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.

Sunday, 20 April 2014


Today is the 6th time this year I've had the chiminea in action. Here are a few of the pics I have taken along the way:

Since I only cook outdoors on sunny days, some liquid refreshment always seems to be called for. This is how I begin my cooking - with a glass of my homemade (Munton's) stout.

The topping on this one started off as a ragu sauce - turned into a curry sauce with the addition of some curry paste. I thought, why not combine a naan and curry all in one!

There are some common themes on those pizzas - always a shake of nooch (sometimes I remember the oregano), mushrooms, tomatoes, often sun-dried tomatoes, sometimes grilled peppers. I've even included vegan cheese (Cheddar-style Sheese), once or twice. They are often spread with Pateole mushroom spread and Meridian pesto - occasionally with garlic paste and hummus - sometimes with a rich tomato sauce (probably my favourite). And the curry topping is one I'll repeat soon - probably with a lentil curry! :)

I've had the chiminea for four or five years, now, and, while I have been able to cook pizzas in it from the beginning, I'm still tweaking my technique from time to time.

But, now, I think I've actually perfected it.  :)

Here's where I was up to, last year - with the method and pics for assembling the 'mini-oven' and pizza recipes.

And here is my current modus operandi:

(Before beginning the fire, I make the pizza dough - and roll them out ready. To fit into the oven, they need to be no bigger than 20x25cm - so the dough for each is made with 100g of flour. After lighting the fire, and whilst waiting for it to reach the optimum temperature, I place the toppings on the pizzas - ready for cooking!)

1. Build the fire
2. Cover the fire with large chunks of wood
3. Fill the firepit with Charcoal  briquettes
4. When the briquettes are well alight, place first pizza in mini-oven
5. 2 or 3 minutes later, when bottom of pizza is pretty well browned, remove pizza from oven
6. Slide metal plate under the coals to prevent any ash from falling through the grate
7. Now, with pizza on a large wall tile (once again, 20x25cm), the pizza is carefully placed under the firepit for a minute or  two. Take it out, turn the pizza round and place it back underneath the firepit until both ends are done.
8. Repeat with 2nd pizza

And, that's it!

No more trying to get heat into the top of the mini-oven, which was always the main drawback.

Today, there was still a lot of heat left after the pizzas were done, so I quickly knocked up a wholemeal soda bread with olive oil, which took about 10-11 minutes to bake. I pressed it out into a flat disc and turned it over after about 7 minutes:

I had a nibble - and it's absolutely gorgeous!
I'm pretty sure I can reduce the amount of briquettes I use, and still have enough heat. Unless we have guests, I only make 2 pizzas at a time. 


  1. Great post, the pizzas look great! You must have the neighbours peeking over the fence with those smells.

  2. Sorry, gazza, I thought I'd replied to this. The two kids next door do get the odd taste every now and again - when the parents share!
    Thanks for stopping by - and the comment!

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