deep grooves from the decking!

I still haven't got enough charcoal in there since it took about thirty minutes for the pizza to cook - almost! I still had to flash it in the oven in the kitchen for about 4 minutes to cook the top. Then I put the other pizza in the chiminea. Once again, after thirty minutes I had to take it out and put it in the domestic oven to finish it off.
The S-shaped filled pizza and all that's left of the other one!
I'm getting there. If I can just be a bit more patient and add perhaps twice the wood initially, then twice the charcoal, I think I may have it. (If only I wasn't so tight!)

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